Getting sick is one part of life everyone can do without, but it’s the most inevitable part of life that getting sick happens at the most inconvenient of times. Travelling around the globe doesn’t exempt you from the disgusting fact that snot and mucus can happen at any time. Travelling is one of life’s biggest pleasures, and yet it exposes you to a whole new range of illnesses, unsanitary environments and parasites that you haven’t encountered before.
The thing is, your vacation doesn’t have to be ruined by illness. When you’re travelling, a certain level of increased hygiene, common sense and knowledge of the local doctors and hospitals can keep you well while you see the sights. Prevention is always better than needing a cure, and when you are travelling in foreign lands, you need to be vigilant about hygiene at all times and be aware of the dangers of drinking unsafe water. There’s nothing like needing to actually use the Enterosgel you packed just in case of Delhi belly! When you go travelling, you have to thoroughly research the area you’re going to, so that you can ensure you aren’t heading somewhere notorious for viruses and bugs. If you want to truly make sure that you prevent illness while you travel, check out our preventative tips below and make your vacation one to remember for the right reasons, not the wrong ones!
Wash Your Hands
It’s an obvious one, and yet so many people forget it. It’s not just about washing your hands after you go to the bathroom and before you eat. Washing your hands is a key component in infection control. When you are backpacking across the country, you may not get enough of an opportunity to actually wash your hands properly, but in cases like that you can carry antibacterial gel. Hand hygiene matters if you want to truly prevent infection and illness, as you’d be surprised how much you put hand to mouth every day!
Bottled Water Not Tap
You may really enjoy the tap water in the house you live in, but that doesn’t mean you should enjoy it in foreign countries. You can’t be sure of the sanitation of the water in a country you’re not familiar with, so avoiding the local tap water can avoid gastroenteritis, stomach bugs and vomiting. Carrying bottled water with you at all times and not ordering ice in the restaurants is how you avoid stomach issues on vacation.
Abroad Food Warnings
Open air food is often one of the biggest causes of traveller’s diarrhea and vomiting. Food contamination isn’t a joke, and when you are out and exploring you can see exactly how the food is prepped and cooked when you order street food. Most people love street food for this reason: the markets are busy and packed with people, but the cooking environments are clean as a whistle! Always be careful of salads that are prepared with untreated water, raw fruits and vegetables that you didn’t prepare yourself, shared buffet food like sushi and food that has been left out in the open air. Good food hygiene practices can minimise the risks of throwing up.
Carrying adequate sun protection, from lotion and sunglasses to floppy hats and extra cardigans can help you go a long way to avoiding sunburn. Protecting yourself goes far beyond just a little reddening. The UV levels and sun strength in an unfamiliar country can mean you have no idea what you are getting yourself in for. Staying very well hydrated, keeping out of the sun at the hottest parts of the day and staying in the shade as much as possible can help reduce the risk of sun stroke. If you do contract sunstroke, you should seek medical attention straight away as if it’s untreated, it could become an emergency.
Nope, not vomit bugs, actual bugs! Mosquitoes, bed bugs and fleas are a reality wherever you travel to, but knowing how to look after yourself is important. Repellents should be the first thing that you pack in your bag and wherever you stay, you should look into bringing mosquito nets to use over your bed if your hotel doesn’t offer them. You can do everything right and still get bitten, but at least if you are putting plans and solutions in place, you know you will be covered.
Travelling smart is how you travel healthily, make the right plans and get the right vaccinations, and you can enjoy your vacation in peace.
** Note: This is a collaborative post, image and text has been provided to us for a small fee.