Taking the time to prepare yourself for the physical and mental challenges of travel so you can savour every moment of your trip is a great idea. Here are some easy tips to help you make the most of your time away.
Visit your doctor
Ask about travel vaccinations and other immunisations and when to start taking them. Check your prescription medicines are up to date and keep them in their original containers. Nobody wants to be detained at customs for suspicious looking pills!
It’s also a good idea to include a first aid kit that’s suitable for your location and activities. Common things to include are insect repellent, antihistamine cream, disinfectant wipes, painkillers and anti-diarrhoea tablets. Ask your doctor or local pharmacy what to include.
The fitter you are, the more you’ll enjoy your travelling experiences – so get into shape! If you’re going to be sight-seeing then make sure you’re able to walk around for an hour or two without getting too tired. This is also the time to break in ‘holiday’ shoes, rather than risk developing blisters on your travels. Boost your immune system by getting plenty of rest, regular exercise and eating well so you’re in the best possible form.
On the plane
Chances are you’ll start your trip in a plane, which is known to be a high-risk environment for catching colds, influenza and other viruses.
- Use a hand sanitiser before and after using the toilet, eating and, if possible, before you touch your eyes and nose.
- Drink plenty of water – the pressurised cabins on planes make for a very dry atmosphere so you need to keep rehydrating. Try and drink around a cup of water per hour of flying.
- Move about regularly. Most airlines provide you with a few simple exercises to get the blood flowing and help relieve aching in cramped muscles. This can also help prevent deep vein thrombosis.
Once you’re there
Travellers’ diarrhoea is the most common form of illness affecting between 20%-50% of international travellers each year, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The best way to avoid this is to:
- Only eat freshly prepared food that is thoroughly cooked and served very hot.
- In countries with poor sanitation, avoid salads and fruit that has been peeled and washed.
- If it’s not safe to drink the tap water, ensure you buy a good supply of bottled water and not only drink from that but use it to brush your teeth and rinse your toothbrush out.
Being on holiday can be great fun but don’t overdo the alcohol and late nights, as it may affect and weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to falling sick - which is exactly what you don’t want on your adventure!