If you’re like me, then you are always prepared for the unexpected such as getting sick while traveling. This is particularly important if you have known health problems or if you plan on visiting a part of the world that requires vaccinations. A little knowledge goes a long way when traveling so let’s go over five health precaution tips you should be aware of while traveling. Not only will you have greater peace of mind but you may also prevent a healthcare emergency.
1. Take Medication With You
If you have a known health condition that requires a certain type of medication, then you’ll want to take it with you. This is just common sense for the medication you take regularly, but for conditions that require more infrequent treatment, such as asthma, you want to make sure you have your medicine on hand in case you need it. Doing so could save your life or at least prevent a trip to the emergency room.
On top of required medications for specific health concerns, it pays to take along common medications as well. Items for upset stomach, cold symptoms, and headaches are always welcome if you’re not feeling well and you need them. It also prevents you from having to make a stop to pick up these items if you’re feeling ill. Personally, I always take a bag of common medications with me when I travel just in case I need it and I’m always grateful when I do.
2. Prepare for Health Stops
If you have a chronic medical condition that requires frequent treatment, then you may want to rethink your decision to travel. However, if you decide to travel anyway, or if you have little choice in the matter, then you want to make preparation. This includes making stops to visit a doctor during your journey if needed. If this is the case, then you’ll want to schedule an appointment beforehand or find a suitable walk-in clinic on your route that you can visit.
It is also a good idea to make sure that your destination has the healthcare facilities you need for treatment and for emergency care. This is extremely important since you don’t want to be scrambling to find a suitable facility after you’ve already arrived at your destination. Insurance is also a factor so making sure that the facility you’ve chosen is in your network is important as well.
Another thing to consider is that if you’re traveling with serious health concerns, don’t travel alone. This is very important because the last thing you want is to have a healthcare emergency when you’re by yourself. If you go unconscious before you can call for help, you may never get the chance to wake up before it’s too late.
3. Getting Vaccinations
If you’re traveling to certain parts of the world, then you’re going to need to get vaccinations. This was true even before Covid was a thing. The reason you need to be vaccinated is that your immune system hasn’t had the chance to build up resistance to the pathogens that are located in other areas of the world. By getting the vax, your immune system will have the opportunity to encounter a weaker version of the pathogens and learn how to deal with it so that it can keep you safe.
On a related note, you may want to be careful about drinking the water depending on where you go. This is because public water sources can contain pathogens that are harmless to the people who live in the area but can be harmful to newcomers whose immune systems haven’t had the chance to create defenses against them. As a rule of thumb, always find out whether or not you should drink from public water sources when visiting a new country.
4. Staying Sanitary
On the topic of sanitation, let’s talk about how to keep from becoming ill while traveling by staying sanitary. A lot of this comes down to common sense like always washing your hands after using the restroom, handling money, or pumping gas but there are also a few other things you should know.
For one thing, Covid is still a thing. This means masking up where it is required and social distancing if necessary. Before you travel to a destination, you should read up on the Covid procedures that are expected of you there and how high or low the rate of infection is. If it’s higher than you’re comfortable with, then you may want to cancel your trip.
To make sanitation easier, you should always have hand sanitizer handy. Since a lot of illnesses are transmitted through touch, it will help keep you safe and clean. It should also be noted that toilet paper does not act as a barrier against bacteria so putting it on a public toilet seat to stop germs is pointless. Instead, you can take along a pack of sanitizer wipes and wipe down the toilet seat and use wet wipes instead of toilet paper.
5. Avoid Harsh Climate Conditions and Weather Patterns
The climate is more volatile than ever which means that travelers will need to take extra precautions. For example, if your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere in the hot desert sun on a little used highway, you’ll be glad that you packed jugs of water with you to stay hydrated until help arrives.
Better yet is planning your trip in a way that avoids harsh climate and weather conditions altogether. If there is a heat advisory for the week that you plan on traveling and you’re going to be going to some remote areas, you may want to reschedule. On the other hand, you also want to avoid areas with known weather hazards during certain time periods. This could mean avoiding southern Flordia during hurricane season, the mid-west during tornado season, or the north during blizzard season.
While getting into a bad situation because of the weather is rare, there is no reason to put yourself into these scenarios for no reason. In fact, you may want to find an alternate method of travel if you have no choice such as going by plane and having your vehicle delivered to your destination by a company that ships cars.
Staying Healthy by Staying Smart
Your health is one of the most important things in your life so you should take it seriously at all times. This is especially true when you’re traveling to new areas and may not have all the comforts and things you take for granted as you do at home. Put some thought into your travel plans and how your health factors in. If you can do that, you will have a much higher chance of staying healthy and well during your trip.