When planning a trip abroad, it is essential to know how to stay secure and healthy. Doing so can make all the difference in whether your experience is enjoyable or an unpleasant one.
Take these precautions to protect yourself against illness: get vaccinated, know your travel medicine and eat nutritiously. By following these simple guidelines, you can help safeguard against many common illnesses.
1. Get Vaccinated
Preventing illness before travel is one of the best ways to stay safe and healthy while abroad. Not only will it reduce your chance for contracting a serious disease, but it also ensures you don’t bring back home the virus and spread it onto others.
Vaccines are shots containing small amounts of germs, bacteria or toxins that your immune system responds to by making antibodies that destroy the germ and help shield you from getting sick in the future.
Before traveling, it is recommended that you get vaccinated to protect yourself and those close to you from diseases like cholera, measles, typhoid, yellow fever and more. Speak with your doctor or health insurance provider about which vaccines are necessary for your destination and make sure to get them before leaving home.
2. Know Your Travel Medicines
Travel medicine is a branch of healthcare that addresses health concerns associated with international travel. This field includes vaccines, treatments and preventive advice.
Talking with your doctor ahead of time about any medications you need to bring on vacation is an integral part of the planning process. Whether they are prescriptions or over-the-counter drugs, be sure to bring enough for the duration of your trip plus some extra in case you run out during it.
Every country has different regulations regarding medications that can be brought across borders. Be sure to research the regulations for your destination country and pack medications in their original containers with clear labels displaying the name, health care provider’s name, generic or brand names and dosage.
3. Stay Hydrated
When traveling abroad, drinking plenty of water is important to stay hydrated and ensure your body functions optimally. Dehydration can have numerous adverse effects such as headaches, fatigue, weight gain and decreased immunity.
Make it a goal to drink at least 2 litres of water daily. You can do this by sipping on a glass whenever you feel thirsty or keeping a small bottle in your bag as a reminder throughout the day.
Additionally, including plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet can be a beneficial idea. These foods tend to be high in water content, making them an excellent way to increase your daily hydration intake.
4. Wash Your Hands Regularly
Maintaining good hygiene while traveling abroad is one of the best ways to stay healthy, and it’s also one of the cheapest and simplest ways you can do to protect your family members from illness and disease.
Handwashing is the key to preventing germs from transferring between your hands and other surfaces, like doorknobs or elevator buttons, where contaminated items may come into contact.
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Massage soap into every part of your hands – from wrists to back of hands, between fingers and under fingernails – for at least 20 seconds.
5. Get Plenty of Rest
Rest is an integral component of physical and mental wellbeing. Everyone’s definition of rest may differ, but for many it involves taking a few moments to unwind, taking a walk outside, or taking a nap.
Exercise helps activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which acts in opposition to the sympathetic nervous system that initiates flight or fight reactions in response to stress.
Get plenty of rest before and during your trip, especially if you’re flying across time zones. To help adjust your body clock to the new time zone at your destination, adjust your bedtimes and waking times according to its local sleep habits.
Furthermore, create a regular schedule for going to bed and waking up at the same times each night. Doing this will make it easier to get enough rest each night.