Traveling often puts stress on the body and the immune system, resulting in sickness and overall fatigue. This can happen whether you are traveling for work or for fun.
When you travel for business, you are often busy with meetings and appointments that do not always allow you to get enough rest. If you travel internationally for business, you have to adapt to a new time zone and variations in food.
Even traveling for pleasure can leave your body in a tired state from the extra activity. If you have pre-existing health issues, it can be a concern to travel in a foreign country where you are unsure of the medical care. Here are some tips to help you deal with health problems that result from travel and ways to avoid others.
Jet lag is most noticeable when you travel a long distance and can make you feel tired and nauseous. The best way to deal with it is to avoid alcohol and caffeine before and during the flight. Drink plenty of water to keep from being dehydrated. Adjust to the local time by staying awake even though you may want a nap. Before you leave for your trip, begin to change your schedule to what it will be at your destination by staying up later or getting up earlier, depending on where you will be going.
This becomes a problem when you travel to high altitudes and suffer from lower amounts of oxygen. To prevent this issue, drink a lot of water to keep from getting dehydrated. Adjust to high altitudes slowly. You can visit a higher altitude during the day and go back to the lower altitude at night. Altitude sickness can be dangerous so pay attention if you feel dizzy or light-headed.
Eating and Drinking
If you are not sure about the water quality in a foreign country, avoid drinking tap water. Instead, drink either bottled water or other canned beverages. Foods to avoid when traveling include:
- Raw fruits and vegetables
- Raw meat, fish, or eggs
- Dairy products from local markets
- Food that has been left sitting out for several hours
Stick to eating at well-known restaurants rather than trying out unknown eateries unless you have done your research. Not all countries have regulations on how these places operate.
Pack plenty of bug spray if you will be spending time outside. Some areas have insects that are disease-carriers. This can also be a problem when swimming in local waters unless they are treated like in hotel pools. Many parasites live in the waters of Asia, Africa, and South America.
Traveling has its own set of hazards, but you can stay healthy if you are prepared for your destination. Check with your doctor if you have any health issues that may be concerning while you are away from home. They can give you advice on how to cope in a foreign location. Then you can relax and enjoy your trip.
contributed by Sara Minter, a guest blogger and writer who focuses on nutrition, health and medicine for several online health magazines and blogs. She is especially interested in the intersection of convention and alternative treatments as well as health supplements and vitamins.