Travel can be such an enriching experience, exposing us to new people, places, and cultures, while expanding our view of the world around us. Unfortunately, that isn’t the only thing it tends to expose us to, as travelers often come in contact with germs, bacteria, and other harmful elements that are just waiting to turn our once-in-a-lifetime trip into living nightmares. Before you head out on your next vacation, here are some tips that can help you to stay healthy while on the road.
Rest Up Before You Leave
Let’s face it, as much as we love it, travel can be exhausting at times. An active trip often means long, busy days that can end up leaving us extremely tired. To make matters worse, it can sometimes be difficult to get a good night’s sleep while you’re away from home too. That’s why it is important to get plenty of rest before you ever leave on your trip. This will ensure that you’re well rested before you arrive at your destination, and will help your immune system to be in tip-top shape as well. That alone can do wonders for keeping you healthier while traveling.
Strengthen Your Immune System
Speaking of your immune system; there are a few other steps you can take to help strengthen it before you leave home as well. For instance, taking vitamins or other supplements can provide a boost that will help you overcome potential illnesses such as the flu or the common cold. Also, be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts, as they’ll also provide some much-needed nutrients that can give your body a bit of extra strength to ward off viruses and other bugs. Your immune system acts lie a defense shield against illness, and you’ll want it in top form while traveling.
Stay Safe at the Airport
Busy airports see thousands of travelers on a daily basis and more than a few of them are likely carrying germs that could potentially make you ill. While it is nearly impossible to avoid coming in contact with sick people, there are some things you can do to help prevent the spread of germs. For instance, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water when using a public restroom. It doesn’t hurt to carry hand sanitizer or disinfecting wipes with you either. When setting out on a trip, the last thing you want to do is pick up a virus at the airport before you’ve even had the chance to reach your destination.
Avoid Germs on the Airplane
Sitting on an airplane for hours on end isn’t great for your health, in general, but add in a few sick passengers and once again you run the risk of being exposed to germs. But thankfully there are a few things you can do to help your body out. For instance, it is a good idea to get up from your seat from time to time and move about the cabin. This will help keep the blood flowing in your legs, in particular, and could prevent a clot from forming. It also helps to stay hydrated, so be sure to drink plenty of fluids. The aircraft is also a good place to use that hand sanitizer and those disinfecting wipes as well, as they’ll help to keep unwanted germs at bay.
Don’t Drink the Water
If you’ve ever traveled abroad, you’ve probably had someone warn you about drinking the water. At this point, it has almost become a cliché, although for good reason. The drinking water in many countries does indeed contain viruses, protozoa, and bacteria that could make anyone who isn’t accustomed to drinking it very sick. That is exactly why you should only drink bottled water, and use it for things like brushing your teeth too. Any exposure to tainted tap water could prove potentially dangerous, and that includes the shower. Be careful not to get any in your mouth even when cleaning up, as it could result is sickness.
Be Careful What You Eat Too!
It isn’t just the water that you need to worry about; the food you eat can be problematic too. While you’ll obviously have to eat while traveling, you can limit your exposure to potentially tainted foods by dining in places that have better reputations in guide books or online reviews. If that isn’t an option, ask the locals for recommendations, as they will usually know the places that are safe, and the ones to avoid. Also, travel with your own snacks whenever possible, and be careful which fruits or vegetables you might pick up in local markets. If they were washed using tap water, they could have bacteria all over them. It’s best to stick with fruits that you can peel, like bananas or oranges.
Carry a First Aid Kit
A well-stocked first aid kit can be a traveler’s best friend. There are several kits on the market that are designed specifically with the needs of travelers in mind, with remedies that are meant to treat common issues that we face while on the road – including fever, diarrhea, upset stomach, and more. These kits also include items such as band aids, cotton swabs, and rubbing alcohol that can treat everything from blisters to bug bites to common abrasions. You never know just what kind of health issues might need to address, and a first aid kit will help you to be prepared.
Relying on luck to help keep you healthy while traveling is a recipe for disaster. Eventually, your luck will run out, and you’ll find yourself wishing you had taken steps to prevent getting sick. But a little common sense and forethought can go a long way to helping you not only stay safe but enjoy your trip that much more.