Holiday travel is returning with a vengeance. Whether you’re flying or hitting the road this month, be sure to safeguard your and your family’s health.
To that end, Dr. Bharat Gandhi of Medinet Family Care Clinic in Houston, TX, offers the following seven strategies to help you stay healthy while traveling this winter.
You don’t want to be stuck negotiating a foreign health care system without help should something arise. If your plan doesn’t cover you, you can get one-time, supplemental insurance.
1. Hydrate, and then hydrate some more
A surefire way to get sick on vacation, especially on active adventures in hotter climates, is to become dehydrated. From the moment you step on the plane or get in the car, make sure there’s plenty of water on hand so you can hydrate throughout your travels.
It’s easy to forget about drinking water when you’re having fun, but the consequences can add up if you’re not careful, leaving you fatigued, sick, and unable to enjoy yourself.
2. Eat right
One of the greatest things about traveling is sampling the local cuisine. If you’re in a developing country, by all means, dig in, but be mindful of any raw foods — fruits or vegetables may not have been properly washed or only washed using local water sources.
Most restaurants are good about foot handling, but beachside shacks and street carts might not be as stringent.
3. Travel first aid
Wherever you go, a small first-aid kit is always a good idea. Equip it with triple antibiotic cream, bandages of all sizes, gauze, antiseptic wipes, and any medications that you routinely use.
Carrying packets of hand wipes or hand sanitizer is a good practice. When you travel to new places, the language isn’t the only foreign thing. Your body isn’t accustomed to the different germs and bacteria, so make sure everyone keeps their hands clean and away from their mouths.
5. Exercise right
Vacations are an excellent time for family activities that get everyone up and moving. If you’re climbing ruins, hiking a rain forest, or negotiating miles of city streets, plan on every ability level and even do a little conditioning beforehand, so no one misses a thing.
6. Get your Zzzs
Vacations are exciting, and there aren’t enough waking hours in a day to get it all in. Still, you won’t enjoy anything if you’re sluggish and tired.
Make sure you get enough sleep each night, and if you’re in a new time zone, set your watches and inner clocks to the new time as quickly as possible. You don’t want to be looking at your watch in the middle of the day, thinking that it’s 3 am back home.
7. Don’t overdo it
Vacations are about escaping your daily grind but try not to schedule every minute of every day — be flexible. Take a nap when you feel tired, or take one destination off your list if your day is too jam-packed. Rushing around isn’t relaxing, and that’s when you let your guard down.
Take it easy, drink your water, get your sleep, and don’t overdo it. With a bit of planning and some precautionary measures, you and your family can concentrate on making memories rather than lying in the hotel bed feeling sick.
If you’re planning to travel to places where you might need vaccinations, anti-malarial medications, or antibiotics, please schedule an appointment well in advance so we can help you prepare. Just call our Houston office at 281-564-3300, or request an appointment online.