Although the world is still in pandemic mode, and everyone must exercise caution, the economy’s wheels are once again turning, and many places are open for tourism. This is great news if you’ve spent most of the year cooped up indoors, most people can’t wait to get away for an overdue vacation, but extra care is needed. Travel increases the risk of catching and spreading the coronavirus, as well as many other infectious diseases and conditions. If you are traveling soon, then read through the tips below and make sure you come back fighting fit.
Even though the world is in a Coronavirus panic, you are still more likely to be harmed by accidents rather than infectious diseases when traveling overseas. These accidents come in the form of road accidents, balconies, water and fire safety, and adventure sports. You need to protect against infectious diseases but also reduce your risk of accidents.
Road accidents are the most common occurrence for tourists abroad. When people are unfamiliar with the roads, they can be caught out. If you’re driving or hiring a vehicle, read up on the highway code for that country and check that the car is in good working order. On the balcony, use common sense. Font party on the balcony or use intoxicating substances.
Food and Water Precautions
The last thing you want to contend with within your trip abroad is sickness and diarrhea. This can be caused by exposure to organisms spread through contaminated food and water. The organisms reach your system with hand to mouth contact after touching contaminated surfaces. This is also how you get infected by the coronavirus.
Now more than ever, it’s important to practice excellent general hygiene when traveling abroad. Regularly wash your hands, especially before and after eating. If hand washing facilities are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. In addition, you should wash your crockery thoroughly and avoid love animals.
Respite tract infections (RTI) are extremely common when traveling abroad. These are any infection that affects your breathing, including flu and coronavirus. They are caused by viruses and sometimes bacteria. These infections can be picked up from contaminated surfaces or recycled air on flights. It’s important to take extra precautions when traveling today, such as wearing a mask.
You can significantly reduce your chances of acquiring an RTI by practicing good general hygiene. Avoid direct contact between your hands, nose, and mouth, wear a mask, and practice good hand hygiene. Where possible, avoid contact with those who seem to have a respiratory illness. Signs of this might be coughing or sneezing. Avoid touching their personal items such as mobile phones.
Avoid Insect Bites
Many vacation destinations contain bugs and insects we wouldn’t normally find on our native soil. These can include mosquitoes, ticks, sandflies, fleas, black flies, tsetse flies, and reduviid bugs. They are particularly prevalent in tropical regions and can transmit many kinds of infectious diseases from animals to humans.
The best line of defense against insect bites is avoidance. You can do this by research your travel destination to see what common insects are native and potentially harmful. Some diseases, such as Japanese Encephalitis carried by mosquitoes, will have to be vaccinated against; others can be avoided by using sprays and creams.
Sex while traveling is both common and often unplanned; this combination increases the risks of sexually transmitted diseases (STI). STIs can include chlamydia, gonorrhea, gentian warts, hepatitis B, and HIV. Thankfully, some excellent treatments are available for these conditions, such as genital wart treatments; however, the best protection is to practice safe sex.
Practicing safe sex doesn’t just mean using a condom, although these should be used, especially with new or casual partners. It also means exercising caution with alcohol and drugs. These can impair your judgment and increase your chances of having unsafe sex. Always take condoms with you when you travel and know their availability on nights out.
Bloodborne diseases are caused by viruses, bacteria, and pathogens transmitted through broken skin, mucous membrane, and body fluids. They can cause conditions such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV. Traveling can increase your risk of contracting one of these through medical or dental treatment, piercings, and tattoos, or unprotected sex.
You can protect yourself from these diseases while traveling by getting vaccinated. Vaccines exist for Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. You can further reduce your risk of getting sick by avoiding unnecessary needles and using government-approved hospitals for any medical treatment. Also, ensure you practice safe sex.
The sun is part of the reason we go abroad on vacation; there’s nothing better than sprawling out on the sand or enjoying the warm rays at the pool. The sun is even good for our skin and general wellbeing and moderate levels. However, prolonged exposure to the sun can increase the risk of burning, fatigue, and cancer.
To minimize sun exposure’s detrimental effects, you need to be aware of how much time you’re spending in direct sunlight. Anything above fifteen minutes, four times a day is probably too much and may cause long term harm. Use a combination of high factor sunscreen, shade, and loose clothing to protect you from direct sunlight and allow you to enjoy your vacation.
Don’t forget to take out comprehensive travel insurance before you head to the sun. Sometimes your ticket will include this insurance but not always, so make sure to check. Travel insurance provides cover for accidents, emergency medical treatment, medical evacuation, and repatriation. You hope you won’t need to use it, but it will be a huge relief if you do.
Check that your insurance covers everything you intended to do on your vacation. Does it cover all your planned activities, and if it doesn’t, you may need to take out extra cover. Always declare your underlying conditions to your insurer, along with any medications you are taking – failure to do so may void your cover.