Whether you’re traveling for business or taking your family on a holiday vacation, the last thing you want is for an injury or illness to derail your time away, especially if you’re traveling on foreign soil. While there’s no way to completely safeguard yourself, there are some great steps you can take to ensure that you come away from your travels with nothing but fond memories.
At Forest Urgent Care, our team of health care providers specializes in travel medicine, helping our patients make the most out of their time away from home.
To help with your future travel plans, here are 6 tips for staying healthy while you travel.
1. Protect yourself abroad through immunizations
While the United States has done a great job eradicating many potentially serious diseases, such as tuberculosis and measles, the same can’t be said of many countries across the world. To make sure that you’re well-protected, confirm that your vaccinations are up to date. And depending upon where you’re headed, you may benefit from some additional vaccinations that aren’t necessarily needed on US soil, such as those that protect you against malaria, typhoid, and yellow fever.
2. Mind the water
If you’re traveling to a third-world country, it’s extremely important that you don’t drink the local water, which can harbor bacteria that your system hasn’t been exposed to. These bacteria can cause anything from mild stomach upset to severe gastrointestinal issues that require hospitalization. Be sure to drink only water that you know has been treated to US standards, which is usually bottled water.
While avoiding the tap water is an obvious step, remember that the ice in your drinks or the water used to wash fruits and vegetables may not be treated. In these cases, always ask about the water used to make the ice and wash your fruits and vegetables with bottled water.
3. Pack proactively
While we’re not suggesting that you give over precious luggage space for your entire medicine cabinet, there are a few items that every seasoned traveler has in their bag, including:
- Antibiotic ointment
- Aspirin or ibuprofen
- Antidiarrheal medications
- Charcoal tablets
- Cold and flu medications
- Stomach upset medications
To save space, you can consolidate these medications into travel containers designed exactly for this purpose.
4. Carry your own meds
If you have a pre-existing health issue, such as diabetes or asthma, be sure that you have plenty of your medications on hand. We can help you figure out what you need so that you can manage your condition easily while you travel. And if you’re flying, pack the meds in your carry-on bag in case your luggage gets lost.
5. Get moving
We know that vacations are meant for relaxation, but you can keep up your healthy habits while traveling, too. For example, ditch the motorized transport and take long walks to soak in the sights. This exercise will keep your energy levels up and help you sleep better at night.
6. Getting your zzzs
Speaking of sleep, it’s important if you’re traveling through time zones to regulate your body as quickly as possible to the local time. If you’re tired, take a quick nap, but don’t sleep the day away, as you’ll likely be up all night. If you’re worried about waking throughout the night, try taking a little melatonin, which is known as the sleep hormone.
If you have more questions about staying healthy while you travel, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our two offices in Forest Hills and Hunters Point, Long Island City, New York. Reach out by phone or use the online booking tool on this website.