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When we think of healthy travel issues, most of us think of travel to exotic destinations where they have tropical diseases. Domestic travel can make you sick, too, though unless you take some precautions. Here are a few ways to travel healthy.
It’s All in the Prep
Preparing before you go is the best way to stay healthy while you’re traveling. See a doctor at least 6 weeks before you leave so that you’ll have time for immunizations that may need to be done in advance. This is especially important if you are going abroad. Check with your doctor to see if there are medications or extra precautions that you should take. For example, people who have heart failure may need to take shorter flights with more stops to avoid long periods of sitting or they may need to adjust their medications.
For Healthy Travel, Do Your Research
Before you go, research local sanitation and other conditions so that you can take appropriate measures while you are traveling:
- Is the water safe to drink?
- Do insects, such as mosquitoes or ticks, carry disease?
- Is there air pollution?
- Will the altitude make you sick?
- Is it safe to swim in pools, lakes, or the ocean?
- Could you get heat exhaustion, sunstroke, or a sunburn?
Make sure you have any prescription medications that you need with you. They should be in the original bottles, and you should keep them in your purse or carry-on luggage.
Make sure you have any over-the-counter medications that you usually take, too. Acetaminophen, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids, and antihistamines are always handy to have with you.
If you plan to do any sports or outdoor activities, you might want to carry a simple first aid kit.
Keep Your Records
Even if you have your medicine bottles, you should still keep a list of all medications you take and your medical history with you. If you are diabetic or have other health conditions, consider wearing a medic alert tag or bracelet, or carrying a medic alert card with you.
Immunizations are important for healthy travel. Make sure they are up to date. Check to see when your last tetanus shot was and get one if it’s been over five years, and make sure you get a flu shot. Planes, trains, and buses are ideal breeding grounds for all kinds of viruses.
Wash Your Hands
Wash them often. Carry antibacterial hand washing gel with you and wash frequently. Germy people have touched everything, and those germs get on your hands and then they make you sick. The easiest way to prevent travel colds is to wash your hands a lot.
Drink Your Water
Travel tends to dehydrate you. Airplanes, especially, have very dry air in them. Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages because they tend to make you more dehydrated. If you are flying, avoid carbonated beverages because the gas expands while you are in the air, and you know what kind of problems that can cause, especially for your seatmate. Bottled water is best if you are unsure about the safety of local water.
Walk When You Can
If you are stuck in a bus, train, or plane seat for long periods of time, you can develop blood clots in your legs, which can be very dangerous. Get up and walk around as much as possible. Take a good walk at rest stops. As a general rule, you shouldn’t sit for more than a couple of hours at a time. If sitting is unavoidable, stretch your legs out and move them around frequently.
Preparing for a journey takes planning and time. Proper planning is the best way to stay healthy during your trip. Follow these healthy travel hints and you can avoid most illnesses when traveling domestically or internationally.
Enjoy your trip.
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This article provides general information and discussion about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this article, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. Consult your own physician for any medical issues that you may be having.