Going away for a holiday, work trip or to do some extended travelling can be an exciting prospect. It is usually so exciting that people forget how important it is to look after their health. Here are some handy travel health hacks for your next trip:
1. Take all of the labels for your medication
If you need your medication on a daily basis, make sure that you take your labels when you travel. Just taking the blister packs with no name on them is risky, especially in countries with really strict drug laws. Ensure you request your prescription in enough time and keep all of your drugs in your hand luggage.
2. Check the laws
Stronger, codeine-based painkillers are actually not legal in some countries, so you will need to check this if you take them on a regular basis. Discuss in advance with your doctor what alternatives you can take in the country you are visiting.
3. Stock up on generic medication
Medication like antihistamines and paracetamol can be incredibly expensive if you have to get them from a pharmacy abroad. The best thing to do if you are travelling if to make up a first aid kit beforehand and pack it in your suitcase.
4. Take snacks and water
If you end up being delayed or cannot get on the plane at the time you think you will, you could end up going a long time without food or drink. Pack small snacks and some water to prevent dehydration.
5. Prevent sunburn
This might sound like an obvious traveller health hack, but so many people do not prepare themselves properly for the sun. Even if you are dark skinned you are at risk. Always pack a high factor like 30 or 50 even if you do not believe you will burn. You also need to be mindful of the times of the day the sun is the hottest in the country you are visiting.
6. Take mosquito spray
Mosquito spray is something else that can be more expensive to buy abroad. Mosquito spray can usually be purchased very cheaply from chemists or travel shops. If you are taking hand luggage only and are limited with what liquids you can take, you might consider a roll-on or wet-wipe solution. If you’re travelling to areas with a high risk of malaria, it is recommended that you also take anti-malarial medication to reduce your chances of getting infected with the disease.
7. Be aware of food poisoning risks
There are a number of different risks associated with eating and drinking in foreign countries. Try to do some research before you leave so that you do not leave yourself vulnerable. Find out if the water is safe to drink and be very careful when it comes to ice or salads that may have been washed. Many people experience traveller’s diarrhoea as a result of eating or drinking contaminated food or drink. You can get antibiotics from a doctor to take with you as a precautionary measure.
8. Think about your eyes
As tempting as it can be to get cheap, fake sunglasses abroad, they do not usually offer any actual UV protection. Protecting your eyes from the sun is incredibly important, especially at times when it is lower and stronger. If you wear prescription eyeglasses, talk to your optician about what options you have.
9. Be aware of deep vein thrombosis risks
A lot of people do not realise that they are in one of the risk groups for deep vein thrombosis. You are at risk if you take the pill, smoke, or are overweight. If you have a long journey speak to your GP ahead of the trip to see what preventative measures you can take. Flight socks or compression stockings may help maintain your circulation during long flights.
10. Keep your sleep pattern
Jet lag can be tiring and inconvenient if you need to go back to work soon after your trip. The day before, try to stick to the sleep pattern of your home country so that you minimize the effects of jet lag and are able to catch up on your sleep more quickly when you return. If you haven’t got time to adjust your sleep patterns, you could try a medication such as Circadin (Melatonin) to help you combat jet lag and make the most of your holiday.