Travel exposes you to health risks that you might not normally encounter. Follow these five tips for staying healthy while traveling to reduce your risk of getting sick in airplanes, hotels and when out and about enjoying your vacation.
1. See your doctor
If your travel plans involve a foreign country, ensure that you have any necessary immunizations and/or medications before heading to the airport. The shots may be required to enter the country, and the medications — such as antidiarrheal drugs, if you just can’t resist the hotel’s drinks — can help keep you healthy while there.
Also bring with you any prescriptions you typically take as well as any over-the-counter drugs, recommends the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, because not all countries follow the same standards we do. Keep drugs in their original packaging to avoid hassles with airport security.
2. Exercise your calf muscles
Tapping your feet during a long flight can help prevent deep-vein thrombosis, a life-threatening condition, as can getting up and walking around. Coordinate your excursions with others in the row to avoid annoying each other too much.
3. Wash your hands often
If you think about how many hands have touched the door handles at popular tourist destinations, this tip won’t be hard to follow. Bring along a travel-size hand sanitizer for times when you can’t get to soap and water for a good scrub.
4. Hit the gym
Sticking to your exercise routine can help keep you in both high spirits and good health while traveling. Look for hotels and vacation rentals with an on-site gym.
5. Be aware
While DexKnows can help you find listings for the best hotels and lodging, it doesn’t hurt to keep your guard up no matter the number of stars the accommodations have. For example, opt for disposable cups wrapped in plastic even though the glassware provided feels more like home; you just don’t know the cleanliness of the cloth used to wipe the glass last.
As a bonus tip, put your suitcase in the bathroom upon arrival and inspect for bedbugs before getting too comfortable. Look for the telltale tiny black spots on the headboard, sheets and bedside table. If you see any signs of the little critters, check out ASAP to avoid allergic reactions to bedbug bites and to keep them from hitching a ride home with you.
These tips apply to travel in general. If your vacation plans include exotic destinations and/or off-the-beaten-path adventures, fully research the country and activities to help reduce additional risks and stay healthy while traveling.