Vacations are more valuable than gold to some people because it can be so difficult to get any amount of personal time from a busy schedule. It’s great to see new places and take some time out to relax. Unfortunately for us, pathogens don’t take a vacation and will get to work at any opportunity. It’s quite necessary to take a number of precautions and preventive measures to prevent ourselves from getting sick while we’re on vacation. After all, the last thing you want is to return home more run down than when you left. Here are some tips to keep the bugs at bay.
This might sound like an obvious one, but people who take vacations with packed schedules can forget to drink water. Water is very important for all of the body functions and dehydration can predispose you to a number of not-so-fun illnesses. If you can use tap water then get yourself a 70 fl oz bottle before and make a commitment to get through that much water every day. It comes in handy if you do a lot of walking during the vacation. The same can be done if you have to use bottled water, but you just have to buy a new bottle every day and this has to be budgeted for.
Make sure to get enough sleep
Another one that seems quite obvious, but another one people still forget. The body still needs about eight hours of sleep every night, and this can be difficult to get if your vacation is quite busy. Keep in mind that if you are traveling to a destination in a different time zone, you may experience jet lag. It’s important to rest well during the first few days to get your sleep cycle back on track. Just jumping into a busy vacation itinerary and pushing your body can upset your sleep cycle for the whole vacation.
Know your destination
Every area of the world has its own unique disease profile. It’s a good idea to know what that is in your vacation destination before getting there. For example, some countries in Africa are malaria-prone areas and some countries in Asia have unique and emerging respiratory viruses. There is no need to work yourself up into a panic, but just to be prepared and have a general idea of what you could face as this will dictate what preventative measures you need to take. It’s also a good idea to know about the water quality of the area you are visiting and if you can drink the tap water. Don’t make the mistake of forgetting about ice cubes in areas where the tap water is not safe. This is to say in such areas that ice cubes are better avoided unless you really know and trust the source.
Prophylaxis, prophylaxis, prophylaxis!
Knowing about your destination can give you insight into what sort of prophylaxis you can take. There are vaccines for many viruses endemic to exotic locations and there are pills that you can take to prevent malaria for example. If you are unsure, you can always ask your doctor or a travel healthcare practitioner before leaving.
Take other preventative measures
As with prophylaxis, there are other measures that can be taken like mosquito nets and insect repellent. There are also respirator masks you can purchase if you are worried about airborne pathogens. Again, there’s no need to be neurotic about it, but it does give you an added layer of protection.