Trolling the inter-web for health tips for travel can be time consuming, boring and sometimes contradictory so we thought we would save you the hassle, cos we’re sweet like that. We’ve put together some info for you to ensure your overseas adventure is as healthy, safe and fun as it should be.
Disease Control - Before you hit the road its super important you check government websites for vaccination, health advise and disease outbreaks. The best sites to check are the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention Site www.cdc.gov, The World Health Organisation www.who.int or Smartraveller www.smartraveller.gov.au.
See Your Health Professional - We know this is boring stuff, but we recommend you visit your local GP or health professional far in advance of your holiday. It’s essential to discuss your itinerary, duration of travel, style of travel, past medical history, pregnancy, allergies, pre-existing conditions, vaccination requirements, disease prevention and medication to make sure everything’s sweet to get the show on the road. It’s also important that if you need to take ongoing medication for your trip you ensure that it’s legal in the countries you’re visiting. You may need to get a letter of approval from your local doctor or dentist to take with you.
Travel Vaccinations - Of course you would have discussed this with your local doc but here is some quick info about the vaccinations you should make sure you’re up to date with. You’ll need the routine vaccinations such as tetanus/diphtheria, polio, MMR, influenza, pneumococcal and varicella. When crossing international borders certain vaccinations are required such as Yellow Fever, Cholera & Meningococcal. Some vaccinations specific to your destination may include Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Japanese Encephalitis, Poliomyelitis, Rabies, and Cholera.
Exercise - Most people exercise because they want to look good naked but regular exercise is also extra important for travellers not only because it makes you feel totally awesome but it encourages blood flow especially in the lower limbs. All you need is comfortable clothing and footwear and you can exercise anywhere!
Alcohol - Travelling to new places often means we are getting out, socialising and drinking more alcohol than what we normally would. For the sake of your looks and your health try and make sure you have at least three AFD’s (alcohol free days) a week and drink plenty of water and other non-alcoholic beverages to ensure you remain hydrated. This is especially important on long flights because it will help minimise jetlag.
First Aid Kit - First-aid kits are a lifesaver - literally in some cases so why not pack one with you? There are a range of different kits you can purchase so look for one that will cover the things you are doing on your trip - if you’re exploring the outdoors than one with adhesive dressings, insect repellent and antiseptic cream would be a priority. They don’t take up much room so it makes sense to pack one.
Water - There are many countries around the world where drinking water is just not safe... If you have any doubts whatsoever than it’s best to sterilise your drinking water by boiling it or using specific sterilisation tablets. Better to be safe than sorry, right?! Or you could just stick to bottled water if that’s an available option.
Skin Piercing - In so many countries things like piercings, acupuncture and tattoos are a million times cheaper than back home. There could be a reason for it - Not only could you end up with the world’s worst tattoo, but if the equipment and needles are not sterile you can end up with some pretty nasty infections, scarring, deformity, severe illness or even death! Not only that if proper hygienic guidelines are not followed blood-borne diseases like hepatitis B & C, HIV, tetanus and tuberculosis may be transmitted. There’s a common misconception that if something is wiped with an alcohol swab they are sterile, but this isn’t always the case. Unless you know for sure that the place is completely sterile, than best to just avoid these things on your trip.