When you plan your holiday, it’s all about the flights, accommodation and sights you are going to see more than considering the more mundane elements of travelling. Here at Worldcare we believe it is our duty to consider these and help you keep informed on how to stay safe when you hit the road. Read our top tips below for staying healthy on holiday.
BEFORE YOU GO
Getting sick overseas sucks but it’s way worse to get ill when you could have prevented it – we’re talking vaccinations. The Travel Doctor recommend you book in your vaccination eight weeks in advance as it can take time for some to take effect. Refer to our handy Medical Advice page for the three Rs of vaccinations – routine, required and recommended – and work out what vaccinations you should be considering.
Wear Flight Socks
In the future wearing flight socks on a plane will be as automatic to you as putting a seatbelt on in a car, or wearing a helmet when riding a bike. The number of instances of people claiming for Deep Vein Thrombosis is rising, which can only mean that people aren’t wearing flight socks as a measure to reduce the risk. Buy some; it’ll be a great investment for every long-haul flight you take as they keep the blood flowing to your legs. We like these Kiwi ones.
ON THE WAY
Do On-board Exercises
Continuing on from the flight sock recommendation is one regarding in-flight exercises. By keeping your muscles activated, you keep the blood flow moving, which typically decreases the chances of a blood clot forming in the legs. Nowadays the inflight magazines have a handy section at the back with recommended exercises so take a moment at the beginning of your flight to familiarise yourself with some basic moves.
Stay Hydrated on the Flight
The temptation to load up on free drinks whilst on a flight is real – how can you resist when they just keep asking! However, studies have shown that drinking beverages that are dehydrating contributes to jetlag and can bring on a hangover much faster than if you were drinking on land. Normally humans feel at their best when the humidity is between 40-70%, but on a plane this falls to around 20%, which causes an uncomfortable dryness, as well as making you more prone to infections. We recommend avoiding alcohol and caffeinated drinks and stick to drinking water, and lots of it.
Watch What You Eat and Drink
Ah, the dreaded Delhi Belly, or Montezuma’s Revenge – or any other name for a case of the runs – can often be avoided by being travel smart when you reach your destination. This includes sticking to bottled water and avoiding ice in places where the tap water is considered unsafe, avoiding undercooked food at all costs, as well as peeling all fruit and vegetables before you eat them. We don’t want you to miss out on the joy of trying the local street food but if you do want to give it a try, take a bit of time to watch their cooking processes and make a judgment call on whether you think they are sanitary enough to pass a health and safety board inspection.
Spend Time in the Shade
Sunstroke and sunburn are serious ailments that can really spoil your holiday enjoyment levels. Hot and dry skin, rapid heartbeats, headache, nausea and dizziness are all symptoms presented when someone has been exposed to sunlight for too long. Sunstroke can be a dangerous, life-threat occurrence if left untreated, so wear sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat, take it easy the first few days you have in the sun and stay hydrated throughout the day.
Watch Out for Skin Things
Mosquito bites, bee stings, superficial cuts and open wounds all can cause some nasty infections if left untreated on holiday. We recommend taking a small first aid kit with you (particularly if you are going to more rural areas or camping) and getting in quick to remedy the situation. As soon as you can, treat the area with some form of disinfectant or antibacterial cream and keep it covered with a band-aid or bandage to reduce the risk of infection.
Many of the above tips are just simple reminders of the best steps to keep your holiday health on track so the best memories you bring home are ones of tropical sunsets, gorgeous scenery and incredible sights. Of course we also recommend travel insurance so if the worst does happen you have Worldcare Travel Insurance to assist.
If you have any other holiday tips, post them in the comments below; we’d love to hear from you.