The one activity that has probably been the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic is travelling. Communities being designated as contamination zones and people being asked to stay completely indoors, the question of travelling becomes almost nonsensical to most. Not travelling, especially to and from places where COVID-19 is still spreading, remains the best choice. However, if there is no choice and one must travel, one should know how to take care of their health best. Here you will find the top healthcare tips for travel in 2021.
Before finalizing your travel plans, you must ensure that the place you are travelling to is safe and is not affected by the pandemic bad enough for you not to travel. Also, it might be advisable to travel only to those places where most of the population is getting vaccines. Many airlines now require a negative COVID-19 test before the flight. In this case, book a flight only if you are completely asymptomatic. In case you develop mild symptoms a few days before your flight, follow the medication routine, supplement treatment, and nutritional diet as prescribed by your doctor.
Nonetheless, you should prioritize healthcare during travel at all times and not just during the pandemic. Here are the top general tips and recommendations that will come in handy during the COVID-19 crisis and after the pandemic has subsided.
Tips to avoid getting sick during travel
With the habits of maintaining good hygiene and regularly washing hands, you may not have to worry about catching diseases while travelling. Before making plans to travel, you must look up for notices from healthcare authorities of your country regarding whether it is safe to travel to your intended destination. Now, with the following simple tips, you can easily avoid falling ill while you travel.
Choose the right seat
While being on an airplane, to prevent catching the coronavirus or other disease-causing microbes, make sure that you keep a one-row distance between you and any sick person on the flight. Your best option is the window seat, the second-best is a mid-row seat, and the worst possible case would be taking the aisle seat. This is because you would be exposed to numerous people walking around.
You become more susceptible to germs by being in crowds. Maintaining a safe distance from people is, therefore, the new norm.
Be mindful of surfaces and objects touched by many people
The coronavirus originates from a person suffering with the COVID-19 virus and remains on surfaces from where it gets transmitted to other people when they touch these surfaces and objects. Therefore, seats, doorknobs, seatbelts, handles, walls, or artifacts in the museum could be carrying bacteria and viruses. You can protect yourself by carrying sanitizing wipes and cleaning, for instance, the seats before sitting in them.
Remembering to not touch your mouth, nose, or eyes after touching these objects will also help. Sanitizing your hands regularly is always your best defense.
Stay away from tap-water
It is common for people to develop traveler’s diarrhea in developing countries. By avoiding tap water and drinking only bottled water, you can avoid this risk. Also, don’t consume ice that is not made from purified water or consume eatables that might contaminate.
While it is advised above that you should drink only purified or bottled water, it does not mean that you should dehydrate yourself when these are not available. Staying hydrated helps your body get rid of germs easily. Moreover, if you are in a country where the temperatures are quite different from yours, drinking lots of water will help your body regulate its temperature.
Keep taking your supplements
If you take vitamins or other supplements, make sure you pack enough of them for your trip. Not providing your body with what it is accustomed to is not going to be healthy for you.
Travel could be very exhausting. This may lead to weakening your body and reducing its immunity to diseases. Sleeping patterns might worsen if you travel to a different time zone as it affects your body clock. Still, getting quality sleep is important while you travel to keep yourself healthy.
By following the guidelines mentioned above, you will be physically fit and find it easy on your mental health. However, if you are already sick, it would be best not to travel at all. If, due to unavoidable circumstances, you are travelling while being sick, you may keep in mind the following:
- Before you travel, look for the medical care options available at your destination.
- If possible, book an appointment before you start travelling.
- Carry the complete list of medications and other prescriptions made to you.
- It would be best for you to have enough medication with you to cover your entire trip.
What you need to know about vaccines
Vaccines prevent people from catching a virus by building immunity against that particular virus. For the COVID-19, some countries are vaccinating their population fast, while some are not. COVID-19 might have subsided in your country, but these countries where vaccination is taking time might still be struggling with it.
So, you will have to look for the diseases prevalent in your destination country and get vaccinated accordingly. Travelers from the US often must take the yellow fever vaccine while travelling to certain countries. Travelling to Europe might mean that you might have to take a measles vaccine. Make sure you consult a proficient doctor regarding these issues and get your doubts cleared at least two weeks before travelling.
Different countries worldwide face different geographical and socio-economic conditions, which give rise to viruses and our bodies have different immunity levels and adaptabilities. Therefore, it is best to equip yourself with as much correct information as required. Following the guidelines to stay healthy and rid of diseases is way better than paying hefty costs, monetary and psychological, by falling sick in a foreign land.