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A few simple steps to help you stay healthy on holiday
You have planned and paid for your holiday, you have made the effort to leave work and get away. And then you get sick? You’re feeling horrible and missing out on all the fun. Plus, feeling ill in a hotel room can be doubly uncomfortable without your home comforts and your usual doctor to call.
So take care of yourself in the days leading up to your break. Try and boost your immune system before you go; Phyllis Kozarsky, from the US Centers for Disease Control travelers’ health consultant, favours “probiotics (like natural yogurt) to boost gut health.” *
Take some exercise the day before, especially if you have a long car journey or a long haul plane trip. Here are Budget Direct Insurance best tips to help you stay healthy on holiday:
1. Always carry
A hand sanitiser – use it before each meal, encourage your children to do the same as having a sick child is probably worse than being ill yourself!
A bottle of water – being dehydrated can make you feel sluggish and hungry when in fact you are thirsty.
Your Budget Direct Insurance policy details and contact number. Call for help and advice when you’re sick and need treatment. Email yourself a copy of your documents.
People who look ill or who are coughing.
Try to touch the bare minimum in public toilets for obvious reasons.
Wash your hands with soap for at least 15 seconds. According to Dr. Tom Frieden, the Director of the US based Centres for the Disease Control and Prevention, “keeping our hands clean is one of the best things we can do to keep from getting sick and avoid spreading germs to others.“ It prevents the spread of diarrheal and respiratory illness. There’s even an annual global handwashing day every October – that’s how important it is!**
Minimise insect bites to prevent malaria and other diseases that are transmitted by ticks and biting insects. Use a plug in insect repellent at night and cover up at dusk and dawn to best prevent bites.
Try to avoid fried foods on the morning of the trip, eat vegetables and fibre filled food the night before. Avoid lots of sugary snacks on the journey and take healthy alternatives for you and your kids that travel well. Apples, oranges, trail mix, nuts, carrots and celery sticks are good.
If you’re eating out for every meal opt for some vegetarian meals over fast food, choose the grilled options over fried and work in the occasional salad. This can all make a big difference even if it's just one meal a day.
If you are on a cruise or an all-inclusive trip try not to overindulge. Over eating is different from treating yourself. Do some exercise to try to burn off extra calories.
If you are travelling in a developing country wash your own fruit and vegetables or stick to cooked vegetables served piping hot. Make sure the lids on plastic water bottles are sealed properly. Don’t drink straight from soda or beer cans!
Pack you regular vitamins, supplements and medicines. Sticking to your usual dietary routines will help prevent you catching something or feeling groggy.
Use some common sense when trying street food. Judge if the hawker stall looks clean and hygienic. Opt for hot food that is generally much safer to eat. Watch it being cooked and enjoy!
Finally, some advice from a very seasoned traveller
"Most people don't realise how often respiratory infections – coughs, colds and flu – are linked to travel. Flu is by far the most common infection preventable by vaccine. Seasonal flu occurs during January, February and March in the northern hemisphere; during June, July and August in the southern hemisphere; and all year round in the tropics. It also occurs readily on cruise ships, especially when passengers fly in from all over the world. A pre-trip flu jab is often a good bet." David Else, Lonely Planet author.***
These few simple steps will probably be enough to keep sickness at bay on your trip. For peace of mind make sure you are covered with good travel insurance.
Wherever you go, whatever you do, remember it’s vital to have good travel insurance.
Check out Budget Direct Insurance for your best deal
*Condé Nast Traveller
** Centres for the Disease Control and Prevention