Whether you are traveling for work or pleasure, staying healthy is always a top priority. The last thing anyone wants is to have their trip ruined by a sudden illness. The good news is that looking after yourself on a trip is easier than most people would think. To get you started, we have collected five essential travel health tips that will make all the difference.
- Stay Hydrated
Everyone knows that staying hydrated is important. We are often told that we need to drink about 2 litres of water every single day. The thing is, that is a lot of water and it might not always be effective. Not all fluids hydrate equally, and contrary to conventional wisdom, water is not the best thing to drink to stay hydrated.
First of all, you want to avoid alcohol when you are hydrating. Even though it is a liquid, it will dehydrate you, and then you will need to drink more of something else in order to compensate. Hot drinks like coffee and tea are less effective because they are mild diuretics.
The best thing you can get to stay hydrated is a sports drink. If you cannot find one, then any soda will do. Water is the next best thing. The difference is that the first two options actually help you retain the fluids you are drinking which makes all the difference.
- Keep All Medication Within Easy Reach
This applies to over the counter remedies but is even more important when it comes to prescription drugs. Travel health is easier to maintain if you try and pre-empt some common illnesses or at the very least carry things that can tackle some common symptoms to help you get through any rough patches that may occur. It is much better to be ready in advance and have everything you need on hand than to be desperately looking for a pharmacy in a foreign city.
When it comes to prescription medicine, adjustments have to be made. For the vast majority of people, habit is the thing that allows them to consistently take their medication on time. Everyone thinks they will simply remember but the reality is that a significant change in environment can break the habit. The best way to remember is to keep the medicine close to hand so that you see it and are reminded. Setting an alarm using your phone or another device is another effective way.
- Plan Meals Ahead
For many people, food is one of the best reasons to travel. Other cultures can express themselves through their food in ways they simply cannot otherwise. There is a lot to be said for wandering around an unfamiliar town looking for the first restaurant to catch your eye.
However, this comes with some degree of risk because unfamiliar foods mean new recipes and ingredients that you may not be aware of. For some, allergies are a major concern and for others eating unfamiliar foods may disagree with them unexpectedly.
The best way to prepare against this is to do research in advance. Menus are commonly available online, and it is always worth remembering that ingredients may have different names in other countries so always look up something unfamiliar. Searching online also comes with the added bonus of being able to find the best food while also looking after your health simultaneously.
- Get Plenty of Sleep
When traveling many different things can make sleep difficult. Jet lag is a major concern after long-haul flights, but something as simple as excitement can get in the way of a good night’s rest too.
Whatever the reason, you should always do everything you can to get about 8 hours of rest at a normal time. The body needs sleep to function properly and failing to get enough can leave you vulnerable to other types of illness. A tired brain is also one that is prone to making mistakes which can have much greater consequences when abroad.
- Be Wary of the Plane
Airplanes are one of the places you are most likely to become ill. Any space with that many people jammed close together is likely to be rife with germs. Even if no-one is explicitly sick, they may be carrying a virus or something else you can catch. This is made much worse by the heavy use of recycled air.
To avoid becoming ill, take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you and use it when boarding the plane and whenever you have to do something like using the bathroom. Always keep your hands away from your face, particularly your mouth. Also, make sure to stay hydrated as flights tend to be much drier than normal climates.