Tips to stay healthy while traveling
The biggest nightmare of a traveler is to get sick during your dream trip. But don’t worry, this post will help you a lot as you will find out more about Travel Medicine and will see some tips to avoid getting ill during your vacation.
Travel Medicine is a branch of medicine that prevents and manage health issues related to global travels.
A travel doctor provides medical advice, raising awareness of the epidemics and diseases that are going on around the world, and informing how to prevent and to treat them.
According to Dr. Jessé Reis Alves, travel doctor of the Institute of Infectious Disease Emilio Ribas in São Paulo (Brazil), travellers shall take extra care when visiting Africa and Asia.
He also mentioned that there are three pillars to prevent a disease while traveling:
- Get a doctor’s advice;
- Receive orientation from the tourism agency;
- Be a responsible traveler that researches about the destination and will provide everything that will be needed (vaccines, medicines, travel insurance, etc).
Tips that I have learned from travel doctors
Here is what I’ve learned so far.
To avoid thrombosis and reduce the jet leg:
- Wear comfortable clothes that won’t block the blood flow;
- Walk around whenever possible;
- Keep hydrated, avoid taking sleeping pills, drinking alcohol or coffee;
- Sleep according to the local time of the place you are visiting;
Food & Drinks
When traveling to a place where hygiene and water potability can’t be trusted make sure you:
- Wash your hands before each meal and after using public transportation and restrooms;
- Always have a hand sanitizer in your backpack;
- Eat cooked meals;
- Eat only fruits that can be peeled;
- Drink only bottled drinks. Do not order a fresh juice or ice cubes.
- Keep hydrated;
- Use sunscreen and avoid long sun exposures;
- Bring medicines that you are used to take with you. Bear in mind that unfortunately there are a lot of falsified medicines in Asia and Africa.
- Get the travel insurance that suits you the best, not all of them covers all the countries or accidents caused during an extreme sport practice for example.
- Divers shall take the tetanus vaccine;
- In case of exposure to some animals (monkeys, tigers, dogs…), taking rabies vaccine may be recommended.
The symptoms of an infected person are fever and headaches, even though it may sound like something simple, it is not! If not treated quickly it can cause death.
Some of the prevention methods are:
- If available, use mosquito nets and air conditioning;
- Use a good repellent and don’t forget to reapply it following the manufacturer’s recommendation;
- The repellent should be applied after the sunscreen;
- It is recommended to use a gel repellent for the body and a spray one to apply on the clothes. Remember that mosquitos can bite through clothes;
- Wear light-colored clothes, the mosquitos like black and bright colored ones;
- There are also some insecticides available in the market that are designed to protect clothing, gear, etc, such as Protec. This is a great product because it can be applied in babies clothes, and you can also apply it before your trip as it lasts up to 20 washings.
- There is no vaccine that prevents malaria, but there are some antimalarial medicines. But before you take any you should talk to a doctor, because there are some contraindications and side effects.
Make an appointment
To make the most of your doctor’s appointment make sure you:
– Bring your immunization record: The doctor will check if there is any vaccine needed;
– Schedule your appointment to at least 1 month prior to your trip: This way, you will have time to take the vaccines that may be needed (E.g.: Yellow Fever, Typhoid Fever, Hepatitis, Rabies, etc);
– Bring your itinerary: The doctor will need to know the cities you will go to and which activities will be done to give you the proper advices.
Find a Clinic
In Brazil, you will find all the clinics and the information if they are private or public through the website below.
Around the world
Through the ISTM (International Society of Travel Medicine) you will find all the travel medicine clinics around the world.
– Travel notices about diseases and catastrophes that are happening in different countries;
– Vaccines that are recommended when visiting each country;
– Tips related to health and safety;
– List of items you should take with you during your travel.
In case you have any additional advice to share please, feel free to leave us a comment.
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*This post was sponsored by Protec.