One of the worst things that can happen on holiday is that you or your family get sick. It can really put a dampener on the holiday, making it impossible for any of your party to really relax and enjoy themselves and that’s the best case scenarios – at worst it can cause life-threatening issues!
So, you probably want to avoid getting sick when you travel overseas right? Well check out these effective tips to avoid getting ill when you should be having a great time abroad:
Take Vitamins and Get Some Rest
In the days and weeks leading up to your flight, it’s a good idea to build up your immune system by taking a good multivitamin and spending more time relaxing. Why? Because plane journeys, especially long-haul flights can be really testing. The air quality isn’t great – it’s a breeding ground for bacteria really – and being confined for so long can all combine to make you sick before you’ve even reached your destination. This is less likely to happen if you’re well rested, and your body is in good condition.
Wash Your Hands
It’s probably the most basic health advice there is, but it is also amongst the most effective. If you regularly wash your hands, then you are less likely to pick up and be affected by various bugs and infections wherever you are in the world. Just make sure that, if the water isn’t safe for drinking, you boil it before washing too, or you use bottled, that way you won’t introduce extra bacteria by washing, which pretty much defeats the object. Alternatively, you could use antibacterial gel, which can be purchased in small bottles and which is pretty easy to carry around with you.
Drink Bottled Water
On the subject of bottled water, it is a pretty good idea to stick to consuming it in areas where you can’t be sure that the water is safe for drinking or when you’re in a country where the sanitation situation isn’t as good as it could be. Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because the locals can handle the tap water, you’ll be good to drink it too because chances are they have built up different stomach bacteria to you, and that could mean that although they can tolerate it, you will get sick and end up spending more of your holiday on the toilet than the beach – a fate that no holidaymaker ever wants to experience, although many do.
Take Preventative Medical Measures
If you’re heading off to a far-flung country where diseases that aren’t really common here are prevalent, then you should look into what vaccinations and medications are available to keep you protected. For example, malarone can be used to help prevent malaria, and you can get jabs to protect against everything from hepatitis to diphtheria,. So, check out what you could be exposing yourself to and ensure that you all take the right preventative measures in a timely manner before you head off on your travels. Remember, prevention is better than cure.
Be Wary of Contaminated Food
Perhaps, the main cause of holiday sickness is contaminated food. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to know whether food is likely to be contaminated or not. However, you can minimise your risk by ensuring that any food you consume is piping hot, that you eat at reputable places (check the reviews) and by avoiding things like salads, fruits, and vegetables that could have come into contact with impure water, as well as shellfish and buffet foods that could have been sitting around a long time, especially in establishments you are unsure about.
Don’t Stay Idle
If your idea of a dream travel destination is anywhere with a sprawling beach that you can spend pretty much your whole holiday lounging on, then you might want to rethink your plan and find out what activities are available in the areas too. Why? Because staying active is one of the best ways to fight off infections, at home and abroad. Your immune system is much more able to cope with nasties when your body is healthy, so although it won’t guarantee you don’t get sick, climbing that local mountain, trying your hand at water skiing or going for a run on the beach every morning will push the odds in your favour.
Keep the Mosquitoes at Bay
In a lot of places, the biggest threat to your health are the mosquitoes, which is why, as well as taking preventative malaria medications, it’s a good idea to wear mosquito repellents, cover your skin with long sleeves, sleep in mosquito nets and where possible, avoid areas of stagnant water, particularly in the evenings. None of this will guarantee that you don’t get bitten, but it’ll be far less likely to happen.
I shouldn’t even have to mention this, but you’d be surprised by how many people go off to warmer climes, where the sun is always shining, and don’t bother putting on sunscreen on a regular basis. This is something that you absolutely must so if you don’t want to end up with burnt, painful skin and possibly at some point in the future, skin cancer! Remember, sunscreen needs to be reapplied regularly throughout the day, especially after you’ve been swimming.
Of course, protecting yourself from the sun is about more than just wearing sunscreen, so if you also don’t want to end up with heat stroke or dehydration, for example, you’d do well to dress in loose clothing, wear a hat and drink plenty of bottled water, at least at the times when the sun is at its hottest.
These are all fairly simple measures you can take to significantly reduce your risk of getting sick when you travel overseas. In fact, they are so simple that a lot of people don’t even bother to do them. Don’t make that mistake and ensure that you’ve met all of these steps if you want to protect you and your family wherever you go.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.