Your good health is paramount while traveling and taking simple precautions can drastically reduce your chances of falling ill.
Health Insurance An insurance package that covers your health, possessions and cancellations is imperative.
Immunizations Immunizations are critical – especially if you are planning to visit 3rd world countries. Many immunizations require a specific time period to take effect or require certain follow-up shots – so plan well ahead. You should record any immunization shots received on an official health certificate as this is often a requirement of visa applications.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can advise you on the current recommendations for your intended destination.
General Food and water are one of the leading causes of illness for travelers. These simple tips can drastically reduce your chances of illness:
- If the water is suspect, don’t take the risk. This includes ice, food washed and prepared in the water and swimming pools. Buy bottled water or boil/sterilize existing water.
- Only consume fruit and vegetables that can be pealed or are protected by an outer skin (bananas, oranges, pineapple etc)
- Wash you hands thoroughly before all meals.
- When purchasing meat and seafood, look for proper refrigeration.
- Cooked food is generally safer for consumption. Raw and undercooked food can carry an array of pathogens.
- Be wary of un-pasteurized milk and milk products
Insect Bites Be sure to cover up with insect repellant – especially when traveling the tropics. Spray on repellant with DEET will offer you the greatest protection. Use mosquito nets while sleeping. Also, be sure to research whether insect carried diseases are a problem where you intend to travel.
Sunburn Many of us travel to find a spot in the sun but overexposure can cause severe sunburn. Stay in the shade during extreme burn times and use plenty of sun block. When choosing sun block, check the SPF Factor and the brand. SPF 30+ is recommended when traveling down-under.
Sarah Moore has been in the travel and tourism industry for over 20 years and is currently working with one of the worlds largest coach networks. Sarah is also the webmaster of TravelJ - A Traveler's Resources & Information Network - http://www.travelj.com