Planning a trip out of the country is always exciting but also stressful. There is so much to think about, remember, and plan for that you can easily forget even the most important things.
One of the most crucial points to take into consideration when you are leaving your country and traveling abroad is to consider your health. What will happen if you get sick or have an emergency?
Here are 5 health-related things to remember when you are traveling abroad.
5 Important Health Considerations During Travel
1. You may need vaccinations.
Depending on where your destination is, you may have to have vaccinations or medications in place to protect you against certain common diseases that are known in that area. Some countries require you to be vaccinated, by law, for things like yellow fever. You should look into this in advance, as it may take weeks or months for you to get the vaccination.
2. Food and water may not be your friends.
One of the most common complaints from travelers who have explored other countries is that they got a stomach sickness. In fact, the top travel-related illnesses are all related to gastrointestinal problems from foods that you may not be used to or that were prepared poorly or water that was untreated.
Be sure to only drink boiled or bottled water or water from a purifier and avoid iced drinks. Stay away from dairy, locally washed fruits and vegetables, or food that is not cooked thoroughly. Don’t neglect your personal hygiene, and only eat from reputable sources.
3. Avoid mosquitoes at all costs.
Did you know that the most deadly animal in the entire world is not a shark, a lion, or even a venomous snake? It’s actually the mosquito.
Mosquitoes transmit infectious diseases like malaria, yellow fever, the Zika virus, and more, and no one is immune. Some vaccines can help prevent these diseases, but you should also do your part by wearing mosquito repellant, staying indoors at prime mosquito time (usually dusk and dawn), and dressing accordingly when outdoors.
4. Know your limits.
It’s one thing to push yourself outside of your comfort zone, but it’s another to do something you know is not healthy. If you have back problems, you may want to cross bungee jumping off of your bucket list. If your knees are in bad shape, hiking the Grand Canyon may have to wait until your knee replacement surgery.
Many travel-related injuries are due to people who know they shouldn’t do something, but they do it anyway and get hurt.
5. Cover yourself for emergencies.
No one ever plans to have an accident. That’s why they are called accidents. But if you are heading abroad, call your insurance company before you leave to be sure you are covered in the event of an emergency, or call your travel agent and take out traveler’s insurance. Due to the fall-out from Brexit, those travelers with an EHIC card planning trips in the future may want to look into alternative sources of coverage just to be safe.
Your Health First
There are hundreds of things to cross off of your to-do list as you prepare for your trip, but don’t let your health considerations fall to the bottom. Prepare ahead and make your health your priority by following these 5 health-related tips for traveling abroad.