30 Ways To Take Care Of Your Health While Traveling Abroad
Everyone loves travel. At the same time, going far away from one’s home and everyday comforts and routines can present challenges. You may not get the same kinds of food and drink that you’re used to at home. The quality of water changes as well. Added to this are changes to the climate that you’re used to. All these foreign influences can come together and lower your immunity levels. Unless you’re absolutely used to travel, your body won’t be used to travel. Here are 30 ways to take good care of your health while traveling abroad.
1. Get yourself vaccinated for any major or minor diseases and epidemics at your destination.
2. If you already have overseas medical insurance coverage, find out if it covers emergency expenses such as medical evacuation. If it does not, consider supplemental insurance.
3. Research information on local sanitation and other conditions at your destination before you travel.
- Is the water is safe to drink?
- Is the area populated by disease-carrying insects?
- How bad is the air pollution?
- Is it safe to swim in the water bodies?
4. Visit your doctor at least 6 weeks before you leave. This way you’ll have time for immunizations and other advance health precautions.
Air travel is the shortest route to any destination. However, traveling in a pressurized cabin at high altitudes can affect your health.
5. Be sure to wear comfortable clothes to allow your body to breathe.
6. Wear comfortable, loose-fitting slip on shoes so that if your feet swell, you’ll still be able to walk. Best of all, you can take them off and massage your ankles when you need to.
7. Drink plenty to water, since the relative humidity in an aircraft is less than 20%. Don’t drink alcohol, caffeine and carbonated beverages.
8. Carry wet tissues, saline nasal spray, moisturizer and a hand sanitizer as additional health backups
9. Move around now and then to prevent the development of clotting disorders such as deep vein thrombosis
10. Avoid heavy meals to prevent bloating.
11. Sleep during the night and stay awake during the day even as you cross time zones. This way you can adjust your body to your destination time zone.
Taking Care of Your Health At Your Destination
Use these tips to take care of your health at your destination. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. By preventing ill health, you can save money, time, and the tension of being sick in a foreign country that uses unfamiliar methods of treatment.
12. Remember to use a good sunscreen that contains both UVA and UVB protection.
13. If the sun is too hot, you might suffer a heat stroke. Check weather conditions before going outdoors.
14. Prevent mosquito and other bug bites by using insect repellent (with picaridin or DEET) on bare skin when outdoors, especially during the day.
15. If the area is prone to malaria, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors at night. Keep all areas of your body covered.
16. Don’t get close to animals while abroad. If you are bitten, wash the injury with soap and water and check if you need anti-rabies vaccine. Read up on animal bites and how to treat them while abroad.
17. Always remember to wash your hands before and after eating or preparing food. Remember to do the same before and after you visit the bathroom, sneeze or cough. Always carry an alcohol-based hand gel with you.
18. If you’re hospitalized, insist on fresh syringes for shots, fresh dressings and a clean bed. Catching infections while in hospitals in common in some countries.
19. Don’t ever share needles with anyone for body piercing, tattoos or injections. In countries where people have more freedom with regard to drugs and alcohol, such mistakes happen, leading to infections such as HIV and viral hepatitis.
20. Keep some latex condoms with you at all times, just in case. Avoid sexual contact with strangers but if it becomes inevitable, use latex condoms to reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
21. Don’t walk barefoot anywhere, especially on beaches. Beaches in some countries contain animal waste, which can cause fungal and parasitic infections. Keep your feet clean and dry to avoid fungal infections.
22. Avoid close contact with sick passengers on your flight, cruise or local destination transport. Keep your mouth and nose covered if someone sitting close to you is coughing heavily.
23. Avoid contact with any fluids from a sick person, such as vomit, saliva, pus from infection and so forth. Wash your hands or take a hot shower with an antibacterial soap immediately if there’s contact.
24. Make sure your accommodations are clean, airy, well screened or air conditioned.
25. Avoid drinking out of taps, fountains and ice cubes found in shops. Drink only boiled or bottled water.
26. Stick to your regular diet even while traveling. If your familiar food items are not available, eat sparingly of unknown foods. You never know what ingredient could set off a reaction in your body.
27. Avoid eating raw fruit and veggies at your destination unless you are able to wash them thoroughly.
28. Wear protective gear while biking, rappelling and so on at your destination. Don’t give cause for accidents which might require hospitalizations at a foreign hospital.
29. Swim only in chlorinated pools. If you’re swimming, boating, or water skiing in a lake or ocean, don’t forget to wear a life jacket even if you are an expert.
30. Be careful while traveling by road while abroad. Accidents are very common especially in European countries. Hire a trustworthy local driver to take you around.