I love to travel. But I hate the sickness that it causes me. Airplanes are petri – dishes teeming with germs. Time zones wreck havoc on the body and jet lag will stay with you for a few days. The sleep deprivation equals a weakened immune system. It is inevitable that I end up sick.
As a travel blogger, I get loads of emails flooding my inbox asking how to prevent jet lag? And how to stay healthy on the road and so on… Okay! I’m not a doctor here and I don’t wish to recommend any medicines and therapies here. But i’m making up this post to all my lovely readers who requested me and encouraged me to come up with my experience! What worked for me might not work for you! So be a little extra careful with that!
Anyways let’s JUMP right into the topic… How to stay healthy when you travel!
Getting sick is definitely a tough task especially while traveling, you will have to face so many health issues while on the road. You are prone to a whole new range of environments, bugs and parasites. The fact of the matter is the duration of the travel, the more likely you are to take up a bug or two.
The secret to lessen this is to actively combat the risk factors of becoming sick in the first place. The last thing you need to do so it to expose yourself to any more risk that you have to. My take on this is prevention is better that cure.
Washing your hands
I agree, this might seem very formal and basic, but it has plenty of benefits. The simple act of washing your hands has been taking me into a new level. It had a huge impact on controlling infection and it can reinforce the essentialness of washing your hands. Squeaky clean hands! A happy and pleasant travel.
Hand hygiene is important to stop the spread of infection and can reduce your chances of diarrhea, food poisoning, vomiting, flu and even hepatitis A.
I usually carry a small bottle of hand wash and gel in my backup, but they are not much effective like water and soap. So when possible I stop by a hotel and ask for hot water to wash my hands.
Bottled water is usually safe, but only if sealed. Ask someone at your hotel to suggest a reliable local brand. Also, to bottled water, you will usually be safe drinking, beer, wine, coffee, juice and tea or any other alcoholic drinks.
You can also ask for hot water which is much safer than untreated cold water. You don’t need to drink contaminated water to be exposed; always consider other sources of exposure like the water you use to wash your mouth or wash your contact lenses. Make sure to use bottled water for these purposes as well. Freezing water is not going to kill bacteria. Avoid foods that needs rinsing like fresh fruits and salads. Don’t forget the ice cubes which are usually made from tap water; this can be easy to forget. Unless you know the ice was made with filtered and bottled water, skip it.
Eat food washed well in clean water
Similarly, if you eat food that was washed and rinsed in tap water, you are vulnerable to the same bacteria as if you bolt the water down yourself. This can happen most frequently with things such as onions, veggies and lettuce that come from the ground and needs rinsing and are served raw typically.
Explore around in the seatback pocket
Airplanes are filthy and they are not cleaned much than you think; also, there is no deep cleaning going on during the short time period of reboarding that goes on at many airline gates. While I suggest checking out the emergency details at the start of your tour, avoid exploring the back seat pockets completely if you can help it.
Don’t drink from unclean or unwrapped glasses
By now most of us might know about hotel sanitation exposes where the staffs merely wipe out a used glass with a towel or just spray some sort of cleaning solution, wipes it with a dirty rag and puts it back to the place. Chemicals, gems and unclosed toothpaste; none of these are great for you. The golden rule here; if the glass is not cleaned in a sealed plastic bag, wash it with hot water or just don’t use it.
Don’t drink too much while flying
Your body needs water to do everything and hydration gets more essential when you are tired, run down and under crisis by unfamiliar germs. Dehydration does not just make you more vulnerable to invading bugs, but it can be much harder for you to back up yourself once infected. Some of the other tips might vary greatly by individual and destination, but this is a lot less negotiable
Always consider that drinks like coffee and alcohol do not really count as a great choice for hydration. They are not terrible – the coffee hydration effect is a net positive, for instance – but they are not going to get a great job done well under tough situations.
Change your diet frequently
Eating and drinking in local places are an important and very satisfying part of travel and this skip this might seem something that is not possible for a lot of travelers. But changing your diet too frequently can topple all but the hardest constitutions; for instance, if you consume more veggies and fruits at home, jumping into having a grill or other meat for all three meals might not be a great idea. Dig in on the local stuffs but might be having a meal or two every day that is a bit more like your home fare.
You can spend more time in a place, you can shift slowly to eat like a local 24/7, but I suggest you to offer your gut a couple days to get ready.
Eat at an uncrowded restaurant
Tainted or spoiled food can make you sick for a few days or worse; a good indicator of the edibility and freshness at any offered hotel is how many people are eating there and how many of them are locals. Eating at hotels with the locals and hordes are less likely to have a reputation for polluted food. Also, if the flora changes.
Do not ear peeled or boiled foods
Well, this is mandatory, I usually never buy foods that are peeled or boiled, it’s a great place for bacteria! I KNOW, germs can be killed when you boil the food, but when it’s peeled for storing it as a yucky place for germs. So I suggest all my young solo travelers and newbie to take care of this.
Getting jacked up with caffeine
Jet lag, the coffee available in the local shops can pull you towards… the coffee intake. Your stomach might not agree this technique; big enhances your daily coffee intake might cause you some real horror hours just when you don’t need them. Keep your caffeine consumption within a range of your regular levels at home to avoid issues.
Miss a lot of sleep
Along with plenty of hydration, sleep is the most powerful weapon against becoming ill or fighting it off once you are infected already; in fact, hydration and sleep together are your greatest tools both for recovery and prevention from illness on the road.
Packing your medications
If you wish to have your daily medications when you get ill- or even more crucially, have your prescription you want – you will need to offer them on your trip so you have the proper medicines at the right time. When you are on board, buying something even as simple will be hard as language barriers, availability and even various formulas in various different parts of the world can make it hard to know, what accurately you are buying. A plenty of folks have gimmicks that might seem to work best for them, and if this is the case, bring them from your home.
Use a good SUNBLOCK cream
Well, this is a serious condition for me! I don’t want to suffer from skin cancer! Yes, I have seen people suffering from this deadly disease and you might have also! When I asked the doctor for some safe tips on how to keep my skin safe while travelling is to use a sunscreen. If you really don’t want to suffer from itchy skin to serious stomach issue, then pack for a sun block and a wide – brimmed hard and you are set.
Don’t not swim in polluted water
There is a famous lake near your hotel room and the temptation to swim in it might be very high. The water is giving you a sign of heavy metals, goose bacteria and algae blooms that is present in the water. There is a reason you don’t ever see anyone swimming in that lake.
How to prevent yourself from food poisoning?
If you are the type of person who gets food poisoning always, whenever you travel, it is the most important things that prevent a lot of people taking their first step in a different land. Food poisoning can be very dangerous to your health and it can sometimes be death threatening.
There are various easy ways to avoid it from getting sick overseas.
- Eating at a local place. Don’t be afraid of trying new foods. Visit places where there are people not crowded much and with foreigners. The place you choose must serve clean and fresh food. If you see a place where there are too many foreigners, try to avoid these places as they might have imported ingredients from overseas and have fewer customers.
- Drinking bottled water. As mentioned already, most countries don’t have an adequate filtration system for their water and are loaded with bacteria and nasty bugs.
- Washing hands before handling foods. I know this might sound cliché, but always wash your hands with a mild soap before you eat.
- If you a type of person who doesn’t like any foreign food, then there is always a fast food shop in the major city sports. In most capital cities, you are almost certain to see a few McDonald and Starbucks restaurants.
- Before eating at a hotel, always check to see if they have passed government health inspections.
- Ask GOOGLE help for checking reviews and forums for tasting at the best restaurant.
- You can also pack some basic food items like spices and condiments.
How to ease your travel sickness
- Avoid heavy meals for two hours before the journey. Eat small amounts of something dry such as biscuits, crisps and crackers before the journey, do not eat any dairy products and avoid fruits and salads as it can be acidic. If possible do not eat while on the trip.
- Drink a small amount of non – natural drinks. Don’t drink fresh juices like orange or any other citric acid drink and dairy milk. DON’T drink alcohol.
- You can also take motion sickness pills from your doctor.
- Use any sort of acupressure bands if that works well for you. Do Yoga poses and stretches to treat travel sickness.
- Try Ginger root or any form of Ginger capsule to treat motion sickness.
- Don’t stare at the windows for a long periods as this can create motion sickness
Note – These tips are solely offered by me and it is not a general travel advice or offered by a qualified nurse.
Take a deep breath before you travel and plan accordingly to make your travel experience sweeter!
Thanks Nomadic Matt for the inspiration!
Share your comments and suggestions here! Feel free to contact me! Let’s open up our conversation here !!!
Keep Exploring, Much Love, xx