When people talk about “catching the travel bug,” they’re referring to the positive kind – the addictive sense of curiosity and wonder that takes hold when you start exploring new cultures and ideas. They most certainly are not referring to those other “travel bugs,” the ones that put you out of commission for days, sweating, coughing and sneezing in some hotel bedroom.
Those are the travel bugs you want to avoid. Before tackling how to avoid getting sick, let’s first explore why you get sick while travelling. Some common reasons include:
- Exposure to pathogens on packed flights or train rides
- Dehydration, which lowers your innate immune function
- Foreign pathogens in local water and food
- And a jumbled medication schedule
How do you defend yourself against these typical sources of illness? Let’s explore five proactive steps you can take.
Table of Contents
Stay Hydrated – the Right Way
It’s easy to get dehydrated while travelling. Airplanes are notoriously dehydrative environments (dehydration can severely exacerbate jet lag symptoms). And people often enjoy more sunshine and physical activity when they travel, which also contribute to dehydration.
Therefore, it’s important to stay hydrated – the right way. Pack a collapsible water bottle that fits neatly within your day pack or carry-on bag. Include a few electrolyte tablets to use when you need a significant boost of hydration. And check local “potability” advisories to see whether the drinking water is safe. If the drinking water at your destination isn’t safe, buy bottled water and electrolyte drinks from a local store.
Pack Adaptogens like Chaga Mushrooms
Dehydration, stress, and exposure to foreign pathogens can chip away at your immune response, so it’s essential to support your immune system as you travel. Pack easy-to-dose, powdered chaga mushroom sachets to stir into your morning coffee or tea. Studies show that chaga mushrooms (an adaptogen revered in several ancient medicinal practices) may help support your immune system to help you ward off illnesses. As a bonus, chaga also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to keep you feeling your best on the road.
Also, Check – Top 10 Reasons why you should definitely Travel
Take a Drinkable ETEC Vaccine Before Travelling
One of the leading categories of travel sickness is food-borne illness. It’s natural to want to try all the local delicacies and street food, but doing so may introduce your gut to unfamiliar pathogens.
The best defence, in this case, is a good offence. Before you fly, talk to your doctor about a drinkable ETEC vaccine, which protects against cholera, E. coli and other food-borne pathogens. These vaccines go by several trade names, depending on where you live.
These drinkable vaccines aren’t a panacea against food-borne illness, but they will certainly help.
Download a Medication Tracker
Finally, some people feel sick when they travel because their medication schedule is out of whack. Flying across time zones can seriously interrupt your medication regimen, and disrupt your body’s ability to recognize and metabolize medications.
To combat this, talk to your doctor about a revised medication schedule. Download a medication tracker to keep yourself on track, so you never forget a dose. Here’s a list of some excellent medication trackers, many of which are free to download.
Don’t let illness drag your next vacation down. Try these straightforward tips for a happy, healthy vacation.
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