Photo by Allen Sheffield on Flickr

Ways to Stay Healthy when Travelling

Staying healthy while travelling, especially if it is a long journey, can be a real challenge. Many destinations have quite different standards compared with home, and just walking around can be dangerous.

Not only that, but you can have quite a difficult time finding things that you normally rely on at home to help you take care of your health.

For them reasons, and the fact that there are so many ways for things to potentially go wrong, it’s a good idea to be well prepared before you go. That way you won’t end up like the folks who have their whole holiday spoiled by illness.

Study the place you’ll be going

While there’s a lot to be said for discovery and exploration, only a fool would go somewhere with no prior research at all. Knowing about the potential dangers you may face is a good first step to not having to face them, or at least being alert and ready when something comes up. A sensible place to start is the foreign travel advice website run by the UK government. It’s alphabetically indexed and lists all the major concerns you could face in each country.

Check out your hotel before you check in

Most hotels these days have been heavily reviewed by other travellers, so there’s really not much excuse not to find out as much as you can about the standards you can expect before you arrive. The sorts of things that should raise red flags include whether anyone mentioned that the hotel is located in a dangerous area, that it is difficult to find, it’s unclean, or that they serve bad food.

Find out the generic names of your medications

If you’re on any medications, find out what the generic names of them are, because many countries may not have your specific medication, but they may have a close equivalent. You should also check with your doctor to find out what substitutions are allowed. Get a letter from your doctor detailing what medications you need, in case you need to consult a foreign doctor while you’re away. For some destinations, it’s probably better not to import your medicines unless there’s no other choice, as you’ll typically have fewer problems if you purchase them after you’ve arrived.

Be a little careful about the foods you eat

It goes without saying that one of the best things about travelling is the variety of new and exotic foods you can sample. Having said that, in some destinations it can be sensible to not over-indulge on strange foods unless you know what’s in them, and how they were prepared.

Keep your eyes open

There are many dangers waiting for you as you go about your travels. Everything from falling down holes in the sidewalk to getting mugged is potentially a possibility. Maintaining a proper state of alertness will help you avoid becoming a victim. In general, staying safe and healthy while travelling is not difficult as long as you apply common sense.

Photo by Allen Sheffield. Edited for color and contrast.

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