Staying Healthy on Vacation
Having healthy holidays, whether they’re domestic or overseas, is possible, though can be problematic, especially if you don’t travel much and lack experience. There are many things you should consider if you like to take active vacations.
Where can you go to stay healthy during a summer vacation?
According to the WebMD team, people who are planning to visit a foreign country during summer holidays should consider these travel options to stay healthy:
- Medical tourism – you can kill two birds with one stone and visit a foreign country with popular medical facilities for travelers. For example, if you are overweight, there are special weight loss camps where the professionals can help you lose a few extra pounds. Also, you can meet new people and stay active while resting in a weight loss camp. People who have problems with alcohol or drug addiction can visit a detox retreat;
- A spa retreat may be a spot that you want to visit during your summer vacation. You will be able to rejuvenate your body and mind going through luxurious spa therapies. Health spa travels are trending right now in many countries like Israel, Thailand, and Mexico;
- If you can’t afford a spa retreat or weight loss camp, then you may want book cheap travel where you will be able to camp or, at least, visit a gym in your hotel. In this way, a standard summer vacation can easily turn into affordable fitness travel for the whole family.
After you have chosen a healthy travel destination, your next step is picking a travel vaccination plan.
Vaccination requirements for travel overseas
Without going through the essential travel shots, you won’t be able to visit many countries. Besides, in most cases, only these shots can protect you and your families from catching life-threatening viruses in foreign countries. To prevent epidemic consequences, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommends following these basic guidelines when traveling abroad:
Before booking a travel in a foreign country, check what illnesses are currently prevailing there.
For example, to enter Ghana you should have a proof of the yellow fever vaccine. And all travelers to Brazil should get Typhoid and Hepatitis A vaccines because these diseases can be transmitted through local foods and water sources. To visit India, you and your family members may need to get the polio vaccine.
Repetitive travelers should consult a doctor first
If you travel a lot, you should consult a doctor to clarify what travel shots you are to get repetitively and what not. For this purpose, you can have a simple blood test that may show what antibodies are in your blood from the previous travel vaccinations. You and your family members may need (or not) different travel shots, depending on your personal situation, so it is better to visit a doctor before getting basic travel vaccinations.
Travel flu shots are essential
Even if you are going to visit Canada, not some exotic country, you may need to get a flu shot beforehand. CDC experts recommend everyone who is over 6 months to get a flu vaccine yearly.
Give the vaccine some time to work!
It is best to get vaccinated at least 2 weeks before a travel to develop the immunity.
Stay away from sick people, even if you are vaccinated
Isolate yourself if you are ill
Don’t spread the viruses if you have the above-mentioned symptoms. Seek medical assistance immediately after you feel severe headaches, extreme fatigue, body aches. Don’t wait for a high fever outbreak and medical emergency.
Personal hygiene can save you from many health troubles
Wash hands frequently with soap or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, particularly after sneezing or coughing. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when someone coughs or sneezes around you or you do.
Travel medicine tips: what and how to pack?
There are so many pills and ointments in your medical first aid kit at home. But which of them are really necessary during your vacation? If you can’t choose, these CDC expert tips may be helpful:
- Start your travel medical kit with some Aspirin, band-aids, Pepto for treating mild fever, moderate headaches, and pains. This is a basic medical kit for the shorter trips;
- Painkillers for hangovers and severe headaches;
- Stomach meds (think Mylanta and Immodium) and motion sickness pills;
- Multivitamins to beat symptoms of travel stress and time changes;
- Anti-itch and anti-parasite creams for skin reactions and bug bites;
- A broad-spectrum antibiotic Cipro (also called as the “traveler’s” antibiotic);
- Antibacterial gel (Neosporin) for curing the minor cuts and abrasions;
- Decongestant sprays;
- Blister strips and band aids if you like to walk a lot when traveling;
- Iodine swabs, medical tape, and gauze for cleaning the wounds;
- Water tablets (if you are traveling to places where it is impossible to buy clean bottled water);
- Yeast infection pills (better than a cream);
- Flu meds;
- Safety pins, manicure scissors, and tweezers can also become handy.
Also, when buying travel medicines, opt for tablets instead of gels, creams, and liquids that can be spilled. Look for travel size packages to take with you on a trip.
What else can you do to protect your health?
Check your travel medical insurance!
Make sure that your travel insurance plan is satisfying for the country you are going to visit. Check the existing medical insurance plan or get a new one before planning travel. Your basic medical travel insurance needs to cover the air ambulance, medical evacuation or medical escort service.
Take some probiotics!
In order to strengthen your stomach, consider taking broad spectrum probiotics for a few weeks before leaving for a vacation. Basically, probiotics are excellent bacteria in your guts. These bacteria can beat most infections and viruses entering the body, often coming through the digestive tract.
Prepare for comfortable sleep during travel!
Get an eye mask and foam neck pillow to get the comfortable sleep during a flight. Sound-canceling earphones can be also helpful if you have noisy neighbors. Being relaxed may benefit your common health and prevent from drinking too much caffeine. Breathing in lavender essential oil may result in the good sleep.
Pack a few healthy snacks!
Eating fast food or airport food is not the best way to start your vacation. Replace these unhealthy meals with more nutritious snacks like dried fruits and nuts. They are good sources of energy and won’t cause any stomach problems.
Carry your prescriptions along!
If you take some prescription pills daily, make sure you have a copy of each prescription in your carry-on luggage. It may help if you lose your medication abroad.
Also, it is essential to stay hydrated and eat three times a day to keep your body ready for the elevated stress levels and jetlag symptoms. Don’t hesitate to ask for a medical help, whenever you feel bad – most countries have great medical services and it is unreasonable to be afraid of foreign hospitals.