The last thing you want to consider when you’re getting ready to travel is the possibility of getting sick. After all, you have plans and places to be! But if you don’t take some simple precautions, you may find yourself coming down with a cold or the flu or worse. Here are some essential tips on what to do before and during a trip to stay in top shape. Let’s dive right into it!
A lot of the work you’ll need to do is before you travel – after all, prevention is critical. Here are some pre-travel habits to adopt about two weeks before you travel:
- Get a flu shot: CDC writes that this is the best way to protect yourself from the flu. And it’s not just for older adults or young children – even healthy adults can get very sick from the flu.
- Wash your hands: This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth repeating. Wash your hands often, especially before you eat. Use soap and water, and scrub for at least 20 seconds.
- Get travel insurance: This is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself from the financial impact of illness while traveling. Make sure your policy covers medical expenses and emergency evacuation, and read the fine print, so you know precisely what is and isn’t covered.
- Drink plenty of fluids: This will help keep your body hydrated and will also help flush out toxins, Veg Kitchen reports.
- Digitize your records: Doing so before leaving will make essential health records easy to access, no matter where you are. Start by converting your files to a PDF, if necessary; this may be helpful when it comes to keeping everything in one file on the cloud, as well.
Fell sick right in the middle of your trip? Never fear; here’s what to do:
- Pack a travel health kit: This should include all the essential medications and first-aid supplies you might need while away from home. Make sure to pack enough for the entire trip, plus a little extra in case of emergencies.
- Disinfect surfaces: Take a few minutes to clean up when you’re on a plane or in a hotel room. Wipe down surfaces like the TV remote, the phone, door handles, etc.
- Stay hydrated: This is especially important when traveling in a hot climate. Drink plenty of fluids, and avoid alcohol and caffeine.
- Eat healthily: A healthy diet will help boost your immune system and keep you feeling your best. Avoid processed foods and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Get plenty of rest: Travel can be exhausting, so get enough sleep. If you can, take a nap during the day to help fight off fatigue.
- Avoid sick people: If you’re on a plane, train, or bus, try to avoid sitting near someone sick. And if you’re in a crowded place like a museum or market, practice good hygiene and don’t touch your face. Consider wearing a well-fitting mask.
- Monitor your symptoms: If you start to feel ill, don’t ignore the signs. If they start to become severe, or you have a fever, see a doctor as soon as possible.
- Be prepared for emergencies: If you’re traveling to a remote or sketchy location, make sure you have a plan in case of a medical emergency. Bring a satellite phone or other means of communication, and know the nearest hospital or clinic.
- Carry the right gear: Luggage can take a toll on your body. You need sturdy, lightweight, easy to maneuver and easy on your body. Stay organized. Nothing is worse than knowing you packed medication, paperwork or other needed supplies and you can’t find it. The ‘ULTI’ travel bag by CONMIGO is perfect when a backpack doesn’t fit your needs or style.
If you’re concerned about becoming ill while traveling, remember it can happen at home too. Take the necessary precautions, plan ahead, seek medical attention, have insurance and an evacuation plan. You’ve got this! And travel is so worth it!
Michael Longsdon has made it his mission to help locate resources, events, and engagement opportunities to help enrich the lives of seniors. He created Elder Freedom as an advocate for older adults in his community. Through his site (http://elderfreedom.net/), he provides tips to seniors on how to downsize and age in place.