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12 Travel Tips for a Healthy Vacation

Planning a summer time journey? Whether it’s an international getaway or a go to to a close by seashore, you’ll need to spend the time having fun with your self, not coping with health issues.

Stocking up on the best insect repellents to deflect Zika-carrying mosquitoes should not be your solely concern. Our journey ideas may help you keep away from potential pitfalls and keep wholesome, regardless of the place you go.

Before You Go

1. Do a primary vaccine verify. Four to 6 weeks earlier than a world journey, ask your physician whether or not you’re updated on common vaccines, similar to these for influenza and tetanus.

“Nearly 50 percent of adults over 65 are not up to date on tetanus immunizations,” says Steven Mawhorter, M.D., an infectious illness specialist on the Cleveland Clinic.

And contemplate that flu is prevalent in Australia and South America in June, July, and August.

2. Schedule a doctor’s appointment. If you’ve got a persistent situation or different health considerations, otherwise you’re going abroad, you will get journey tricks to comply with in addition to prescriptions for your common medicine and others chances are you’ll want, corresponding to motion-sickness medicine.

three. Check your protection overseas. Ask your insurer whether or not you’re coated for medical care whereas away. (Medicare often doesn’t reimburse for physician visits abroad, however supplemental plans might.) If not, contemplate shopping for travel insurance. Elizabeth Talbot, M.D., medical director of the Travel and International Health Clinic on the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., tells sufferers touring abroad to decide on journey insurance coverage that features entry to U.S.-trained clinicians and evacuation to high-quality medical care.

If you’re touring within the U.S., your common physician or personal group health insurer could possibly aid you discover native docs. (In an emergency, go to the closest ER.) Here and overseas, lodge concierges can typically show you how to monitor down a physician who may make a “room call.”

Internationally, you’ll find clinics, docs, and hospitals via the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers and the International Society of Travel Medicine. The native U.S. Embassy can even present a listing of docs and hospitals however often not suggestions.

four. Prep proper for tropical locations. Heading to a creating nation or the tropics? Ask your physician about unusual immunizations (resembling these for hepatitis A, typhoid, and yellow fever) and particular drugs (comparable to antimalarials) really helpful or required for specific areas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gives health-related journey ideas at

5. Pack meds correctly. Take sufficient for the period of your journey, plus an additional week’s value. Keep them of their unique containers in your carry-on baggage, in case your baggage will get misplaced.

Take paper copies of your prescriptions; a copy of your insurance coverage card; contact info for docs; a physician’s word should you carry needles or syringes, otherwise you had a check that used radiation as much as two weeks earlier than; and a listing of your medications. (If you lose or run out of it whereas touring within the U.S., see whether or not a native pharmacy can name your physician or if your pharmacy again house will mail it to you. If you’re abroad, ask somebody on the nearest U.S. Embassy to direct you to a trusted facility.)

And don’t overlook a first-aid package, eyeglasses, hearing aids and batteries, and some other medical requirements. 

While You’re En Route

6. Ease jet lag. Crossing a time zone disrupts your sleep-wake cycle; the extra zones you traverse, the extra off-kilter you’ll in all probability really feel. Some individuals take melatonin dietary supplements to assist them sleep, however Marvin M. Lipman, M.D., Consumer Reports’ chief medical adviser, says that supplements aren’t regulated rigorously, so what’s on the label is probably not what’s within the bottle.

Instead, begin acclimating to a new time zone earlier than you depart by going to mattress 1 to 2 hours later (for those who’re touring west) and 1 to 2 hours earlier (should you’re touring east) every day for a week. Get publicity to daylight if you arrive at your vacation spot.

7. Flex these legs. Sitting for greater than four hours in a boat, automotive, aircraft, or practice can increase the danger of probably life-threatening blood clots.

If you possibly can’t stroll round for a jiffy as soon as an hour, do calf raises whereas seated: With ft flat, increase your heels for a few seconds, then increase your toes, ensuring to maintain your heels down; repeat every 10 occasions per hour. 

At Your Destination

eight. Quell abdomen issues. Traveler’s diarrhea (TD) impacts 30 to 70 % of worldwide vacationers, particularly these in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, Mexico, and the Middle East.

“During a two-week trip to the developing world, you should expect TD,” Talbot says. She prescribes an antibiotic to individuals going to such locations that they will use in case they develop extreme diarrhea whereas touring.

For delicate to average diarrhea, medication such as OTC loperamide (Imodium A-D and generic) or prescription diphenoxylate and atropine (Lomotil and generic) may fit. And in creating nations and the tropics, keep away from uncooked meals, road fare, ice, and unbottled water.

9. Try to keep away from accidents. On trip, you’re much more more likely to be hospitalized or want a physician for an damage or accident than for an infectious illness or sickness.

Motor-vehicle accidents and drowning are prime causes of demise for vacationers. That’s as a result of being in trip mode might loosen up a individual’s judgment, and new locations and visitors guidelines may be complicated.

So be additional cautious when swimming in unfamiliar areas, put on seat belts and life vests, familiarize your self with native driving legal guidelines, and choose for a driver for those who’re uncomfortable getting behind the wheel.

10. Take the chew away from bed bugs. Hotels and motels are a few of the commonest locations to seek out bed bugs, in line with a 2015 survey from the National Pest Management Association and the University of Kentucky.

To avoid the pests, whose bites may cause itchy welts, Michael Potter, Ph.D., a professor of entomology on the University of Kentucky in Lexington, recommends pulling again the sheets of your lodge mattress and checking the mattress and box-spring seams, particularly on the head of the mattress, for the small brown or tannish bugs and the dark-colored spots they will depart. Keep clothes off the ground and stow your baggage on a baggage rack or a exhausting floor.

And think about the place you keep; higher hotel chains are often extra vigilant about treating rooms. “Properties that look run down and not well-maintained are the places to be most concerned about,” Potter says.

11. Be sun-smart. Sun damage is cumulative over a lifetime, so even in case you haven’t used sunscreen often, it’s not too late to start out. Apply it generously to all uncovered areas at the least 15 minutes earlier than you go outside, and reapply each 2 hours.

But no sunscreen can block 100 % of the solar’s skin-damaging ultraviolet rays, so it’s necessary to take different protecting measures, too. Wear sun shades, a broad-brimmed hat, and protecting clothes. And keep within the shade each time attainable.

12. Stay hydrated. Being on trip takes you away out of your regular routine, so you might have to work more durable to stay hydrated. Needs range, however a basic guideline is to get 9 to 13 cups of fluids per day. (Men ought to purpose for the higher restrict.) Caffeinated beverages and a few meals, particularly fruit and vegetables, rely towards that aim.

Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers on this web site.

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Copyright © 2006-2017 Consumer Reports, Inc.

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