'A sound mind rests in a sound body.' Being fit and healthy throughout your trip is an essential factor for having a good holiday. Getting sick is a part of one's life, and if you travel enough, you must always be prepared for whatever travel trials come your way. Traveling to various destinations exposes you to a whole new range of bugs, parasites, and unclean environments. The fact being the longer you are traveling, the more likely you are to pick up a bug or two.
You should know that the key to minimizing the chances of illness is to actively combat the perils of becoming sick. After all, it’s always effective to prevent rather than cure.
Staying clean and healthy while on your trip can improve your spirits, maintain health, and assure that fellow travelers and locals aren’t scared off by your fatigued appearance and penetrating odor. As a traveler, every minute counts so we always want to maximize that chance to explore rather than to nurse an illness. With that, here are some general travel health tips to stay healthy on the road.
Wash your hands
This is undoubtedly the basic health and hygiene tips as dirt and grime are everywhere on earth. But is very surprising when some people forget to wash their hands which in the later run increases the chances of diarrhea, vomiting, food poisoning, gastroenteritis, flu, norovirus, MRSA, or even hepatitis A. If no wash-basin is available, not to worry, carry a small bottle of hand sanitizing gels as a backup. Wherever possible, you must ensure to wash your hands under hot water ideally with soap for at least 30 seconds before you beat something and after using the toilets. All these could help you cut down the amount of time you are sick and prevent you from putting in bad bacteria inside your system.
Eating and drinking while traveling
If you love eating street food, you can probably see how clean the cooking environment is, and also the food as it is often prepared right in front of you. But detect for signs of good hygiene practice at any street food stall or food court you eat at. Does the person preparing those spicy and delicious foods wear disposable gloves and change them frequently?
Gastrointestinal diseases are the most common travel-related illnesses caused by poorly prepared or stale foods or untreated water. To avoid diseases like diarrhea, stomach pains, nausea and vomiting, you must always ensure that you follow these tips:
- When you can't be sure of the purity of the local water, use boiled or bottled water, or water purifiers, life straws and water tablets.
- Try to avoid ice in any liquid that you take in.
- Avoid drinking unpasteurized milk and using dairy products.
- Abstain yourself from eating unpeeled fruits or salads that have been washed in the local water. Eating thick-skinned fruits solves the purpose most of the time.
- Ensure that the food you're eating has been cooked properly and is served hot.
- Avoid eating shellfish.
- Never buy food from empty food stalls. Buying from hotels and busy restaurants are safest.
- Last, but not the least, take care with personal hygiene.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites
An absolute nightmare for any traveler is a mosquito bite. Mosquitoes at the best will simply annoy you with painful and itchy welts, but the worst thing they could do is to transmit a whole variety of diseases, such as yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, chikungunya, dengue and not to forget malaria.
Even if you are staying in a low to no risk area, it is always a better idea to prevent mosquitoes from biting you. Below are some preventive measures that you can adapt to protect yourself from being bitten:
- Living in an air-conditioned room is a great way to minimize mosquito bites, as these are better sealed which do not allow them in.
- Wearing a suitable clothing that covers most of your skin to the most is important. Try wearing light, loose cotton clothing, especially around peak exposure times and places, for example, near bodies of water or at twilight or after dark, the peak time for malaria-carrying mosquitoes to feed.
- Always sleep under permethrin-coated nets where it's absolutely needed to.
- Burn anti-mosquito coils and plug-in devices.
- Natural mosquito repellent sprays or lotions can help too just be sure it does not stain your clothes or damage your skin.
Do not forget to take your Vitamins
Throughout the journey, most of the travelers do not get sufficient sleep, they eat poorly, and they drink a lot. Taking a few vitamins with your self can help you keep your body fit and energetic and shielded from disease carrying microorganisms.
Check and replenish your supply of personal first aid meds
In many parts of the world, for instance, Asia, Latin America, it's very easy to resupply medications over the counter, that is no prescription is required. To combat any such critical condition when you feel ill, always ensure to carry the emergency antibiotics that need no prescription. And also make sure they’re not expired. We often neglect checking these dates when we don’t really need them but it’s always nice to be prepared.
Prepare well for a healthy holiday
Before you leave for your trip make sure you
- Have a thorough medical check-up. Ensure that you travel healthy.
- Get updated with your vaccination and do ask about other immunizations.
- Carry your first aid kit and basic medications especially when traveling with children.
- Get a travel insurance, including a cover in case you need to be evacuated to a suitable hospital.
- Go for a dental check-up.
Shield yourself against the sun
Tanning and sunburn can have a serious impact if your skin is sensitive. Apply sunscreen to protect your skin against sunburns and tans. You must also ensure that you stay well hydrated if you are traveling in a country with a tropical climate. If you don't, then dehydration might easily set in and can make you weak and ill. To avoid exposure, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke, be sensible enough to use sunscreen, cover up and stay hydrated.
Carry a travel sheet
While you travel around, you might stay in budget accommodations which won't provide you with new and clean sleeping sheets every day. The sheets can also have patches of blood of bedbugs which can be unhygienic for your body. Carry a lightweight travel sheet with yourself to avoid bedbug bites as well as maintain hygiene. The Brave Era travel sheet can always keep you clean and protected from these unwanted exposure caused by unclean sheets in accommodations.
Consult your personal doctor
Before you leave for your trip, make sure you consult your doctor for any vaccinations you may need. Typhoid, Tetanus, Hepatitis are the basic shots to get and, if you are traveling to a malaria region, make sure you take malaria pills. It is always advisable to check with your doctor as they have the most up to date information. And if you don't want to take any risk, get all your shots and treatments before you go. Do remember to carry your vaccination book as some countries want to see it before you enter.
Find time to exercise to stay fit and active
Exercise is the key to a fit and healthy body. Doing exercise has undoubtedly numerous benefits as this is essential to improve your overall health and well-being and strengthen your immune system, which makes you less susceptible to illness. Unfortunately, if you so get sick, you can better fight against the diseases and quickly restore your usual state of fitness.