The worst thing any of us want is to get sick or injured whilst on vacation abroad. This could be anything from a dodgy stomach bug to a fall after a few too many drinks. Taking a few steps to medically prepare for the worst could save you in the event of an emergency or at the very least put your mind at ease. Here are just a few of the ways you can protect your health as you travel.
Buy bottled water
Many countries around the world don’t have the same clean water system that we’re used to back home. Drinking water out the tap in these countries could have you spending the whole holiday on a toilet seat. Be safe and always buy bottled water to drink. Make sure to also always ask for drinks without ice, as these ice cubes can often be made using tap water.
Stay safe in the sun
We all want to come back looking naturally bronzed – but those UV rays aren’t good for our skin in the long run. Getting burnt is a clear sign you’ve done damage and could up your chances of getting skin cancer. Slapping on some sun cream will allow you to tan at a safer rate and avoid any damage. Caps meanwhile can protect your head, whilst shades can protect your eyes. Such protection will also keep your skin younger longer.
Bring the first aid essentials
It’s always worth having first aid essentials such as plasters just in case someone cuts themselves. However, other meds can come in handy too such as travel sickness pills, antihistamines for allergies, period pain medicine, anti-diarrheal pills and painkillers. Make sure that important medicine such insulin for diabetes or an EpiPen for serious allergies is definitely packed.
Research the local emergency number
You don’t want to have an accident and not know who to call to get an ambulance. For this reason, you should always look up the local emergency number before travelling abroad. For those holidaymakers who may have a more extreme itinerary planned such as exploring the desert or climbing mountains, the number for a medevac service could be worth having just in case emergency services aren’t able to reach that area quickly. At the very least, have somebody local who you can call for help.
In some areas of the world, vaccination against diseases such as malaria may be recommended for your health. This may include taking pills or having regular jabs at the local doctor surgery. Getting vaccinated can be costly, but in areas where the risk is high you should seriously consider it. Costs can sometimes vary so shop around first and get as much information as you can on the risks.
Having travel insurance will help you pay for all kinds of disasters from flight cancellation to baggage loss, but by far the most important expense is medical cover. An A&E department may refuse to treat you if you don’t have the means to pay or some form of insurance. Travel insurance costs very little and you can generally save money by shopping around and looking into family deals.