General travel tips
9 tips to prevent illness while traveling
on the road
Today we are giving 9 tips on how to prevent illness while traveling. And those are tips we would have been better off following ourselves. Because we didn’t manage to stay completely healthy after 3 weeks. For Sigrid had fallen ill and in Mexico that’s not all because the doctors here barely speak English. Therefore, we have compiled a list of tips to avoid this in the future. And of course we are happy to share this with you to make your vacations a lot more enjoyable too.
1 Avoid air conditioning
Air conditioning is the big culprit during a vacation to warm countries. This is also how we may have gotten sick. As chilling and good as this feels in the moment, it’s bad afterwards. Air conditioning provides way too cold air on your sweaty body which can cause you to catch a cold. And on top of that, air conditioning also causes bacteria to spread easily in the air. So try to avoid air conditioning as much as possible (and definitely don’t stand near it!) or at least cover your neck. Because even people with joint pain can experience worse symptoms when air conditioning blows directly on their bodies.
2 No tap water
In Belgium we have the luxury that all tap water is drinkable. But this is not the case in all countries. Especially in warm countries and most islands, this is often not the case. For this reason, always ask. If it is not drinkable, go buy a bottle of water at the store so you can brush your teeth with clean water. Because this too can make you sick otherwise. This may sound logical, but unfortunately this is why people still get sick during their vacations. Also be careful with ice cubes in drinks in faraway countries. Some (cheap) restaurants and bars use tap water for this!
3 Listen to your body
Listen to your body and try not to exert yourself too much in one day. Usually you would like to see as much as possible in one day, but usually then you do not enjoy your trip enough but it also exhausts your body. As a result, you may get sick and spend the rest of the vacation sick in bed. Of course, you want to avoid that. Therefore, plan your days well and, above all, don’t overfill them. Because when you are tired, you are much more susceptible to bacteria than otherwise. So listen to your own body. If you need rest then you should respect this and just rest.
4 Not in standing water
In hot countries, it is also best not to go swimming in the wild in stagnant water. Because in stagnant water with a temperature of at least 25 degrees, bacteria develop very quickly. Especially the legionella bacterium is then quite common. In fact, inhaling this bacteria can cause a severe form of pneumonia. So never swim in stagnant water in nature but choose a pool, sea or river in warm countries.
Check in advance if you need vaccinations for the country you are traveling to. Therefore, the syringes are not always mandatory but recommended. For example, for our trip to Mexico, we took no chances and got vaccinated against all the possible diseases that are prevalent here. We also recommend never saving on this. Because suppose you really get sick, this will probably cost you a lot more. Also, always check if you are going to a malaria area or not. If this is the case, it is best to get malaria pills from the pharmacy.
6 Protect yourself from the sun
Our next tip against illness when traveling is a very logical yet not always used one. No one wants to be sunburned or, at worst, have a sunburn. So spread yourself well! It is better to use a high factor and apply a little extra, than to choose a factor that is too low and apply too little. Don’t skimp on sunscreen either. It will save you a lot of trouble. Also, always cover your head well and don’t walk in the blazing sun all day. And remember to drink plenty of water. Dehydration can also make you sick.
7 Pay attention to your food
Like at home, just think logically as well. Always check that your food is well-done, and have the courage to say something about this if it is not. Avoid soft-serve ice cream and similar things that you know can be harmful to your health. Also on the beach you will often see vendors walking around with drinks or fruit and this usually looks delicious. Don’t try it anyway, because this too is usually a source of bacteria you don’t want to ingest.
8 Prevent airplane bacteria
It has been proven that you ingest many more bacteria on an airplane than on the ground. And as much as 100 times more. That’s quite a lot if you ask us. Therefore, drink plenty (especially water) on the plane to avoid dehydration so that the bacteria do not have free rein and your immune system remains strong. Washing your hands regularly with a hand gel can also help. You can even think about putting a scarf in front of your mouth while sleeping. Every little bit helps in this case!
9 Know Yourself
Know yourself and avoid possible diseases to which you are susceptible. For example, if you are going to travel by car or bus and you are often car sick, it is best to take a pill preventively. Also for people who often have migraines or suffer from some other disease, it is best to take something for this preventively. And always take your own medication with you when you travel. This is especially medication that you need to take often at home. After all, medication abroad can be very different than at home.
You have any tips for preventing illness while traveling?
These were our 7 tips for preventing illness while traveling! Most of these tips seem logical to us and also well known. Hope it helps you against illness on vacation. Because it’s a shame to be sick on vacation. If you have any tips for preventing illness while traveling, we’d love to hear them in the comments or on our Facebook page.