Tips for Staying Healthy on the Road

Jun 30, 2012 by

Tips for Staying Healthy on the Road

by Heather Cassell

Summer is here and getting away is on almost everyone’s minds, but nothing ruins a good summer vacation more than being too sick to enjoy it. To avoid the bugs and tackle germs when they happen there are things you can do so your trip can remain a vacation to remember for all of the right reasons.

Healthy traveling begins at home before your bags are even packed, according to travel experts.

“The first and most important thing is to pick a destination that [you] really want to go to and research ahead of time,” says Cynthia Marquard, president of Aqua Terra Travel, Inc., an agency that specializes in LGBT travel, in Chicago, Illinois.

Research the country where you are traveling to can save a lot of head aches as well as keep you healthy and safe, says Marquard and other travel experts. Marquard suggests checking the cultures’ homophobia temperature and keeping a low profile once you arrive until you feel comfortable.

Know where you are going and how it might possibly affect your health and well being. Travel experts suggest checking with the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and your local travel immunization clinic  to find out what vaccinations are necessary and up-to-date health outbreaks before you leave on your trip.

Make sure you’re covered. Marquard advocates that clients purchase travel insurance simply because it allows individuals to do what they want to do when necessary. Shirley Dinkel, FNP, ANP of Washburn University’s School of Nursing adds checking with your insurance company to see if medical expenses are covered in other countries as well as if insurance will pay to have your body shipped back to the United States if necessary.

Know where your embassy is. Embassies can provide a list of English-speaking doctors and private hospitals if necessary.

Once the research is completed it’s time to get packing. Travel experts suggest making sure the following items are in your carry on luggage:

1.    Prescription medications in their original bottles (keep with you on carry on bag).
2.    Medical information (i.e. list of medications, chronic diseases, allergies to medications, doctor’s contact information, and contact information for somebody not traveling with you, etc.).
3.    Book or list of medical terminology in the language of the country or countries you will be traveling in.
4.    First Aid Kit (i.e. pain killer, band aids, soapless hand wash, foot products, etc.).
5.    Proper clothing and shoes for all weather and climates.
6.    Extra pair of contacts and extra pair of glasses is also recommended.

For travelers who prefer alternative remedies for potential travel ailments, Dr. Courtney Carag, a doctor of natural medicine in Colorado, feels that it isn’t necessary for typical minor travel ailments to use medications. There are plenty of homeopathic remedies that will alleviate common travel symptoms.

“On this kind of a level, particularly with prevention, with primary care there are a lot of other choices before taking out some of the bigger guns,” says Carag.

Dr. Carag suggests the following remedies should help:

1.    Ginger (i.e. capsule, tea, candy) or herbs that will help your digestion (i.e. real mint, chamomile, Sea Bands, etc.).
2.    Pack protein filled snacks, like nuts and seeds (not dry roasted) they will also help with diarrhea.
3.    Battle stress and exhaustion with Bach Flower.
4.    Keep some Emergency C around for diarrhea and constipation and remember B.R.A.T.T.Y. (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast, tea, and yogurt) to assist with bulking up again. Real juices don’t help in this situation, so it is best to not drink regular juices.
5.    Stay hydrated with bottled or boiled water.
6.    Don’t eat anything you can’t peal.
7.    Return to a regular sleep cycle as soon as possible and take naps when necessary.
8.    Pack some Epson Salt. Add it to your bath when you get to your destination. It will help you sleep better.
9.    For sore muscles pack some Arnica.
10.    To protect skin from the sun pack sunscreen.

Vacations are a time to relax not a time to over schedule your life, say travel agents. So rest up, enjoy, and bon voyage.

Originally published by Jane and Jane Magazine.

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