While illness and disease can strike at any time, it’s often the case that individuals return from vacations in worse health than that which they went out with! Whether it’s the change in climate, a lack of hygiene or a whole new set of germs and bacteria that can quickly cause all kinds of illness, there’s something common about the holiday bug or the travel sickness that it’s best to attempt to mitigate against where possible. This guide will help you do just that, preparing you for the worst health eventualities so that you’re able to enjoy your vacation in good spirits and fine health.
Different countries are home to different bacteria. However, thanks to this simple observation, you’ll be able to understand how so many people find themselves ill while abroad even though they eat carefully and take extra precautions. What you’re ultimately attempting to avoid when keeping good bodily hygiene in a foreign country is the invasion of foreign bacteria into your body, through a cut in the skin or the saliva in your mouth. Often, it’s your hands that carry germs, and those spread as you touch yourself over the course of a day.
Be more wary than usual about where germs are transferred and how bacteria grows on your body and the bodies of others. Use an alcoholic hand sanitizer at regular intervals during the day, especially just after taking public transport, after shaking hands with multiple people, and after handling something that you feel others have handled that day. Be discreet, so you don’t appear to be rude, but do ensure that you’re keeping your hands clean at the very least. It may just save you a bout of poor health with you’re away on your holiday.
For those who enjoy a sexual encounter while they’re abroad, there are some important things to note before, during and after the liaison. First and foremost, there are some important injections to receive from your doctor before you fly out. Each of these injections can protect you from the likes of Hepatitis A or B, which can be contracted sexually. It’s best to go to your doctor to ask which injections you out to receive so that you don’t come home with an illness from your holiday.
You should also always wear protection when having sex abroad, as you’ll be at increased risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease when you’re away from your home country. If you do find you’ve brought home an STI, you’ll need to visit your doctor as soon as possible for advice. You’ll be able to read more about the steps you’ll have to take if you contract HIV while abroad, including medications that’ll help you live with the disease. STIs or STDs don’t mean the end of your life, but they are an unfortunate repercussion of being unprepared.
Being abroad on holiday often goes hand in hand with indulging in excessive qualities of fine food, perhaps at the breakfast buffet, continuing all the way through to the cocktails at the hotel bar. There’s no reason not to indulge yourself a little while abroad, but there’s two reasons you should moderate your eating ever so slightly. The first is that you may happen to eat some poorly prepared food that leaves you terribly ill for a number of days. The second is because, of course, the weight you gain on holiday and the health problems this causes don’t simply go away when you touch down in your home airport.
Foods to watch out for on vacation include unwashed salads and curries or stews left out for a number of hours without adequate heating. It’s in these that germs can live and spread rapidly, causing food poisoning. Reheated rice is also a frequent kicker, as well as poorly-prepared fish. Be wary, and remember, if it looks a little bit rough, it almost certainly is! Tap water (and cubes of ice formed from it) should be avoided in every country you visit. Instead, favor the bottled water you’ll be able to trust.
A successful holiday abroad is all about the preparation, from which hotel you’ll be staying in, how you’ll get from place to place, and how you’ll get home at the end of all your adventuring and exploring. But as you’re drawing up your itinerary, excitedly planning your trip, don’t forget to throw together that all-important first-aid kid. This kit should be complete with medications, plasters and bandages, and anything else your doctor recommends you before you fly. It can’t hurt to take little more than you feel you ought to; it always pays to be prepared.
The same goes, more specifically, to the nation-specific medication you’ll need to take with you depending on national advice forums or, indeed, your doctor’s research and recommendations. Malaria is the biggest example of this medication that you’ll need in an array of countries that experience the surge of the mosquito-borne disease. Bring your health and travel insurance documents with you too so that you’re prepared for the very worst eventualities, like being helicoptered to your home country following a road traffic accident.
A small additional tip that’s tried and tested when traveling abroad is not to spend money at the cheapest establishments, whether they are hotels, restaurants, cafes or bars because they always seem to have a serious problem when it comes to cleanliness and quality of service. Try to visit those place that are busy with locals enjoying food and drink. It’s a sure way to guarantee you’re not going somewhere famous locally for making unsuspecting tourists sick up their guts. To check reviews of establishments, you could also check out TripAdvisor and its equivalent websites and apps in order to prevent you and your holiday party from visiting an infamously unhealthy restaurant or hotel.
Everyone wants to enjoy good health while on their well-earned vacation, so do bear in mind these tips to keep you on a healthy keel while enjoying your time abroad.