You work hard all year and deserve to take a break. That often means a relaxing spring or summer vacation to help you rest and recharge your batteries. But your relaxing vacation can turn into a miserable road trip if you or someone in your family gets sick. Whether it’s a quick trip with the family or an overseas flight, you need to start protecting your health long before you pack that first suitcase. Here are some tips to keep your travel adventure as healthy as possible:
What do you know about your vacation destination? You know what to expect if your vacation spot is a family favorite that you have been going to for years. But what if you have never been there before? What if you are going to a different part of the world? Our bodies react in strange ways to the water, food and air in a new environment. Check with your health care provider or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about health issues and health care in those regions. You may need one or more vaccinations before traveling to some countries. Make sure your health insurance carrier covers your travel destination. Nobody wants to get sick or injured during vacation but it does happen. Also, consider taking a copy of your recent medical history if you or anyone in your family has a chronic medical issue.
You remember to take your prescription medicine on vacation but don’t forget any nonprescription medicine you might need. Don’t rely on being able to find your favorite over-the-counter pain reliever when you travel. It may not be available. The same goes for insect repellant and sunscreen. It’s easier to take it with you. Pack your medicine in a carry-on bag if you are taking an airline flight. You don’t want those important pills taking a separate vacation if your luggage gets lost. Make sure you have a first aid kit. Plan for every day cuts and bruises before you load the car and hit the road.
On The Road
If you plan on flying a long distance, your body will need time to adjust to a new time zone. The different amounts of light can change your internal body clock and cause jet lag. Jet lag does more than make your feel tired. It can also cause upset stomach and insomnia. Air travel can also dehydrate people so drink plenty of water. Wash your hands frequently throughout the day. You never know what sort of virus or bacteria might be on a door handle or escalator rail. Use soap and water or an alcohol-based cleanser to help prevent infection. Make sure everyone buckles-up and that you take frequent breaks if you travel by car. This does more than keep the kids from fighting in the back seat. It helps keep you alert behind the wheel and gives you a chance to stretch your muscles. If you will be on a long flight, be sure to get up and move around the cabin. Sitting too long can cause blood clots in the legs due to poor circulation.
Vacations are meant to be relaxing and can be a real adventure, but don’t forget about your personal safety.
• Limit the amount of alcohol that you drink, and do not drink and drive.
• Use sunscreen and insect repellant.
• Wear protective gear during outdoor adventures.
• Respect and know the local laws. They drive on the left side of the road in many countries so be careful when crossing the street.
• Carry the name, address and phone number of an emergency contact.
Keep these tips mind to make it a happy and healthy vacation.