Spring has officially arrived! For airports this means a large influx of travelers and families enjoying spring break. Unfortunately, the warmer weather and increased volume of travelers can also mean more chances to catch a bug. Whether your travel plans involve a sandy beach or snowy oasis, it’s always important to come prepared. Experienced travelers take precautionary actions to maintain good health. Here are our spring travel tips to support good health throughout the season. Any traveler who has dealt with unexpected illness on the road knows that it’s better to be safe than sorry!
1. Inquire about vaccinations. For international travel, at least a month in advance. Follow through on your doctor’s recommendations.
2. Contact your health insurance company. Make sure you know the policy for international travel. For domestic trips, be sure to keep your insurance card handy and have a way to access it if you lose it.
3. Sanitizing wipes. You may be surprised by their infinite uses, such as before meals, wiping down your flight tray, luggage handles and more.
4. Choose appropriate clothing for the climate. Always check the weather before you embark. If it’s going to be sunny in your destination city, then bring a hat and sunscreen to cover up.
5. Prepare your prescriptions. For international travel, check specific country regulations beforehand and make sure to bring doctor’s notes along with any controlled and intravenous medications. Always keep prescription medication in its original packaging with your name on the label. If you are going to be on the road for a long time, then coordinate how to get a sufficient supply from your doctor.
6. Prevent insect bites. When traveling to hot and humid locales, pack and use insect repellent on body, clothing and bedding. While at the destination, try to stay indoors during dusk and dawn, which are the hours that present the highest risk of malaria. When embarking on outdoor adventures such as hikes or camping trips, dress properly with long socks, sleeves and pants. Screens and bed nets will also help keep insects away. Due to the spread of Zika, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an alert for travel to Miami-Dade County, Florida, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the US Virgin Islands. Travelers who are currently, or plan on being, pregnant are advised to consult with their doctors before traveling to these locations.
7. Stay hydrated. It can be difficult to remember this when you’re taken out of your usual routine, but it is especially important to stay hydrated in warm climates, after strenuous activity or if alcohol is consumed.
8. Be cautious with international food. In developing countries, only eat foods which are fully cooked and served hot. Travelers should drink only bottled beverages in order to avoid consuming drinks with ice made from tap water.
9. Protect your skin. This is very important on the beach or the slopes. Use sunscreen with an appropriate SPF rating. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends a sunscreen of least SPF 30. Be sure to reapply as needed. In warm weather, wear lightweight clothing and hats. Take the opportunity to sit in shade as often as possible.
10. Rest, relax and rejuvenate. Whether your trip is for business or leisure, it should be enjoyed and not stressed over. Savor the opportunity to get away from your usual environment. Relax when you can and make sure you are getting enough sleep. After all, stress is known to lower your resistance to common ailments.