Whether you’re venturing near or far, to colder or warmer weather, planning ahead is essential to having a successful trip. Oftentimes health concerns are the last thing on our mind when planning a vacation, but health-related problems can ruin an otherwise good time. Here are a few health tips to consider before taking off.
Fight airplane germs
The air in airplanes is not as yucky as we might think. In fact, the air circulated throughout an aircraft passes through a series of high-efficiency filters 20 to 30 times per hour, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those filters capture 99.9 percent of germy particles, according to the agency.
Still, the dry air can make your nose and throat itchy, and there’s no stopping your fellow travelers from boarding a plane while sick, and proceeding to sneeze and cough in your space. Arm yourself with items like a regulation-sized saline nasal spray and antibacterial wipes to keep from getting sick before you even reach your destination.
Wipe down the tray table.
Avoid touching the seat-back pocket.
Open the air vent: to circulate the filtered air.
Bring your own pillow, since they’re often repackaged without being cleaned.
Get the right vaccines
Certain destinations, especially international ones, can put you at heightened risk for serious diseases. Fortunately, many of these diseases are preventable by vaccines. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends setting up a doctor’s visit four to six weeks before your trip to discuss your destination and whether you are required or recommended to get vaccinated.
Stay up to date on the health concerns and outbreaks in the region that you’re traveling.
The CDC’s Travelers Health website contains a checklist for vaccinations that you’ll need depending on your destination.
Consider travelers insurance
Serious injuries or illnesses while uninsured can have dire financial consequences. If you’re traveling domestically, find out whether your health insurance is accepted at nearby medical centers. If you’re traveling abroad, it may be worth planning for the unpredictable by looking into travel health and evacuation insurance. Health insurance will cover basic medical costs, while evacuation insurance would cover emergency situations that require leaving the region to get the necessary medical care. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in some cases, evacuation by air ambulance can cost anywhere between $50,000 to $100,000 and must be paid in advance by uninsured travelers. Evacuation insurance would substantially minimize the cost.
Here are more tips for handling your health care needs overseas.
Prepare for minor bumps and bruises
Colds, coughs, cuts, and scrapes. They happen. Packing a first aid kit is the best way to prepare for these minor events. The American Red Cross has a complete list of items you should keep in your kit, including bandages, aspirin, a thermometer, and tweezers. Also, don’t forget to include personal items such as personal medication and emergency phone numbers.
Keep necessary medications on hand
Lost or delayed luggage is more than just an annoyance if they contain necessary medications. Don’t play traveler’s roulette with your medications. Keep them in your handbag or carry-on throughout your trip.
Take your workouts with you
Don’t take a vacation from having an active lifestyle. Even if it’s just a brisk walk on the beach, a bicycle stroll throughout town, or a few laps in the pool. These fun activities won’t make you feel like you’re actually exercising.
Fitness-related activities are easy to do, especially when you’re outdoors.
Catch up on sleep
For some of us, overscheduling activities during the trip can have us feeling like we need a vacation from our vacation.
Staying active is not the only key to maintaining good health during your vacation. Taking back those recommended 8 to 10 hours of nightime sleep may be just as important. Take time between activities to lay back, relax, and even take a nap. According to the National Sleep Foundation, a short nap of 20 to 30 minutes can help to improve mood, alertness and performance.