Avoiding Sickness When You Travel

September 25th, 2012  Posted at   Uncategorized
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Are you planning a trip this winter to an exotic island? Maybe, you’re finally cashing in those long accrued vacation days for an extensive jaunt in a third-world country? Hold on. Before exiting the plane make sure you know the rules of the road less traveled.

After all, what you don’t see or taste or feel can hurt you. You don’t want to spend your hard-earned vacation curled up on a bathroom floor, or worse yet, in a hospital bed.

To drink the water or not? If you don’t know their purification system or simply don’t trust it, drink bottled water. It is safer and you’re taking no chances. Other options are boiling the water at high temperatures. If traveling in higher altitudes, you will need to boil the water then treat it with a disinfectant such as iodine. Many sporting stores and pharmacies carry water disinfectants. Also, stay clear of ice that is made from tap water. One cold drink isn’t worth the hours of agony it could cause. Another tip: wipe off any condensation or water from the top of a can or bottle. You want this area to be clean and dry.

Don’t forget to consider how you use water when traveling other than for drinking. Use bottle or treated water for brushing your teeth and cleaning your contacts. Especially in remote areas or underdeveloped countries, you need to be extra careful.

Keep your hands clean. Wash often and use antibacterial gels. These gels come in travel sizes and don’t require water. When traveling, refrain from rubbing or touching your eyes or mouth area. This is one of the most common ways germs are spread.

Watch what you eat. There is nothing better than tasting the local dishes and food specialties. But this is where you can get into major gastrointestinal trouble. If sanitation is questionable, stay away from raw foods like fruit, uncooked vegetables, raw meat and shellfish. You may even need to steer away from the local fish. Some varieties can be toxic like barracuda and puffer fish. Ask fellow travelers or hotel personnel for advice.

Be wary of food or drink offered by a complete stranger or by someone in an out of the way place. You just never know. It is better to be cautious than to be sick or incapacitated.

Carry energy bars or convenient snacks with you. That way, when you’re not sure of the food, you have something quick and easy to eat. Always carry water to stay hydrated. They are many types of water bottles, totes and hydration systems on the market for the active traveler.

If you’d like to learn more about protecting your health while traveling and destination advisories, log onto the Centers.

Now, go and have the trip of a lifetime.

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