Plan to Stay Healthy Traveling on your Vacation

A box of water sitting on a black stone beach; stay healthy traveling

Planning a trip across the country or around the world is exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. On a short trip, having enough clothes and snacks are the most stressful decisions you’ll need to make. However, when you’re going on a long-distance holiday, it’s critical that you plan to stay healthy traveling on your vacation or holiday.

Travel-related illnesses vary depending on your destination and your personal health history. You might not be exposed to an infectious disease. Nevertheless, you may have chronic health conditions that can flare up when you’re out of your normal routine. Here are a few tips to help you stay healthy traveling on your next overseas holiday.

Schedule a check-up

When you travel long distances, especially overseas, it’s a good idea to see your doctor before your trip. International travel can pose potential problems to your health. You might be exposed to viruses and other communicable diseases that aren’t common at home. You need to be up-to-date on routine vaccines and might even need a few new ones.

Can’t get in to see your family doctor or want someone who specializes in travel? Consider a travel clinic. Check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to find a travel clinic close to you.

Consider travel insurance

Whether you’re traveling for enjoyment or getting ready to study abroad, you might think that nothing could prevent you from getting to your destination. However, in reality, there are a few types of emergencies that could keep you from boarding the plane. This is a great reason to consider purchasing travel insurance when you make your plans.

There are two types of travel insurance: general cancellation protections and comprehensive policies. General protection is usually a basic policy. It will likely cover reimbursements if you miss a connection, lose luggage, or cancel because you’re ill or injured. Comprehensive insurance covers everything in the basic policy and more. It will cover expenses if you miss your trip because of health emergencies, disaster or death in the family.

Keep track of your health

Woman in shorts and a tank top jumping next to the ocean; stay healthy traveling

If you have a chronic health condition that requires medications or other treatments, you might want to consider purchasing wearable technology to monitor your health. Apple and other tech companies have created high-tech products that can communicate with your doctor. This is handy if you need help making any health-related decisions when you’re out of the country. You can record your medications and symptoms so you can track how you’re doing while you’re away. This type of technology may be handy for people with conditions like diabetes, asthma or heart problems.

Protect against blood clots

Deep vein thrombosis, commonly called blood clots, can form when you’re immobile for an extended period. If your flight is over four hours long, you might be at an increased risk of developing a blood clot. Here are a few things you can do to decrease your risk:

  • If you’ve had a blood clot in the past, be sure to see your doctor before any extended travel. Discuss if you need to take any medication as a precaution.
  • Pay a little extra for an aisle seat or one with extended leg room if possible.
  • Talk to the flight attendant when you board. Let them know you’re at increased risk and might be up a little more than the average traveler.
  • Stretch your legs often to boost blood flow. Flex your feet up and down a few times each hour.

Prepare for jet lag

Woman in blue shirt holding her forehead as though she has a headache; stay healthy traveling

If you’re traveling across multiple time zones, there’s a good chance your internal clock might get a bit confused. Once you arrive at your destination (and again when you return home), it might take you a day or two to adjust to the time difference. Jet lag can make you moodier than usual and even decrease your ability to concentrate. It’s smart to plan for possible jet lag with a leisurely day of rest when you first arrive and an extra day off of work when you get back home to help you stay healthy after long-distance flights.

Get ready for the lrip of a Lifetime

If you’re getting ready to book the best family vacation or solo traveling adventure you’ve ever taken, you don’t want anything to stand in your way. You want to pack up your suitcase, grab your passport, and be on your way when your travel date finally arrives, right? Help yourself stay healthy traveling on your next overseas vacation; protected against unexpected problems by following the above advice before you take your next trip.

About Jori Hamilton


Jori Hamilton is a writer from the pacific northwest who covers travel, social issues, and technology. You can follow her on twitter @hamiltonjori

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