As a Celiac-challenged traveler, I'm constantly worried about eating the wrong food anywhere I travel. But with a little planning, it's much easier to ensure we all stay strong throughout our well-deserved vacations. Here are some Tips and Tricks for Staying Healthy Abroad!
Tips & Tricks for Staying Healthy Abroad
Before You Leave Home
It's always a good idea to bring a copy of your medical history with you when you travel, or alternatively, have it accessible in a cloud or saved on a device. This is especially important if you take medications, or have allergies or a chronic illness.
Also, be sure to bring more than enough medication (all in original, clearly labeled containers) to get you through your holiday, including some extra for any unexpected delays. It's also important to review your health insurance policy to ensure you have adequate out-of-country coverage.
Bring a Small First Aid Kit
While you may not need any of the items you bring, it’s better to have something on hand than it is to try and find it abroad. Having quick access to simple things can make a big difference in your overall health, so consider packing:
- an assortment of adhesive bandages including those for blisters
- pain relievers
- antidiarrheal medication
- upset stomach remedies
- insect repellent
- hydrocortisone ointment or cream
If you're worried about the possibility of experiencing motion sickness, talk to your physician before you depart or try natural ginger candy. Read more: 10 Ways to Keep Seasickness at Bay While Cruising.
Even though it's going to be more than tempting on your cruise, try not to overindulge while eating, which can result in indigestion, or at the bar, which could lead to several undesired ailments. If your ports of call include developing countries, be sure to eat only cooked foods, and skip anything that's unpasteurized (including dairy and eggs) as well as ice in your beverages.
Be Mindful: Wash Your Hands
While it may seem somewhat fundamental, don't underestimate the power of having clean hands when it comes to avoiding illness. My motto is: if you see a hand sanitizer display, use it, it's there for a reason.
Wash your hands with soap and water frequently, and always carry antibacterial hand sanitizer with you, especially if you're cruising with kids. The most common places you can pick up a bug include shared items such as door handles, stair railings, and elevator buttons, along with ATMs and casino gaming machines.
Don't Drink the Water, but Drink the Water?
Here's one of those funny situations where both rules apply. It's extremely important to stay hydrated when traveling, and it's as easy as using a refillable water bottle to be sure you drink throughout the day.
But when you're on a shore excursion in underdeveloped countries, you're better off drinking only sealed beverages, as well as to avoid street food, peeled fruits, and leafy vegetables.
If You Do Become Ill
If you're not feeling well, it's important to visit your ship's doctor so they can help remedy the situation. Depending on how you feel once you're back home, you may want to see your family physician as a precaution.