Whether you have a “staycation” or travel to the farthest corners of the Earth. You will be able to enjoy your travels more if you stay healthy. This article presents an introduction to good practices. Such as, how to live healthy, minimizing risks, and deal with injuries and illness.
Regardless of where you plan on traveling, you are more likely to stay healthy. If you are already living a healthy lifestyle. Getting regular aerobic exercise increases your endurance. Also, enabling you to do more walking, hiking, swimming, skiing, or other more or less strenuous activities. You may want to partake in on your trip, and making it less likely that a tough climb will result in a heart attack, dizziness, or shortness of breath.
Get any recommendations vaccinations, starting 8 weeks before traveling, especially when traveling abroad to tropical or third-world areas. If you are traveling to a particular disease prone area, you may want to discuss immunoglobulin injections, which will make you immune to a host of diseases for months. Consult a doctor to identify exact needs, as it depends on the case and the individual. For info about specific vaccines, see the article on infectious diseases.
Especially if you are going to be doing hard hiking in remote areas, make sure you bring a first aid kit with you, including a tourniquet. You don’t want to be caught without in an extreme situation. Take a health kit of medications and first aid items. Ensure that the quantity of prescription medications, and other items that may be difficult to obtain while traveling, will last for the entire trip.
Verify what your regular or credit card insurance will cover while away from home, and consider taking out travel insurance to cover any difference. Although travel insurance for lost luggage and delays will save some small costs or inconvenience, the cost of medical treatment or medical evacuation can be crippling if not covered by insurance. In some countries, an inability to show you are insure or can otherwise pay may lead to your being refuse treatment altogether.
Whether you are in a car or a plane, you are suggest to use a seatbelt. This is much more crucial when you are in the front seat of a car, wherein the event of a sudden stop, you risk crashing through the windshield.
Keeping clean is usually easy if you stay and eat at a business hotel. In a low-income country or in outdoor life, it is more of a challenge. Toilets are a risk factor.
Make sure you know whether the tap water of the places you’re visiting is safe to drink. In many instances, it is not safe to use tap water even to rinse your toothbrush, unless the water is boil. Similarly, be careful about drinks with ice. If the water is not safe to drink at room temperature, freezing it will not kill pathogens that can make you very sick. In some cities like Shanghai, there are restaurants that use reverse osmosis that filters out pathogens from tap water and use that tap water to make their ice. If that’s the case, the ice is safe, but when in doubt, look out!
Food poisoning can happen anywhere, but the risk is greater in hot climates where food can go bad more quickly. Be careful about food that has been left out for hours, especially in hot weather that’s conducive to microbe reproduction. In addition, in countries where nightsoil (human excrement) is used for fertilizer (such as China), it is dangerous to eat raw fruits or vegetables unless they have a hard peel that can be discarded.
Also, fresh vegetables washed in possibly dirty water are a risk. In many countries, raw fruits and vegetables are usually quite safe, but if you are in doubt about the safety of raw, unpeel fruits or vegetables anywhere, don’t eat them. Also, even if you are purchasing a slice of melon if you know whether the vendor use a dirty machete to chop it or it was cut cleanly, you can gauge the possible danger from eating it. Finally, there are diseases and parasites you can get from eating meat, poultry, or fish that has not been cooked to a sufficient temperature to kill them.
If there is a reliable emergency number for ambulances in the country you are visiting, make sure you have it memorized or take it with you. For GSM phones 112 should connect you to the local emergency number. You can try 112 or 911 with any phone and hope they are forward to the right place. Your insurance company may also have a helpline.
If you are dealing with a situation that is not an emergency, but you are nevertheless really ill, don’t be a hero: Get a recommendation for a good doctor (preferably one who speaks your language, but some of the content of our phrasebooks may help you in extremes), and go and see him/her. If you are traveling in a remote area where either there are no doctors or your situation is too serious for you to be able to travel to a doctor in your condition, find out who the reputable local traditional medical practitioner is, and see him/her. The herbs s/he prescribes for you could be just the thing you need.