On Vacation - Here's How To Avoid Falling Sick
Whether you’re planning to travel for work, leisure, or an event, your focus is bound to be on the amazing experiences you’ll have, while you’re away from home. But, in the days leading up to your trip, it’s important to spend time creating a plan, to cover health needs, while on the road, and learn about the options at your disposal, in case you fall sick. In this article by Feather’s Charm, we’ll explore a comprehensive list of steps you can take to maintain good health while travelling.
Pre-Departure Health Checklist
First, let’s look at the steps you should take before leaving for your travels.
● Get a Health Checkup
Make an appointment with your doctor for a regular health check-up. For those who are undergoing treatment or therapy for existing medical conditions, your doctor will be able to suggest steps you need to take, while you’re away from home. Additionally, they’ll provide a prescription, which is often required when travelling internationally.
● Create a Medical Kit
Using the prescription provided by the doctor, purchase all the necessary medication you require. You can even carry common over-the-counter medicines such as paracetamol, aspirin, antacids, and laxatives. Other items to consider include sunscreen, mosquito repellent, moisturisers, etc.
● Purchase Travel Insurance
Even if you have existing health insurance, the provider may not cover or only minimally cover the cost of healthcare in another country. Hence, the best option is to purchase travel insurance for the duration of your trip, which could range from a couple of days to weeks, or even months. Travel insurance typically covers the cost of everything, from medications to hospitalizations.
As reported by The Times, there are various travel insurance providers on the market, but the coverage provided, and premiums, can vary. Before finalising a provider, use this link to compare policies and make an informed decision.
● Keep Health Records as a PDF
As a best practice, make copies of all important health records and carry them with you at all times. Additionally, upload them to a cloud-based application such as Google Docs, as it allows you to access them anytime, anywhere. If you suspect the area you’re visiting will have network issues convert your Google Doc to a PDF using the download option. As a result, you’ll have your documents on your phone, which can then be shared with health professionals if the need arises.
Health Tips for the Road
While the whole point of travelling is to indulge in local culture, here are a few pointers to keep in mind to avoid falling sick:
● Drink Bottled Water
Being from the UK, you might be accustomed to drinking tap water. However, tap water is not fit for consumption in many parts of the world. Hence, if you’re in doubt, always choose to purchase bottled water for daily consumption. If you plan to be abroad for a prolonged period, consider purchasing a water purifier for your home.
● Be Mindful of What You Eat
One of the best attractions of any city or town is its local cuisine. While you should try new dishes and experience different tastes, it’s important to be mindful of what you eat, especially if you have food allergies. Not all places will mention ingredients used in dishes. Hence, it’s always better to ask and request to exclude items you’re allergic to.
Additionally, while eating from local street stalls can be tempting, it is best to avoid them as you can’t always be sure if the required hygiene standards have been followed, during preparation. If you do want to eat from stalls, reach out to local friends, colleagues, or family for suggestions, who can vouch that the food is safe to eat.
● Remain Physically Active
As reported by Healthline, engaging in regular exercise helps boost our immune system and keeps diseases at bay. When it comes to the type of exercise you should do, moderate-intensity exercises are the go-to option. This includes brisk walking, cycling, weight training, and more.
Whether you’re planning a short or long trip, look for accommodations that include a fitness centre either on-site or nearby. This will allow you to continue following a fitness regime, keep your immune system healthy, and significantly reduce the chances of falling sick.
Steps to Take if Your Fall Sick
Even after taking the best precautionary measures, one cannot completely eliminate the possibility of falling sick, and in the unlikely event that you do, the key is to not panic, remain calm and follow these steps:
● Use Your Medical Kit
If you are certain about the illness you’re suffering from, refer to the prescription provided by your doctor, and start taking your prescribed medicine. Additionally, you could consider using the telemedical option provided by your healthcare provider. While it may not connect you with your doctor, you'll be able to talk to a medical professional and understand the next steps to be taken.
● Reach Out
Those who have travelled alone, but have friends and family in the area, should not hesitate to reach out. The earlier you contact them, the more time they’ll have to help you, whether that be suggesting the best health centres or making a visit, or even taking you to the nearest hospital.
● Visit the Local Hospital
If even after taking your medication and your condition does not improve, it’s best to visit the local hospital. While there could be various private clinics in the vicinity, it’s best not to take chances, as they may not have the expertise or equipment to provide the required care. Of course, if you’ve travelled to a country where English isn’t the first language, there’s still a high chance that at least some doctors and staff at the hospital do.
Falling sick is the last thing anyone wants to experience while travelling. And the best way to avoid such a predicament is to take adequate precautions, such as creating a medical kit and drinking bottled water when on the road. Finally, remember to keep your health records on your cloud drive or Google Drive, or download them to your phone as a PDF.