We travel abroad for many reasons: to explore the world, to meet new people, to come across new experiences, to try a new cuisine, and to relax from our regular lifestyle.
In fact, according to GreenHeart Travel, there are many reasons why traveling abroad is beneficial. Abroad vacations can get you outside your comfort zone, give you confidence, increase your sensitivity to other cultures, help you adapt to globalization, immerse you into another language, and provide you with networking opportunities.
Although abroad travel is ideal for people of all ages, life doesn’t stop just because you’re on vacation. You still have the opportunity to get sick or injured, possibly even more so when vacationing in another country as you can potentially come in contact with foreign illnesses, diseases, insects, and animals.
For the latter reason, it’s important to continue to look after your health while traveling abroad. The following guide will help better ensure your health can be safeguarded while on an overseas trip.
1. Get the appropriate vaccinations
One of the most important things to do before going abroad is ensuring you receive the correct vaccinations. This is particularly true if there is a current outbreak in or near the area you will be visiting. Even in regions considered safe, speaking with a medical professional can help you determine what vaccinations you may still require.
The whole intent of getting shots before traveling abroad is to protect against preventable diseases present in another country that may or may not even be present in your home country. These vaccinations can not only keep you healthy and give you a greater quality of life, but they also ensure a nasty illness doesn’t completely ruin your trip.
2. Pack a first aid kit
Regardless of whether or not you plan on visiting one of the safest countries in the world, there’s always a potential for injury. Even minor injuries like blisters on your heels from walking too much or wearing improper shoes can hamper your vacation. Packing a first aid kit, however, can help keep you in top-notch condition.
The items you may want to pack in a first aid kit may vary, but things like bandages, ointment, tweezers, adhesive tape, a splint, gauze pads, antiseptic wipes, and emergency phone numbers for the location you’ll be vacationing in are all important.
3. Bring belongings from home with you
Mental health is just as important as physical health. While some people can travel the world and never feel homesick, others may find themselves so consumed with the idea of being back home that they can’t completely enjoy their trip. In turn, they may put off activities and sight-seeing or may even go back home earlier than initially planned.
To ensure you don’t get those travel blues, it’s a good idea to pack some special belongings from home like a stuffed animal, a few small photographs, or a little trinket that means a lot to you like a lucky charm bracelet or a watch your grandfather gifted you. These can help provide you with the comfort you need to finish your vacation.
4. Get insured
Although some countries may have more affordable costs for healthcare than your country, quality healthcare everywhere, especially when being treated for serious injuries or illnesses, can easily cost thousands of dollars. Doctor and emergency room visits are never expected, which is why travel insurance is important.
Some might think they can simply travel back to their home country for treatment. However, with travel delays and the potential need for emergency treatment, it’s often much safer to get treated in the country you’re traveling in, making travel insurance important. Anything can happen to any of us at any time.
Are you traveling abroad soon? Learn about EHIC coverage here.
5. Eat at restaurants where the locals go
One of the people’s biggest fears while traveling abroad is getting a stomach bug after consuming the food of the country they’re vacationing in. Although you can get a stomach bug even in your very own country, nobody wants to get a stomach bug while on vacation, especially far away from home.
The best way to ensure you don’t get sick while eating foreign food? Eat at the restaurants all the locals are going to. Although you might want to check out the food vendors on the streets or the little cafes other travelers are visiting, remember that locals know best. Reading reviews of restaurants is also a good idea beforehand.
6. Stay in shape
Just because you’re vacationing doesn’t mean your physical health has to decline. While some abroad vacations involve plenty of walking and sight-seeing, you might find yourself getting off track with your regular workout schedule as you kick back more than usual.
To stay in shape while traveling, engage in active touristy things like riding a bike or walking as your main form of transportation, playing a foreign sport, going on a hike with a great view, and visiting a landmark or building that requires a lot of walking or stair-climbing.
7. Do your research on the country you’re visiting
When your health is on the line, it’s important to be safe than sorry. Every country has its own potential dangers. Is the water safe? Are there specific insects you should be looking out for? Is there a region of the country you should be avoided due to an outbreak of a certain disease?
No matter how spontaneous you are, being in the know is critical. Even if a country is deemed safe, just because the locals are healthy doesn’t mean you’ll be able to resist the same illnesses possibly being spread. The locals are more aware than you are. As for you, solid research will be vital to get informed.
It’s always critical that we look after our health regardless of our age. However, it’s even more important to keep our health in check when we’re traveling abroad as there are different health risks we may encounter while visiting another country. The state of your health is nothing to take for granted.
Thanks to the latter tips, you can potentially stay healthier while traveling overseas. Thus, you can fully enjoy your vacation knowing your health is better secured.