It is always wonderful to travel to a part of the world that you have never been to before, or maybe revisit an exotic resort that you simply cannot get out of your mind. But while you associate vacations and travel predominantly with pleasure, you should always be prepared for things to go wrong. While the daredevil in you may consider it a part of the adventure, it should raise serious concerns when it is your health that comes under threat.
This is even more critical for people who are suffering from a serious medical condition and who should be prepared for a medical emergency at any time. Finding medical help in a foreign country can be problematic at times and you should travel prepared. Around half of the travelers who contract a disease during traveling are on an overseas trips.
Here are a few travel tips for health and wellness.
Whether you would want to be vaccinated before traveling is dependant on a few factors. There is a required vaccine according to the International Health Regulations and that is for Yellow Fever for people traveling to sub-Saharan and Southern Africa. Apart from that, there are a number of recommended vaccinations to several destinations of the world. Some of the most frequently recommended vaccines include Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, Japanese Encaphalitis, Polio, Rabies and routine vaccinations for Measles, Mumps and Tetanus.
Make sure you see your physician no less than six to eight weeks before your planned travel in order to get vaccinated.
One of the most favorite travel destinations of millions of tourists from North America and Europe every year is the tropics. Let it be the beautiful islands of the Caribbean or the beaches of South East Asia, these vacation destinations are widely loved. However, tropic regions are home to a number of infectious diseases which you should be wary of.
- Yellow Fever
- Gastrointestinal Infection
Prepare for any possible emergencies beforehand not just to avoid inconvenience, but also because that could potentially save your life.
- Have yourself checked up before traveling, especially if you are flying long distance.
- Visit your dentist for a check up before traveling.
- Keep a spare pair of eye glasses with you in case of emergency.
- Do not fly within the 24 hours of scuba diving.
- Get vaccinated if necessary.
- Carry an emergency medical kit that you can access at any time.
- Make sure you are packing appropriate clothes according to the climate of your destination.
- People with diabetes, heart disease, epilepsy and disabilities should carry a medical alert tag.
- Inform the airline beforehand if you feel that you would need oxygen supply during the flight.
- Try to get as much as sleep as you can before flying.
During the Flight
When you are flying or even traveling by bus for a very long duration, there is a probability of the development of blood clots in the legs. This condition can occur even in healthy people and is a medical emergency. A lot of people have their ears blocked due to air pressure and using a decongestant spray or chewing gum could bring relief.
Your travel health concerns do not just end when your plane lands in a foreign country. Actually that is just the start of it. You should take care of the following.
- Only drink boiled or bottled water in order to remain safe from diarrhea and other diseases. Carry water purification tablets with you if you can manage.
- Avoid eating undercooked food and consuming dairy products which you are not sure if they are pasteurized.
- Avoid overeating.
- Try eating fruits and vegetable which have a thick natural outer shell or peel that you can remove yourself, such as coconut, oranges and bananas.
- Avoid eating shellfish.
- Make sure you avoid insect bites, especially those of mosquitoes which could cause malaria and dengue.
- Use a mosquito repellent and do not stay outdoor for long during dawn and dusk because that is when the mosquito that spreads malaria is the most active.
- Beware of any local endemics such as influenza. Also beware of HIV and STD risk which is greater in some parts of the world such as Africa.
Taking the necessary precaution can save you from a lot of inconvenience while you are traveling and at times can even save your life.