If you are planning on travelling, here are some tips to keep in mind
Prepare for travel
There are many things you can do to prepare for a healthy holiday, including:
- Organize travel insurance, including cover if you need to be evacuated to a suitable hospital.
- Pack a medical kit for yourself and any children travelling with you. Make sure you pack enough of any medications you need and carry a spare pair of glasses.
- Take copies of your prescriptions for medicine and for eye glasses and contact lenses.
- Carry a card that identifies, in the local language, your blood type, chronic conditions or serious allergies, and the generic names of any medicines you take.
- Have a medical check-up. Make sure you are healthy before you travel.
- Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before every trip. Consult your doctor at least 4-6 weeks before you travel, he will be able to advise which vaccines are suitable for you depending on:
Your medical history and age
- Your destination and kind of activities you are doing
- The season in which you are travelling
- The length of stay
- And the type of travel, for example, bus tour or backpacking
Eating and drinking while travelling
The most common travel-related illnesses are gastrointestinal diseases usually picked up from poorly prepared foods or untreated water. To avoid diarrhoea, stomach pains, nausea and vomiting associated with these illnesses:
Use boiled or bottled water, or water purifiers or tablets.
- Avoid ice in drinks.
- Avoid unpasteurized milk and dairy products.
- Avoid fruits and raw vegetables including salad leaves that have been washed in the local water.
- Eat thick-skinned fruit that you can peel yourself, such as bananas, oranges and mandarins.
- Make sure food is cooked thoroughly and eat it while it’s hot.
- Avoid shellfish.
- Don’t buy food from street stalls – hotels and busy restaurants are safest.
- Take care with personal hygiene.
Stay safe outdoors
- Stay alert to changing weather conditions and adjust your plans if conditions become unsafe.
- Wear loose and lightweight clothing during summer. Dress in layers and cover heads, hands, and feet properly if you are visiting a cold location. Wear suitable clothing for various activities.
- Pack protective items, such as insect-repellent (that contains 20% or more DEET), sunscreen with SPF of at least 15, and a basic first aid kit.
- Be especially careful during summer months as Heat-related illness, such as heat stroke, can be deadly. Eat regularly and drink water frequently to stay hydrated, and limit physical activity in the heat of the day.
- Be cautious at high elevation also. Because sunlight reflects off snow, sand, and water, sun exposure may be increased during activities like skiing, swimming, and sailing.
Stay safe around water
- Swim only in designated swimming areas. Obey lifeguards and warning flags on beaches.
- Do not dive into shallow water.
- Avoid swallowing water when swimming. Untreated water can carry germs that make you sick.
- Practice safe boating — follow all boating safety laws, do not drink alcohol if you are driving a boat, and always wear a life jacket.
Information courtesy Archana Arora – Dietician