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Planning for an overseas vacation can take a lot of time, energy and money. Getting sick or injured while on vacation can ruin your trip and cost more money. Accidents and illness can happen without warning but with a little planning you can have a safe and healthy vacation. Here are 10 things you can do to ensure your vacation is a success.
- Consult a travel pharmacist: These doctors can help you plan your vacation and give important medical advice. They can educate and advise patients on region or country specific dangers and remedies and they can also provide vaccinations if required.
- Know where you are traveling: Familiarize yourself with the destination you are traveling to. If it is a common destination information should be available online, from a travel agent and/or travel pharmacist. Differences in climate, pollution, and altitude can cause a multitude of problems. Knowing what to expect in advance could be the difference between a good or bad vacation.
- Check medical insurance coverage: Some insurance companies do not offer the same coverage if you need medical care or prescriptions while traveling abroad and overseas medical care can be expensive without insurance. Likewise, Medicare and Medicaid are not accepted outside theUnited States. Check with your insurance company and purchase supplemental insurance as needed.
- Bring Medications: Pack a small bag of commonly used medications and any prescription medications you have. Although, most hotel’s concierge desk will have common medications, you will save yourself the hassle of locating what you need if you already have it packed in your suitcase. It is more important to carry prescriptions while on vacation. Finding pharmacies while abroad can be a hassle, if not difficult.
- Don’t Drink The Water: In some places, water is just plain unsafe to drink but even water in modern industrialized countries can make you sick. The mineral content can make your stomach feel uneasy even though the water is completely safe to drink. Travelers sometimes feel this way for a few days. It is best to drink bottled water while traveling and avoid feeling queasy.
- Pack Comfortable Footwear: This may seem obvious but comfortable footwear while traveling is a must-have. Try to plan ahead and bring shoes for a variety of activities you will be doing while on vacation. While you’re abroad try to wear the shoes you packed and planned for. That means, don’t wear sandals on a hike. If you do get blisters, treat them immediately. Moleskin is great for treating developing blisters.
- Avoid Getting Sun Burnt: Sunburns are bad enough when you get them at home but getting a sunburn while traveling can ruin your vacation. Always use sun block with a minimum of 30 SPF and apply the first coat of sun block at least 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply sun block throughout the day and while you are in the sun.
- Prevent Dehydration: Staying hydrated while abroad is important but it can be difficult especially if tap water is unsafe to drink. Bottled water is best but it is important to remember that you can stay hydrated with fluids other than water. Although, some studies show otherwise, 8oz of non-alcoholic fluid, 8 times per day is a good rule of thumb. More is necessary if you are doing strenuous exercise or activities.
- Don’t Overindulge: Vacation is fun and it can be easy to overindulge in food and alcohol. But overindulging in food can cause stomach and intestinal problems which can put a stop to vacation activities. Alcohol can also be dangerous. Beyond the obvious day-ruining side-affects of a hangover, alcohol can cause dehydration which can further ruin a vacation. It’s okay to have fun and indulge but be safe.
- Know who to contact in an emergency: Most people know what to do if they have an emergency at home but few know what to do while traveling abroad. Language barriers and little knowledge of an area’s medical facilities can further complicate things. If you get sick and need medical assistance your hotel can most likely direct you to the proper medical facility and some may even have a doctor on staff. If you are not near your hotel or they can not be of any assistance you can always call theUS embassy in the country you are visiting. Embassy consular employees are available 24/7 and can assist with any emergencies you may have. Before you leave find out how to contact the US embassy in the countries you are planning to visit and keep this information with your passport and other important information you keep with you at all times.
Getting sick or injured while away from home can quickly ruin a vacation. Take time to prepare and use these simple tips to avoid getting sick or injured while you are on vacation.