For many of us, holidays are the one thing we look forward to all year. So much planning and saving can go into a holiday, so no one wants to spend their vacation at the doctors instead of sipping pina coladas by the pool. Getting ill on holiday can be stressful and costly, not to mention missing out on the much-needed relaxation a holiday should bring Getting ill can happen for many reasons, but there are some simple tips to follow if you want to ensure you stay healthy on holiday.
Before you go away check if you are required to get any travel vaccinations, as well as checking that you and your family are up to date with your routine immunisations too in order to stay healthy on holiday. If you’re heading off to the sunny Costa del Sol it’s unlikely you’ll need any kind of vaccination, but if you are heading further afield you may need to. You can find lots of info about vaccines on the NHS website
If you are travelling far afield you may suffer from tiredness and jet lag. Train your body clock to beat jet lag by getting an extra-long night sleep if possible the night before you fly. Also, avoid alcohol and caffeine on the flight; instead drink plenty of fluids like water. When you arrive at your destination try to spend as much of your first day in daylight as possible and go to bed at the same time you would back home. A top tip is to set your watch to your destination time as soon as you get on the plane to help get your mind working to that time zone.
This tip is the most important and one that applies to both water and alcohol consumption. Firstly bottled water is always a sensible and safe choice unless you are 100% sure it’s safe to drink the water. The water supply in many countries has a high mineral content which can cause upset tummies, so stick to bottled H20 and if possible avoid ice cubes too as these are often made with tap water. Also, make sure you have a small bottle of water in your room for things like brushing your teeth or taking tablets to avoid using the tap. It’s so important in hotter climates to keep hydrated and this will ensure you stay healthy, so keep drinking fluids.
Also be careful with your alcohol intake, especially during the heat of the day. Try sticking to soft drinks and water during the day and drink alcohol only in the evening. Cocktails can be hard to judge for alcohol content, so be careful how many mojitos you have. But rehydrate your body with plenty of water between drinks and before you go to bed and this will also help prevent the dreaded holiday hangover too!
Hand hygiene is an important way to avoid getting any nasty bugs whilst away to stay healthy on holiday. Keeping your hands clean will avoid passing on germs when eating or drinking which can then lead to illness. If you don’t have access to washing facilities or you are out for the day, then a small bottle of sanitising gel in your bag will do the trick to help you stay healthy. You can pick these up pre-holiday or at the airport and if you read our Holiday Packing list post, you’ll see we think they are definitely worth a place in your suitcase.
One of the most frequent types of holiday illness is tummy upsets and food can often be the cause. Be savvy in what you choose to eat. Always ensure food is thoroughly cooked and at the right temperature. If you are staying in a resort with a buffet style restaurant then head for dinner at the beginning of service to ensure the food is fresh and piping hot.
Foods that might have been washed in tap water like salads or fruit may need to be avoided, but you can always speak to your hotel about how the food is prepared. Holidays are most definitely the time to try something new, but research restaurants (trip advisor is your best friend) and if you are hoping to try seafood, for example, try to choose a place where the fish is caught fresh and prepared the same day.
The major draw of any holiday is usually the sunshine, but the sun can be dangerous and cause painful problems like sunburn as well as sunstroke. Make sure you are wearing a suitable factor of Nivea sun cream and that you reapply it after swimming to stay healthy on holiday. Take a break in the shade during the hottest part of the day and wear a hat to protect your head and ears. Slather on some Nivea aftersun to keep your skin hydrated. Most of all be safe in the sun and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of bottled water.
It’s so important to enjoy yourself on holiday and have the best time possible, but if you follow these simple tips you can ensure that you and your family have a happy and stay healthy holiday. Also, don’t forget to purchase travel insurance as any medical treatment abroad can often be costly, but do check the terms and conditions so you are clear what illnesses are covered before you travel.