10 tips to stay healthy on holiday

Nothing is going to spoil your dream holiday more than a touch of the dreaded Delhi belly or being laid low by a bad dose of the sniffles. Here are some tricks to keep you in tip-top shape on your travels.

Use your phone Besides using apps to get you around and to recommend places to visit and eat, set reminders on your phone to take time-sensitive medication, especially when you’re in a different time zone.

Street food Of course, part of any foreign adventure is to sample the local cuisine, but you also run the risk of a dodgy tummy. Stick to cooked food as the heat is likely to kill most of the nasties.

Medical kit Rather than having to explain what’s wrong to a pharmacist who doesn’t understand you, carry your own basic medical supplies. An anti-spasmodic, an anti-inflammatory, heartburn remedies, headache pills, and plasters and antiseptic cream should cover all the minor ailments. Check with your airline how medication needs to be packaged if you’re carrying it in your hand luggage.

Sunburn Even if you’re hitting the ski slopes, you still run the risk of sunburn. Make sure you apply a good slathering of sun protection before venturing outside, wherever you are.

Shoes Besides being an excellent way of seeing the sights, walking will also counter any excesses on the food front. Just remember that brand-new shoes need a bit of wearing in before you leave, and thick socks will prevent unwanted blisters and bruised toes.

Jet lag Don’t waste the first day or two of your trip recovering from jet lag. Starting about four days before you leave, change your bedtime to coincide with the time zone of your holiday destination. So, if you’re going east, go to bed 60 minutes earlier, and if it’s west you’re off to, make your bedtime an hour later.

Water To drink the local H2O or not, that is always the question? But to be on the safe side, especially in less developed countries, stick to bottled water, even to brush your teeth.

Clean hands Keeping your hands clean is one of the best and simplest ways of avoiding lurgies. An ample supply of antiseptic wipes in your bag is a good idea to wipe down surfaces and your hands.

Check up Before embarking on your trip, visit your GP, dentist and optician for a check up. Also, take a spare pair of specs, a supply of contact lenses and other essentials. It saves time and the hassle of having to find the appropriate healthcare practitioner in a foreign country. Also carry copies of your prescriptions for chronic medication. You may be required to prove that pills are what you say they are in some countries.

Vaccinations Make sure that all your jabs are up to date. Remember, some vaccinations, such as yellow fever, take a few days or weeks to become fully effective. A visit to your local travel clinic well in advance of your trip will get you all the answers on what is required.


By Nicci Botha

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