Staying Healthy Whilst Travelling
Oh, the places you’ll go! Travelling with your kids can be an incredible, overwhelming but fulfilling experience. Yet, as exciting as it is to venture beyond the horizon and explore new countries and cultures, it’s also essential to take care of your health during these adventures. The last thing you want is for an unpleasant bout of illness to keep you bedridden in a foreign land! So, buckle up, fellow jet-setters, as we share some top tips to help you and your loved ones to stay healthy whilst travelling.
1. Do your homework on vaccinations and medications
Before you embark on your journey, it’s crucial to ensure you and your family members are up-to-date with the necessary vaccinations for your destination. Many countries require certain shots, while others may not be mandatory but are still recommended. Communicate with your healthcare provider as soon as possible to nail down a vaccination schedule for the entire family. Be vaccinated in advance so that the vaccines have time to be effective before you hit the road. Additionally, gather information on any prescription medications you will need to bring along, such as anti-malarial pills or specific prescriptions for any pre-existing health conditions.
2. Travel with your essential supplies
Bring along a first aid kit which should include any needed medications, bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers and an oral thermometer. Also be sure to pack enough of the right toiletries – think hand sanitiser, lip balm and sunscreen – as well as appropriate clothing for the climate you’ll be visiting. Additionally, it’s good to bring along a few comfort items from home like snacks or familiar toys for those moments of homesickness that strike when you least expect them.
3. Beware of the water and food
Just like water sustains life, it can also bring a world of trouble when it’s unfamiliar. To stay on the safer side, opt for bottled or purified water to stay healthy whilst travelling. If you’re unsure about the water quality, try to carry a portable water filter or purification tablets for emergencies. Similarly, be cautious with the food you consume. Street food is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the local cuisine but exercise discretion when choosing stalls. Look for vendors with long queues, clean surroundings, and freshly cooked food. Remember, washed fruits, cooked vegetables, and hot meals are your best bets.
4. Embrace the art of hand hygiene
Make hand-washing your mantra on the road. Carry alcohol-based hand sanitiser with you and ensure the entire family uses it frequently, especially before meals and after touching surfaces in public places. Germs are sneaky, and this simple act of washing hands slashes the risk of contracting germs or spreading illness significantly. I think after covid we are all familiar with hand-washing! I found this song great when I was teaching my young boys how to wash their hands correctly.
5. Pay attention to your surroundings and adapt
Travelling to another country often means getting exposed to unfamiliar environments, which could take a toll on your health. Pay close attention to how the climate and surroundings affect your body and acclimatise accordingly. For instance, dress appropriately for weather conditions, hydrate well in hot and humid climates and use sun protection to prevent sunburns. Moreover, don’t forget about insect repellents! Mosquitoes in some regions are notorious for transmitting diseases such as dengue, malaria, or Zika.
6. Balance Relaxation and Adventure
You’ve successfully traversed time zones, and now it’s time to prioritise self-care and relaxation. While the adrenaline rush of visiting a new country is undeniably addictive, striking a balance between physical exertion and relaxation is essential for overall wellness. Don’t skip out on your exercise routine, but try outsourcing it to bike rides, group walking tours, or family-friendly yoga classes. Gain adequate rest and resist the pressing need to squeeze excessive sightseeing into an already packed schedule.
Travelling with your family to another country can be a thrillingly transformative experience. However, it’s crucial to stay proactive and prioritise staying healthy whilst travelling to make the most of your adventure. By following the practical tips discussed above—getting vaccinated, being cautious with food and water, maintaining good hygiene, adapting to your surroundings, and managing stress—you and your loved ones will be better equipped to sail smoothly through your globe-trotting escapades, happily gathering memories instead of ailments. Bon voyage!
Check out our top 20 tips for travelling with a baby, older baby and toddler here.
Please note that this should in no way be construed as medical advice. I am not a doctor, nor do I have any medical training of note. All opinions here are entirely my own, unless referenced elsewhere.