Contributed by: Priyaish Srivastava
Traveling is important for your mental health. It helps in reducing stress, refreshing your mind, and fills it with fresh and beautiful memories. But, if necessary precautions are not taken while traveling, it can impact your health and make you sick, thus restricting you from enjoying your vacations.
Therefore, you need to understand the importance of taking care of your health while traveling. On this World Tourism Day, we bring you this article aimed at spreading awareness about health tips for beach lovers, health tips for mountain lovers, some important Covid instructions, and the Top 5 tips that will help you make your journey illness-free. Along with safe travel tips, we also bring to you preventive measures for heart disease, diabetes, and asthma patients, which can help them avoid any serious health complications during travel.
Mountainous vacation destinations and beaches are the most visited ones throughout the world. But due to a lack of awareness about health-related precautions, people tend to fall sick, which ruins their vacation.
The last two years have tossed the travel industry on its head with the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite countries reopening their doors to domestic and international travel, even the most avid travelers are mired in apprehension about their safety and that of their loved ones, in respect to the coronavirus. As serious as it might seem, it’s not that ‘doom & gloom’ anymore. Following the standard Covid safety procedures and by adhering to the safety norms in place by the authorities of the destination you are traveling to, you can ensure a successful, memorable, and long-overdue vacation.
Important Covid instructions for travelers:
- Get vaccinated before you travel
- Get tested for Covid. Travel only if the report is negative.
- Always wear your mask
- If traveling by public transport, make sure you sanitize your seat before you sit
- Read and follow the travel guidelines of the planned destination
- Eat more immunity-boosting foods, especially if you’re traveling to a place where Covid cases are active
Let’s begin our coverage of the best health tips for travelers, this World Tourism Day.
Health tips for beach lovers:
- Avoid alcohol while boating and swimming especially deep-sea diving
- Use sunscreen to protect yourself from harmful UV rays
- Sunbathing is awesome, but don’t overdo it
- Don’t skip breakfast, but don’t overeat either
- Make sure you eat a more vegetarian diet
- Stay hydrated
- Avoid excessive alcohol
- Use mosquito repellents if staying at the beach at night
Health tips for trail blazers (trekkers)
- Wear the right gear
- Always stay hydrated
- Carry a personal first aid kit
- Avoid junk food. Stick to fruits and vegetables
- Trek with an expert.
- Don’t run while going up or coming down a hill
- Don’t forget to wear sunglasses and sunscreen while trekking. This will help in protecting you from harmful UV rays
- Avoid smoking. It weakens the lungs and affects your breathing capacity at high altitudes
The Top 5 tips to make your vacation illness-free
Traveling is a great way to refresh your brain. But to stay active throughout the journey, you need to get sufficient sleep. Studies prove that the average time a person should spend sleeping is between seven and nine hours every day, which is difficult while traveling. Therefore, here are some tips to help bridge that gap and get the sleep your body needs during your journey:
- Try to take naps whenever possible
- If you aren’t feeling sleepy, the best way is to close your eyes and practice deep breathing to calm your muscles and relax
- If traveling includes crossing time zones, carrying heavy luggage, and/or prolonged walking, get a decent and sound sleep before you start. It will help you feel energized during the journey
- Stay hydrated and don’t skip your meals
You may sometimes forget or ignore the urge to drink water or eat meals while traveling. This can make you weak, and you may fall sick due to dehydration. Eating small portions of meals and drinking water at regular intervals helps maintain a healthy immune system, which works as an added advantage for travelers as a robust immune system keeps you protected from harmful viruses, bacteria, and infections.
Here are some tips to help you stay hydrated and eat meals at regular intervals:
- Listen to your body’s urges to eat and drink
- Pack healthy and easily digestible foods you can eat on the go
- Carry at least two water bottles to avoid dehydration
- Set reminders on your phone to eat and drink on time
- Keep a hand sanitizer, ‘handy‘
Due to many people using public transport services like flights, trains, and buses, the chances of getting infected by germs and bacteria increases. Keeping a hand sanitizer and using it whenever necessary can help prevent you from getting infected.
Here are some tips on how you can use hand sanitizer to protect yourself
- Spray the sanitizer on your seat and armrests before you sit
- Sanitize your hands at regular intervals and avoid touching your face
- Sanitize/wash your hands before you eat anything
- Sanitize your luggage before leaving and after reaching the destination
- Don’t forget your first aid kit
Irrespective of the mode of transportation or the destination you are traveling to, keeping a first aid kit is always a great idea because you never know when you or anyone around you might need it.
Here are some tips on what you can keep in your first aid kit:
- Different sized bandages
- Your prescription medication
- Multivitamin and vitamin C tablets
- Medicine for pain, fever, cold, and flu
- Anti-motion sickness and anti-diarrheal tablets
- Ointments for bruises, scrapes, and minor injuries
- A blood sugar monitor (if you or anyone in your group is a diabetic)
- Don’t neglect oral hygiene:
Good oral hygiene not only keep your teeth clean but also aid in improving your overall well-being. Don’t forget to pack your toothbrush, tongue cleaner, toothpaste, and an anti-bacterial mouthwash. Brushing your teeth after waking up cleans the bacteria buildup in the mouth and makes it germ-free. It also helps you get rid of foul odors and gives you a fresh breath.
Travel advisories for those with preexisting medical conditions
In India, heart illnesses, diabetes, and asthma are some of the most common chronic medical conditions. To prevent the attack of one of these conditions while traveling, you need to take some preventive measures. These include:
- Talk to your doctor to know if it is safe for you to travel or not
- Ask your physician for the contact of a doctor at the place where you are going
- Make sure you check your health insurance and that it covers where you are traveling to
- Make sure you have enough medication to cover you throughout the trip and a few extra days
- Always keep your medicine at an easily accessible place, such as the waist pouch
- Use a suitcase which has wheels. Picking up bags can put pressure on your heart
- Avoid the risk of blood clots by moving around in the aisle when allowed
- If you have a pacemaker or implanted cardiac defibrillator (ICD), request the security for clearance with a hand search
- If are on a special diet at home, follow it on your trip too. Pack any necessary ingredients that might be difficult to obtain at your destination
- Get immediate help if you experience any symptoms or sense them worsening
- Precautionary measures for people with diabetes
- Consult your doctor before the trip to make sure you’re fit and get advice like how to take insulin doses if you’re traveling to a different time zone
- Find medicine shops and hospitals beforehand near the place you’re staying to avoid any risks
- Don’t forget your health insurance
- Order your meals based on the recommended diet
- Pack all your medicines in an easily accessible bag
- Drink water regularly and avoid dehydration
- Keep your insulin pump, blood sugar monitor, and test strips at their favorable temperatures
- Walk around to avoid blood clot formation
- Set an alarm on your phone to remind you of taking medicines. This method is very useful when traveling to a different time zone
- Avoid junk food while traveling and eat what’s good for your health
- Precautionary measures for people with asthma
- Consult your doctor before traveling. Your doctor can guide you for all the preventive measures that can help reduce asthma attacks
- Keep your medicines and rescue inhaler in an easily accessible bag
- Avoid traveling to destinations that can trigger your asthma
- Stay at a place with no asthma triggers for you. Such as non-smoking and pet free hotel room
- Once you reach your destination, identify the local chemist shops and hospitals, in case of any health complications
- Check the air quality of the place you’re traveling to
- Consume a healthy diet only
- If you experience an asthma attack, here are some tips for first aid
- Take your medicines and/or use a rescue inhaler right away
- If your medication does not relax the attack, seek medical help immediately
- Tell someone about your condition and ask them to stay with you
- Don’t lie down and stay in an upright position
- Panicking can make the symptoms worse, try to stay calm
- Try to breathe slowly
You need to understand the importance of taking care of your health while traveling. Although traveling makes you joyous, yet if you don’t take the necessary measures to protect yourself, you can get affected by illnesses like flu, cold, cough, fever, etc. Thus, you need to take the aforementioned necessary steps that can help lessen your chances of getting infected, and in case you are suffering from heart ailments, diabetes, or asthma, you need to take extra care to manage the condition. One more step to reduce the chances of a spoilt vacation is to get a complete health checkup before you embark on your travel.
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