New Deztination? Expect to get sick!
From the amazing food, the long flights and the bacterial infested waters, international travelers run the risk of getting sick.
No matter how resilient your immune system is, introducing new bacteria means the immune system evolving, and not always in the most favorable way.
I’d heard rumors that I would get sick as soon as I got to Thailand, and if it wasn’t from the new spicy foods or accidentally ingesting water in the shower, then I’d be sure to come down with a flu from the recirculated air on the long flight over.
Thankfully I listened to my advisers and prepared.
Give Yourself Time to Adapt
For the first week in Thailand I reserved a villa simply for this purpose; to give my body the chance to adapt. Sure enough, two days after arrival and shortly after my first amazing Thai massage, I came down with the flu.
Or at least I think it was.
Could’ve been the water.
Or maybe the food.
No, it was the ice in my cocktail.
Or quite possibly the good ol' fashioned Norovirus.
Either way, when planning a trip to your next Deztination, here are a few tips to help you prepare:
- Stock up on vitamins before arrival.
- Be prepared to have accidents or medical symptoms arise while traveling, and expect to use a pharmacy that doesn't speak English to get your meds. In Asia for example, almost all medications are available at pharmacies OTC. Know what your frequent refills are and have a plan of how to translate that in a town with no wifi in the jungle. I chose to google prior to leaving the hotel beach I was at to find out what sort of antibiotics should be taking for a cut on the foot.
- Talk to your doctor about the flu vaccine – the flu strain is different a continent away, be sure to ask if they recommend getting it in your country or once you arrive to your Deztination.
- Research your deztination. What type of vaccines does the CDC recommend for the area? Should you get them? Ask your doctor.
- Give yourself a chance to adapt to your new environment. Don’t book a full itinerary for the first week. Relax, enjoy where you are, adjust to the time change and drink plenty of water.
- Only drink bottled water and brush your teeth with it. Be mindful in the shower; keep eyes and mouth closed.
- Follow the rules of hygiene as if you were serving food. Keep your hand out of your face, carry hand sanitizer, and wash your hands frequently.
- Bring a first aid kit with you, including over the counter meds, prescription antibiotics and triple antibiotics.
- Be aware of food sanitation. You are no longer in America, or whatever comfort zone you call home. If it looks dirty, it is. If no one else is eating there, there’s a reason
- Don’t forget to get enough rest. This is your vacation, after all.
Follow these few tips and when in doubt ask your doctor.
You can never be too careful with your health, and you don’t want to risk the chance of spending your entire vacation on bed rest!
Let Your Dreams Take Flight!
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