When I’m travelling around the world, it’s almost too easy to allow my health to slip. With the temptation of local cuisine being too much to bear for some (and food is one of my priorities when I travel either in Italy or abroad), and exercise taking a back seat in favour of relaxation, it’s important to stay on top of your health regardless. I’m pretty sure it happens to all of you. Here are just a few ways to prevent your health faltering while travelling.
Get the necessary vaccinations
Before you go, make sure you liaise with your doctor or the official websites and confirm whether you need vaccinations before travelling to your chosen destination. With potentially harmful diseases such as dengue and jungle fever posing a threat to the health of travellers, it’s important you do all you can to prevent yourself. When I was working on cruise ships, I’ve been asked to get vaccinated for yellow fever when I went to Brazil, and for tetanus to get my seaman service book.
With that being said, malaria – perhaps the most commonly contracted disease in some foreign countries – is yet to receive a vaccination against it. Make sure you’re employing some alternative methods to prevent it making you ill, such as bug repellents and nets to sleep behind at night.
Don’t do anything dangerous
It sounds easy enough, but too often do travellers compromise their safety in favour of seeking thrills. Don’t let it be you who falls into unfortunate circumstances as a result – avoid doing anything that seems dangerous or unsafe.
This could be an activity, such as bungee-jumping or white-water rafting, or even a simple tour. Make sure whoever’s in charge is registered and knows what they are doing – a common scam is locals who have no clue taking the place of actual guides and officials just to get your money. Stay vigilant and cautious wherever you are in the world.
I know about a few friends that got seriously injured in their back after a jeep tour in the dunes of the Sahara. The driver wanted to show off, and they had to recover at the hospital for a few months. Not really what you would expect from a holiday.
Keep your diet under control
Don’t let your diet slip just because you’re on holiday. Sure, it’s necessary to indulge every once in a while – just don’t make it a regular occurrence. 60% of travellers say they gain at least two kilos during their trip, as reported by TINZ, only because local delicacies are way too delicious to pass up. I used to be one of those gaining weight at the end of every trip. Shame on me, but I couldn’t stop trying different dishes at any time of the day. Lately, I’ve been trying to control myself when I travel, and taste only one big local meal just either at lunch or dinner and prefer to eat fruits and vegetables during the rest of the day.
I keep my meals modest and mindful, ensuring I’m still getting some snacks throughout the day, especially if my trip requires a lot of physical activities, and I always keep a bottle of water with me.
In conjunction with the dieting, be sure to exercise regularly. You may be away from your gym, but there’s equipment you can bring with you that won’t take up too much space in your luggage. A skipping rope, for example, with just 15 minutes of skipping equating to 45 minutes of running according to the British Rope Skipping Organisation.
Or, why not swim? Take a dip in a pool or the sea and get your front crawl on. Swimming is both a strength and resistance exercise with plenty of benefits, including your mental health – it’s a natural stress reliever. I love swimming and lately, I found out I also have a new passion for diving.
What I always seek during my travels are outdoor activities and walking tours, and some cities are great to be explored on foot, for example, the centre of Amsterdam.
Always wear sunscreen
No matter where you are in the world, there’s just no excuse to skip the sunscreen, especially if you are a sensitive Snow White as I am. The rays can prove to be detrimental to your health regardless of how hot or sunny it seems – with sunburn being painful and unsightly, depending on its severity it could lead to more serious illnesses such as sun poisoning.
Make sure you’re applying a high-factor sunscreen multiple times throughout the day, especially when in a hotter climate. It might be a pain in the neck having to stop and layer up again and again, but your skin will thank you for it.
Until now, I didn’t really know about the existence of different kind of sunscreens. After I started diving, I understood the importance of chemical-free lotions to save such delicate underwater environments.
Do you have any more tips to keep your health on top form while travelling?
I’d like to know your tips or favourite products in the comments! 🙂