Falling sick while travelling is a big issue and a common one too. This is not only because it will ruin your holiday, but also because it might cost you a lot of money – especially if you are out of your insurance network. It can be a daunting experience to have to cut short your family time to attend to a sick family member. This is the reason why you need to ensure that you don’t get sick while travelling as a family.
The most basic thing to do is ensure that you are not unwell before embarking on your trip and if you realise that you are ill, you should cancel your journey and get the required treatment first. This is because all the stress and lack of sleep that you are bound to experience while on your trip will only aggravate the illness. Below are some tips on travel health.
This can be your best defence against germs while on the move. Those who drink water consistently while at home can fall out of that routine while travelling yet this is a very crucial thing. To ensure you drink enough water, always have a bottle or two with you. Also, ensure you drink a full bottle during the lunch hour and in the evening if you have spent the day outdoors. Make sure everyone stays hydrated too.
You should ensure you get vaccinated against any endemic diseases to whenever you are planning to visit as part of your family’s travel health plan. This should be done a month before your trip since that is the amount of time needed for you and your family to get full immunity from vaccines. Even if you trip is sudden, and you have to leave immediately, ensure you get vaccinated against any local diseases. Although such a vaccine might not give you full immunity, it will lessen the severity of any disease that you might end up contracting.
Only Drink Bottled and Filtered Water
If you cannot trust the purity of water of your destination, carry with you bottled water that has already been filtered. It doesn’t matter whether the locals are drinking water directly from their taps; your digestive tract might not be able to handle it. The reason is that the water might have local bacteria that your body is not able to tackle.
The only way to stay healthy is by drinking filtered water. Ensure you buy sealed bottled water as some people simply fill bottles with tap water and sell it to tourists. Also, brush your teeth with filtered water. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money buying bottled water, buy a reusable bottle with a filter for each of your family members.
Be Wary of Food Contamination
This is the main cause of diarrhoea and gastrointestinal problems in many travelers. If not careful, you can easily expose yourself and your entire family to E. coli, diarrhea, Salmonella, cholera, Entamoeba and other harmful microorganisms. Always make sure you eat fresh, hot food that has been cooked thoroughly. Before sitting down to eat out, look out for good hygiene practices that are carried out by the person handling your food. There are other things that you might consider avoiding or being very careful about, and these include:
- Salads- these might be prepared using the local untreated water
- Food that has been left exposed for some time
- Raw vegetables and fruits that you haven’t peeled yourself
- Reheated, raw, undercooked and shared food such as buffets
Following these hygiene practices might not prevent slight stomach-aches, but they will help you avoid falling sick.
Protect Yourself from the Sun
Staying out in the sun for long periods will not only leave you with sunburn but also dehydrated. If you are travelling to a region that has a hot climate, it would be wise to carry sunscreen and always remain hydrated. Always wear loose clothing and a hat to avoid direct sunlight to your skin. Failure to do this can lead to instant dehydration, which, in turn, could lead to other severe conditions like heat strokes that can see you getting wheeled into a hospital.
If you follow the tips highlighted above, your holiday will be a joyous experience, and everyone will come back feeling happy and re-energised.