5 ways to stay healthy while you travel
By Aimee Heckel
You’re more likely to get sick while you travel. Disrupted eating, sleeping and exercise patterns combine with different types of sicknesses and health risks, leaving travelers especially vulnerable to catch a bug — or worse.
Here are five ways to keep yourself — and your family — healthy on your next travel adventure.
1. Visit a travel health specialist. Not just your family doc. Many insurance plans offer in-house travel experts who can answer questions, recommend vaccinations and offer the latest advice on regional diseases and issues. This specialist can tell you about any outbreaks, what to eat and what to avoid and offer other tips. For example, avoid petting stray dogs in Mexico, due to the proliferation of rabies. Plan your visit (or phone call) six weeks before your trip, if possible.
2. Get all of the recommended vaccinations. This isn’t something to mess around with in foreign countries, where diseases that have long been dormant in the U.S. still take lives. If you don’t want to get the shots, or give them to your kids, stay home. You often need to get your vaccinations at least one month in advance, so plan ahead.
3. Boost your health before you go. Don’t burn yourself out in the days leading up to your trip. Take time to pack and plan, to minimize stress. Eat healthily, drink plenty of water, take supplements, get extra sleep — whatever you can do to give your immune system a head start.
4. Prepare when you pack. Most travelers know to pack a First Aid kit, but also include immune-system boosters, like vitamin-C-packed Emergen-C. Save money on Emergen-C at Vitacost with these coupons, paired with 6 percent Cash Back and 50 ShopGold Rewards. Read more articles about saving money at Vitacost here.
In your First Aid kit, don’t forget medication to treat ear problems, allergies, motion sickness and dehydration. Ask your doctor about special rehydration powders you can bring. Bring hand sanitizer, too, and don’t forget to clean off the surfaces on the plane. You’d be surprised how dirty the tray table and arm rests are.
5. Check your insurance situation. Find out what your home insurance covers, and buy a supplemental plan to fill in the other gaps, such as air transfer. Supplemental travel insurance is inexpensive — typically under $100 per person — but can save you an unfathomable amount of money, in case of an emergency. Also, research hospitals at your destination before you leave. Type out a copy of your medical history, too. This should include everything from allergies to your doctor’s name to your immunization record.
Save money on your next vacation with these travel coupons.
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