Healthy Summer Travel

By Satesh Bidaisee, Associate Professor of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, St. George's University
July 20, 2014

Whether for business or pleasure, more of us will be traveling internationally this summer. But with so many things to see and do when you get to your destination, the basics of health and safety can often be neglected. Here are top ten tips on staying healthy when traveling:

1.      Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for information on vaccines and health alerts at your destination and visit your doctor ideally, 4-6 weeks before your trip to get vaccines or medicine you may need. 

2.      Strengthen your immune system before you travel by exercising and taking your vitamins.

3.      Get 7-9 hours of sleep the night before you fly.

4.      Pack healthy snacks for the plane (nuts, veggies, and fruits), but make sure to consume them in flight so as not to bring them into another country.

5.      Stay hydrated – drink plenty of water, water, water.

6.      Skip the alcohol and caffeine.

7.      Keep your hands and your personal items out of the seat back pocket to avoid germs.  (Imagine how  many people have read that magazine!)

8.      Wash your hands and carry a travel size antibacterial sanitizer.

9.      Use sunscreen and insect repellant.

10.  Once you return home, see a doctor immediately if you are not feeling well or if you notice any abnormal changes in your body.   Be sure to let the office know you have recently been out of the country.  Many times an illness will take a few days to appear.

Bon voyage!


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