Travel Safety Tips
Healthy and safe traveling requires care and preparation, whether you’re
going to a far-off place, or just down the road. Visiting a new location puts
your body in contact with unfamiliar and different food, water, climate, and
air quality. It’s not uncommon to become ill when traveling.
Helpful things you can do to stay
healthy on the road include eating right, getting enough sleep, and exercising without
overdoing it. If you’re in a new and exciting place, you may have the urge to see
everything you possibly can. Be careful not to overdo it or you may exhaust
yourself to the point of illness.
Always be prepared. Know the risks of
transit routes and public transportation. Don’t take chances with respect to
personal safety. Research where you’re going and pack wisely, with climate- and
culture-appropriate clothing. Bring all the medication and first-aid gear
you’ll need. You never know how far you may wind up from a pharmacy where
someone is able to understand your needs.
Traveling abroad requires more preparation
than local travel. Plan ahead by researching if you’ll need immunizations, and
schedule a time to get those completed at least six weeks before you
depart. Vaccines you might need include:
- hepatitis A and/or B
- meningococcal meningitis
- typhoid fever
- yellow fever
Before you travel see your doctor or
travel medicine professional to obtain a physical examination. You must make
sure you’re in good health to travel and physically
and emotionally fit for your intended activities.
While traveling, make sure that you eat
and drink carefully to avoid traveler’s diarrhea. Some tips include:
- avoiding unpasteurized dairy products
- avoiding raw seafood
- avoiding food sold by street vendors
- drinking beverages only from commercially sealed
bottles or cans, or that you have personally disinfected by an approved
- avoiding ice
- hot, well-cooked food is safest
If you’re travelling to places where
traveler’s diarrhea is common, you may want to carry medication like
antibiotics and loperamide to treat the condition.
If you’ll be traveling to a country
where the risk for mosquito-borne diseases is high, you should bring insect
repellents, mosquito nets, and other gear to protect yourself from being
bitten. If any of the countries you’ll be visiting have endemic malaria, you
should talk to your doctor about taking medication for prophylaxis.
Always be extra cautious while
traveling, especially to new or unfamiliar places, and even more so if you
don’t speak the local language. Avoid taking overcrowded transportation and be
careful in crowded public spaces. Don’t wander or drive around late at night,
especially when you are alone. Pay attention to travel advisories.
First Aid Kit
It’s a good idea to travel with a small
personal first aid kit. What goes in your kit depends on where you’re going,
how long you’ll be there, and what you’ll be doing. Here are some basic
guidelines of what to include.
- any prescription medications in their original
or other well-marked and properly capped containers
- cough and cold medicine
- pain medication
- non-sedating antihistamines or decongestants
- adhesive bandages
- antiseptic ointment
- small scissors and tweezers
- pocket knife
- medicine for diarrhea
- medicine for motion sickness
If you wear glasses or contact lenses,
bring spares and your prescription with you.