Every adventure woman needs to take care of herself, protecting her health while “on the road” – and off of it. There’s nothing that can spoil a great adventure more than not feeling well while you are traveling.
Here are 10 valuable tips for ensuring your trip is a healthy one:
- Get plenty of sleep and hydrate before traveling (and during). Don’t drink alcohol, sweet/sugary drinks or caffeine on the day of travel to ward off jet lag.
- Make sure your vaccinations are up to date (4-6 weeks ahead of your departure date) and order extra supplies of medications in advance. Check the CDC’s travel health precautions for your destination. Prescriptions should be written in generic, chemical form (not brand name), in case you need a refill abroad.
- Put all medications in your carry-on (with you at all times), not in your luggage. Bring a mini first aid kit with bandaids, antiseptic ointment, moleskin for blisters.
- Bring some over the counter protections (ibuprofen, allergy pills, motion sickness remedies) and those for dealing with food-infused gastrointestinal problems (Pepto-Bismol). It’s not a bad idea to bring a round of antibiotics to deal with “traveler’s diarrhea” and other bacterial infections.
- Bring your own water bottle. Refill it with bottled water only while on your trip.
- Try to avoid touching things in public spaces as much as possible and bring sanitary wipes or wash your hands frequently after traveling through these areas (bathrooms, airports, transit areas).
- Bring sunscreen (30 SPF or higher).
- Make sure to bring some snacks in your carry-on in case you get delayed in a situation where you can’t access food and drink.
- Don’t drink the tap water or use it to brush your teeth if you can help it. Don’t drink drinks with ice in them in developing countries where the water supply isn’t safe.
- Check the safety of salads and fruits (peel those whenever possible) before choosing to eat these especially as street food.
If you do succumb to illness while on your trip, remember to reduce your level of activity, stay hydrated, and get plenty of sleep. Try to continue to enjoy yourself and keep your sense of humor, and remember- you can always return to your destination another time. Six months later when you are looking at the pictures you took on your trip, you’ll remember lots about the people you met, the activities you had fun participating in and the unique surprises you discovered every day. The fact you weren’t at the very top of your game while on the trip will hopefully be a distant memory!