CALGARY, Alta. Nov. 24, 2016/ Troy Media/ – In order to have healthy travel, you first need to be sure that you’re healthy before you leave. Get any recommended immunizations and medications. This list can be long or short depending on how exotic your destination is.
The best source for up-to-the-minute information on healthy travel is a travel medicine doctor. These specialists keep up with all of the latest recommendations for anywhere in the world.
Make sure you are up to date on all your routine vaccinations, including a seasonal influenza vaccine. It won’t protect you against a new flu strain but it protects against any seasonal flu that may also be occurring, and getting a “common” seasonal flu will help keep you stronger so your body can resist that new strain.
Drink bottled water in places where the water is considered unsafe. It never hurts to err on the side of caution. If you are unsure, grab that bottle rather than tap water.
Eat nutritiously. A bag of chips and a sandwich might be good for your budget but, eaten often, they aren’t good for your travel health. Try to eat at least one good balanced meal a day with your proteins and veggies. If you have a serious dietary restriction, get it written out by someone who speaks the local language so you can use the note to order in local restaurants.
Avoid unhealthy looking restaurants. If the food looks suspicious, you should move on to a healthier looking place. If the diners inside are coughing and sneezing, you might want to give the restaurant a pass.
Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer to remove germs from your skin. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth: germs are spread more quickly with that kind of contact.
Exercise to get in shape before you leave on your trip, and keep exercising on the road. You’ll probably be doing enough walking so you won’t have to do any gym time. Just remember, exercise keeps you healthy.
Try to get enough sleep. If you’ve crossed many time zones, you will arrive with jet lag. It will take you a day or two or more to get acclimated to your new time zone. We know you want to spend all the time you can seeing the sights and experiencing that new culture, but if you get over tired you’re much more susceptible to catching a cold or the flu.
Try to avoid close contact with sick people by staying at least six feet away. Influenza is spread mainly through contact with sick people or through the coughing or sneezing of infected people.
Monitor the local health situations by listening to announcements from the local government. Follow their guidelines and restrictions if there is some sort of a disease outbreak like the Swine Flu.
If you do get sick, get medical care. Pharmacies in Europe can help with common ailments. In most areas you can check with local clinics for more severe problems. Your hotel may be able to call a doctor to make a house call. Consider joining the non-profit [popup url=”https://www.iamat.org/” height=”1000″ width=”1200″ scrollbars=”1″]IAMAT[/popup], The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers. They can get you a list of English speaking doctors in member countries.
With proper precautions and preparation, almost all of your travel will be healthy travel. So go ahead, take that trip: it’s good for your health.
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