Raise your hand if you love to travel! Visit foreign places is the best: new people, amazing sights, great food… new infections? That’s right, every new country has their own fun illnesses that are ready to greet you. Best come prepared to deal with them. Here are some general health tips.
- Don’t Skip On The First Aid Kit
Whether you’re going to Ritz Hilton Turbo Hotel Plaza in Gran Canaria or wakeboarding in the Andes, you are still in danger of something happening to you. And no matter where you are, you’re likely the closest person to turn to for aid for yourself. That’s why you should not ignore the first aid kit when packing your bag.
Consult your doctor before you go: they know what ails you, and they’ll help you plan your emergency kit. Make sure you take enough of the medication that you take regularly. Keep all the drugs in original packaging in case authorities go rooting through your stuff. Heck, keep copies of prescriptions on you: if some exotic wild pig run away with your rheumatism salve, you’ll be able to replace it with minimal hassle.
Other than that, your kit should contain stuff that both treats wounds (band aids, gauze, antiseptic and antibacterial preparations, etc.) and stomachs experiencing culinary shock (anti-diarrhea medication as well as mild laxatives, antacid, and so on).
- Don’t Get (Sun) Burnt
Sun is that fiery far ball providing us with light and warmth. For people going on holiday, it’s a source of good tans. However, with great tans comes great threat of sunburn. And skin cancer. And photosensitive rashes, which sounds like an issue only robots would have. Point is, sun can be dangerous. Everyone – and especially babies, fair skinned people, people with freckles and so on – should be a little more careful.
To enjoy sun responsibly, you should first seek shelter and avoid it between 11:00 and 15:00 o’clock (that’s 11 AM and 3 PM for Yanks), as that’s when sunshine is the fiercest. You should also look into some guides on how to apply sunscreen properly. Investing into quality sunglasses isn’t a bad idea either. And as mentioned, children as well as fair-skinned people need even more protection.
- Clean Food For Clean Fun
As one transitions into adulthood, one learns to not eat off the floor and maybe develops are more refined taste in random items that get put in the mouth. However, once you start travelling, you have to become even more careful. And that’s not just about not touching the trays while you eat on an airplane!
General advice is to wash your hands before handling food, eating and after using bathroom (and I thought you did that already). When it comes to actual meals, the ones that were prepared in front of your eyes, piping hot and steamy, are usually the safest. The thorough cooking should have killed all the nasty stuff. On the other hand, you should avoid fresh salad as well as unpasteurized milk products.
When it comes to water, trust that which is bottled (and the seal isn’t broken), boiled, chemically disinfected or passed through a good filter. You can usually be safe when drinking hot tea and coffee, beer, wine and spirits.
- Prepare For A Shock
This might not be an as obvious danger as others, but culture shock exists. As much as we’d like to think of people that live far away as geographically displaced copies that speak strange tongues, they can be really different. Culture is apparently important, who would have known.
What makes you more likely to get shocked culturally? Tiredness and jet lag help (and are more likely the further away your destination is), as does unfamiliar environment (despite the warnings about food and water, you shouldn’t be too paranoid). Lack of familiarity with the language, local comforts, social conditions as well as limited experience of foreign cultures can also contribute.
To avoid it, try and get enough rest, avoid having unrealistic expectations of how foreign people act, maintain regular contact with family (hello, social media), write down your experiences (hello again, social media) and don’t partake in excessive alcohol intake or drug/tobacco abuse. Millions of people travel every year and return relatively shock-free; you’ll be fine!
However, if you find that your stress levels are increasing due to an airline delaying or cancelling your flight – or booting you out due to overbooking – don’t worry. Remember you rights, demand what you’re owed and fill out a claim with Skycop. Who knows, you might get compensation of up to €600, which might serve as a down payment for a future trip!