Keeping Yourself Healthy and Fit While Traveling
The most important benefit of travelling is probably stress reduction. You are out of your daily routine and are into new experiences that can refresh your body and mind. One critical thing to enjoy your trip though is you need to be well. You should not have “getting sick” in your itinerary.
In this blog, we will cover…
- Health checklist before you go
- How to take care of your health while you are away
- What you should do after you come home
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1. Health checklist before you go
Do research about the destination
- Check if there is any advice about your destination at https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations
- Check about medicines, vaccines, and other information you need to be aware of for each destination. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list
Get travel insurance
Travel insurance is especially important if you need medical assistance. Make sure your destination is not advised as “Do Not Travel”. Choose a policy that covers you for every country you are travelling to including transit points. And, shop around to compare policies to choose a right one for you.
Most basic policies cover:
- Emergency medical treatment
- General medical assistance
- Patient transport to hospital
- Medical evacuations back to your country
- Injuries and accidents unless it is from an excluded activity
Common excluded coverage:
- Bone and joint conditions
- Breathing and lung conditions
- Circulatory and blood conditions
- Heart conditions
- Kidney or liver conditions
- Mental health conditions
- Viruses and diseases
Talk to your doctor
See your doctor at least 8 weeks before you go and ask for advice about vaccinations and how to reduce the risk of health problems.
Your medication may not be available, or it may be illegal at your destination.
- If you aren’t sure, find out if your prescription medication is legal in your destination or if Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme has restrictions. https://www.dfat.gov.au/about-us/foreign-embassies/pages/foreign-embassies-and-consulates-in-australia
- Take enough medications for your whole trip
- Carry your script and a letter from your doctor
- Pack into different bags for just in case a bag is lost or stolen
Think about activities you are planning to do
- Research about the activity and find out if there is any common injuries or health issues associated with it.
- Check the travel insurance policy to see if it covers the activity
- Research available medical facility near the location and have an idea for a possible medical procedure.
2. How to take care of your health while you are away
- Get plenty of sleep: If you are crossing time zones, your circadian rhythm can be disrupted and cause the immune system. Try avoiding alcohol and caffeine during your flight and spend some time outside when you arrive at the destination.
- Hydrate: Drink a couple of glass of water when you get up in the morning and keep a refillable water bottle with you during a day.
- Watch what you eat: It is easy to lose control while you are on a vacation but try not to eat too much unhealthy snacks and drinks. Also, be sure to consume only properly prepared foods in a less-developed country.
- Stay active: Regular physical activity helps you feel better and rested. Try walking or riding a bike instead of taking a cab to explorer the local area.
- Protect from sun: UV rate is different from country to country and the month to month. Especially if you are traveling where UV rate is high, wear a hat or an umbrella and apply sunscreen regularly. https://www.bfs.de/EN/topics/opt/uv/index/worldwide/worldwide.html
- Parties and drinking: Be aware of the safeness
- Exploring street food: Make sure the food is properly prepared and the facility is clean.
- Getting massage, tattoo, facial treatment, etc.: Choose a shop with high safety and hygiene standards
- Driving yourself: Hiring a car and drive yourself gives a flexibility in your schedule. But, make sure you have a license and are comfortable to drive in the place where some rules are different.
- Wearing a mask: It may or may not be required but you may still choose to ware a mask in public transports or in other crowded places.
- Wash hands: Studies suggest objects in high traffic areas are contaminated with germs more than a toilet in a residential house. The examples are buttons in hotel elevators, doorknobs for shared bathrooms, and handrails in public transports. Wash your hands or use sanitizer after touching those places.
3. What you should do after you come home
It is always good to have at least 2-3 days to rest yourself before you go back to normal routine. Avoid scheduling the date to return from holiday just before you go back to work. It is also recommended to self-monitor for any possible virous infection. If you started developing any symptoms, get tested as early as possible.