Help Me Travel

How to Stay Healthy on your Travels

By Tom Everett, Editor

Stay Healthy While Traveling Abroad

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of traveling and forget a few important things, namely how to stay healthy. If you’re traveling to a foreign country, it’s important to have proper precautions set in case you get sick or injured. Here we’ll look at five ways you can stay healthy while traveling.

1. Be prepared

Most important is to schedule a visit with a doctor who specializes in travel or the area you’re visiting at least four weeks before your departure.

A travel doctor will be able to give you the required and recommended vaccinations as well as discuss any medical issues you may encounter abroad.

2. Get insurance

Ask your health insurance company whether your policy applies overseas and whether it will cover trips to a foreign hospital.

If not, there are many companies that offer short-term travel health insurance for a reasonable fee.

3. Pack well

As much as you might want to take that extra pair of shoes, you should leave room in your carry-on bag for some important medical documents and supplies.

Mills recommends packing a medical kit that includes extra doses of any regular medications you take, antibiotics, sterile syringes/needles and the basics for first aid: bandages, wraps, ibuprofen etc.

4. Don’t wait

If you are feeling sick in a foreign country, seek help as soon as possible. Ask your hotel concierge for good health care facilities nearby.

Your travel health insurance company and the embassy will also have a list of local providers who speak your language.

5. Be aware

If you’re being treated abroad, question the medical staff about their sterilization practices; Gilles says injection equipment should be put in boiling water for at least 30 minutes or used only once.

Also be sure doctors and nurses are wearing gloves to prevent fluid transfer.

- via CNN

Stay Healthy In Europe

Planning a trip abroad but worried about all the horror stories of stomach upset that could be lurking in wait for you? Here are a few tips to keep yourself healthy while traveling from Rick Steves, one of the foremost experts on European travel.
Take precautions on the flight.

Long flights are dehydrating. I ask for “two orange juices with no ice” every chance I get. Eat lightly, stay hydrated, and have no coffee or alcohol and only minimal sugar until the flight’s almost over.

Avoid the slight chance of getting a blood clot in your leg during long flights by taking short walks hourly. While seated, flex your ankles and don’t cross your legs.

Keep clean.

Wash your hands often, keep your nails clean, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Hand sanitizers, such as Purell, can be helpful.

However, since they target bacteria, not viruses, they should be used as an adjunct to, rather than a replacement for, hand washing with soap and warm water.

Get enough sleep.

Know how much sleep you need to stay healthy (generally 7–8 hours per night). If I go more than two nights with fewer than six hours’ sleep, I make it a priority to catch up — no matter how busy I am. Otherwise, I’m virtually guaranteed to get the sniffles.

Eat nutritiously.

The longer your trip, the more you’ll be affected by an inadequate diet. Budget travelers often eat more carbohydrates and less protein to stretch their travel dollars.

This is the root of many health problems. Protein helps you resist infection and rebuilds muscles.

Get the most nutritional mileage from your protein by eating it with the day’s largest meal (in the presence of all those essential amino acids). Supplemental super-vitamins, taken regularly, help me to at least feel healthy.

– via

Have you ever had a trip spoiled by a sudden illness? Do you have a routine that you now follow ahead of time to prepare to stay well?


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