Falling sick while traveling to a foreign country is a nightmarish proposition for many of us.
However, just a few precautions can ensure that we remain fit & healthy all throughout the travel.
Follow these 23 pieces of advice to make every trip of yours the most memorable part of your life.
1. Get Vaccinated
Get vaccinated at least 5-6 weeks before your travel date. This much time is needed for vaccines to start working. (Take a look at this amazing Vaccine carrier Box with Ice Cube.)
Vaccines protect travelers from serious diseases such as cholera, yellow fever, Japanese Encephalitis, Hepatitis A & C, etc.
Vaccination work by exposing the body to germs of the disease it is designed to protect against. Dead or severely weakened form of the virus or bacteria is inserted in your body.
The body responds to these by making antibodies, which protects you in case you get exposed to the disease in future
2. Take Insurance
If there is anyone dependent on your income - parents, children, relatives - you need life insurance.
As an analogy, If there is anything on which you depend upon, you should get it insured too.
It's always a great idea to insure your life, your travel gears & belongings as well as your travel itinerary beforehand.
FYI, Stealing and selling your precious travel items is the sole source of income for many people in some countries you go to!
Hence, You need to be prepared for any eventuality.
However, Before choosing from where to take travel insurance, take Pre Existing Disease(PED) clause and Sub-limits clause, Theft protection clause into consideration.
If you have any existing health condition, then you should only choose insurance with PED cover. Otherwise, these insurance companies can refuse to pay later.
For specific people and for specific ailments, there is a cap on maximum policy coverage above which the company wouldn't pay. It's very important to also check this beforehand.
Also, your insurance should not only give you accidental insurance but also theft protection. Many times, you lose your precious travel items during travel. Your insurance should also cover these losses from theft.
3.Pack your first aid kit
Important parts of an all-round Travel Kit:
- Plasters (Bandages)
- Gauze ( a thin material like a net, that is used for covering an area of skin that you have hurt or cut)
- Crepe bandages (ACE or elastic bandages used to treat muscle sprains and strains)
- Surgical tape (used to hold bandage onto wound)
- Small scissors
- Antiseptic wipes
- Pain relief medication
- Loperamide tablets(used to treat diarrhea)
- Antihistamine cream(relief from allergic itchy skin)
- Antibacterial creams(destroys harmful bacteria).
4. Get Jetlag out of the way First
Do you know what Jetlag is?
Jetlag is a temporary sleep disorder. Normally, it affects those who travel quickly over multiple time zones. It usually subsides in 3-5 days.
This is what happens to people having Jetlag.
Your watch, phone, and computer all show different times, and you don't know who to believe. Your body clock too is wayward.
Some tips to fight Jetlag:
- Sleep all through your flight.
- Avoid Coffee and drinks.
- Stay hydrated.
- Gradually adjust your body clock before leaving
- Use Melatonin. Most commonly used for insomnia and improving sleep in different conditions.
Just with proper hygiene maintenance, many fungal & bacterial infections can be kept away.
Keep your hands sanitized with this cleaner than shit Hand Sanitizer.
Some tips to maintain hygiene and sanitation:
- Wash your hands often. Most germs enter through them. Also, avoid touching your face with hands.
- Keep your nails cut short to prevent germ entry.
- Drink lots of water to floss the germs out of your system.
- Shower daily. If water is an issue, carry large body wipes with you
- Maintain oral hygiene by brushing and flossing twice daily.
6. Eat Carefully
Variety, Balance and Moderation.
These are the 3 keys to healthy eating.
What to eat while doing moderation?
- High fiber foods. Fiber can help lower cholesterol, better regulate blood sugar levels.
- Food with a high electrolyte like salts and minerals (such as sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and chloride) maintain fluid balance and blood pressure.
- Take a high protein diet. But avoid meat, as it’s highly perishable and needs to be kept refrigerated. Conditions of their upkeeping is not very good in developing countries.
- It's always best to be your own cook. Anyway, if you were to eat outside, Don't eat in a restaurant which looks unclean.
- Carry your own snacks everywhere.
- Enjoy seafood to get healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
What to avoid during moderation?
- Sweet drinks, alcohol, cigarettes.
7. Avoid mosquito bites
If you think you are too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito...Anita Roddick
Tips to avoid mosquito bites:
- Avoiding areas of high mosquito activity
- Wear long, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing
- Apply a chemical-based insect repellent containing DEET or picaridin. Picaridin is an insect repellent. It has broad efficacy against various insects and ticks and is almost colorless and odorless.
- Sleep under a bed net, preferably one that has been treated with an insecticide.
- Close all doors and windows if they do not have insect screens.
- Request hotel rooms be sprayed for mosquitoes if you notice them.
8.Drink plenty of water
Importance of water for travel hippies can't be exaggerated. It keeps you properly hydrated thus protecting against cramps and muscle pain & fatigue.
Water also protects against germs.
High altitudes and low humidity can lower your resistance to cold and flu germs. At these places, water intake should be further increased.
9.High intake of probiotics
Probiotics keeps our digestive system well functioning by keeping our gut healthy. Some of them also help in fat loss.
When to have probiotics?
The best time to take probiotics is in the morning, 15-30 minutes before food. This allows more of the probiotics to get into the large intestines where they will have the most benefits.
10. Get plenty of sleep
There is no sunrise so beautiful that it is worth waking me up to see it. ~ Mindy Kaling
Importance of good sleep for travellers
- Without this, you will feel grumpy.
- Keeps your immune system strong, thus keeping you healthy.
- Sleep deprivation leads to high cortisol level which increases your anxiety level.
- It also leads to slower reflexes. Just think, what a tragedy would an accident in a foreign country be for you.
- Lack of sleep also affects our interpretation of events, thus our judgment level.
People travel for different reasons. Cheap sex is one of them.
Besides, you never know, when the love of your life encounters and you two decide to move things to "the next level".
So, smart guys and gals remain prepared for these chance encounters whenever they come.
Some tips to be sex-ready:
- Always carry a condom. I don't think anybody here doesn't know what it is.
- Track your monthly period. Always know when it's due. (For Girls)
- If you want to have an active sex life without worrying about pregnancy, then have a contraceptive implant.
- Safe sex is as much about not getting pregnant in a foreign land as it is about STDs.
12. Stretch it out
Some people can eat anything they want and stay slim. Whereas, others put on weight just by reading the recipe.
Pun aside, daily exercise is one of the best ways to keep your health in check.
The best thing is: you don't always need to visit a gym for this.
Infact, You can exercise your core muscles where ever you are without needing any equipment.
Some such exercises are:
- Full body squats
- one arm dumbbells (using something heavy) as well reverse crunch can be done on your own.
You can also jog your way around the city to get a good cardio boost.
Yoga and meditation are a great way to stretch your body while destressing.
13. Keep your lips moisturized
Dry, cracked lips are unattractive, painful as well as germ attracting.
Some ways to keep your lips moisturized:
- Natural way: Drink 4-5 liters of water per day.
- Carry a humidifier: Humidifiers introduces moisture in nearby surrounding.
- Rub almond oil, coconut oil are butter over lips.
- Avoid licking your lips
- Eat less spicy food.
- Breath through your nose.
- Apply lip balms.
14. Cut down on alcohol, cigarettes, and sweet drinks
Everything I like is either: illegal, immoral, fattening, addictive, expensive, or impossible!.
At every party there are two kinds of people – those who want to go home and those who don’t. The trouble is, they are usually married to each other.” – Ann Landers
Why Travellers should avoid Alcohol ??
- Drinking loosens your control over yourself leading you to do embarrassing things, also spending way much than you should have.
- Morning hangovers waste you another day too.
- Not healthy specifically for people with motion sickness, altitude sickness or other medical conditions.
- It can also make you indulge in unsafe sex.
Why Travellers should reduce Cigarette intake.
- Impacts heartbeat and blood circulation.
- More likely to get coughs and cold.
- Makes your breath smell.
Why should Travellers avoid Sweet drinks :
- It can lead to travelers diarrhea.
- Will lead to weight gain.
- Tooth problems may exacerbate as sugary drinks lead to tooth erosion and decay.
15.Practice Hara Hachi Bu
Have you ever wondered, Why the Japanese people live the most number of years?
This is because they follow the principle of Hara Hachi Bu.
Hara Hachi Bu is a Japanese concept that means to eat until you’re 80 percent full.
Also, make it clear that Eating in moderation is not dieting.
Some ways to get enough nutrients while eating less:
- Go for zero-calorie beverages.
- In restaurants, downsize your portion by ordering from kids menu.
Benefits of eating less:
- A new sense of confidence and awareness of yourself and your body.
- Longevity. Japanese live the longest.
- Helpful in long-term, sustainable weight loss.
16. Bring your own water bottle
The most common cause of water-borne illness is bacteria, such as E. coli, but the illness can also be caused by protozoa, viruses, and chemical pollutants.
Many times, travelers become ill simply because the pathogens in the water are foreign to their immune systems. Interestingly, locals have adapted to the same water and can drink it without problems.
This is why the same water which is being drunk by the local population with no issues can make you sick.
So, it makes sense to always carry your own water bottle.
17. In developing countries, prefer Veggies
If you think that being vegan is difficult, imagine being a factory farmed animal.” -Davegan Raza
How to survive eating vegan foods:.
- Eat small amounts throughout the day of Fruit, nuts, seeds, vegetables.
- pack a small collection of superfoods and have them on standby.
- Use HappyCow.net to find vegan restaurants near you! It is an online service that lists sources of vegetarian and healthy food.
Carry some vegan items that can be turned into drinks and food anywhere.
- Dry Fruits: Besides being delicious these are dense sources of nutrients like proteins, fats, carbohydrates, omega-3, vitamins, and essential oils.
- Roasted Peanuts and Chick Peas: Extremely rich in Protein, Zinc and a number of nutrients ranging from Vitamin K, folate, phosphorus, choline and proteins.
- Nutrient-Rich Beans: Rich in fiber and keeps our stomach well functioning. It also ensures that our blood sugar level remains in control.
- Chopped Veggies: Packing them in an airtight container will ensure their freshness during the entire travel
- Chia seeds – They’re easy to sprinkle on anything, including restaurant food, and provide healthy fats and fiber.
- Hemp seeds - Provides protein on the go.
There are many such healthy and delicious alternatives to the Non-vegetarian plate. We just need to wish it.
18. Don't miss breakfast
When you have something for breakfast, you're not going to be starving by lunch.Bruce Barton
At breakfast, Eat whole grains, protein, fruits and vegetables. Whole grain gives fiber as well as helps digestion.
Eating breakfast has long term health benefits. It can reduce obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.
19.Travel with tea
Health benefits of Tea:
- Aids in the stomach and digestive problems
- Supports a healthy heart and lowers the risk of heart disease.
- Promotes energy & wellness.
- Nourishes your nervous system.
- Strengthens your immune system.
- Maintains skin cleansing properties.
- Soothes headache
20. Stock Up on SPF Clothing. Protect your skin.
Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life." —Bill Cunningham
Sun protective clothing is specifically designed for sun protection and is produced from a fabric rated for its level of ultraviolet (UV) protection.
21.Avoid Activities that could infect you with a blood-borne disease - for example, dental work, tattooing or ear piercing
Avoiding such activities will safeguard you against blood-borne infections.
However, if you are deeply interested in any of them, check for the cleanliness of the place and procedure.
Only trust registered practitioners.
22.Pack your own snacks
I always pack my snack where ever I go. After working so hard on the court, I find that snacks help me avoid late-afternoon energy lows...Venus Williams
If you carry your own snacks everywhere, then you won't be forced to visit any restaurant in case you feel a sudden bout of hunger.
Believe me, It's a super useful habit apart from being inexpensive.
23.Where to get help
God Forbid, If you fall sick even after following these, you should get help from any of these:
- Your GP (doctor)
- A pharmacist
- A travel health clinic
- Your travel agent
- Your travel insurance company
- Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
- Your country's embassy or consulate
In case of emergency, first get admitted to a nearby hospital or health center and then inform these institutions.
Traveling is world's oldest activity. Since time immemorial, people have moved from one place to another.
However, the principles of healthy traveling haven't changed in essence.
These 23 health tips are nothing but a more nuanced version of those in line with modern times.
Travel Hippie...Be Happy