Having an incredible travel adventure to look forward to is always a good feeling. You have the chance to plan where you’ll be going, how you’re going to get there, how you’re going to budget and what sights you’re going to see – check out hello canvas for some creative ways you can print your travel photographs and bring them to life – but the one thing that aspiring travellers cannot control is falling ill whilst they’re abroad.
It’s enough to ruin a meticulously planned adventure and the trip of a lifetime. Having medical travel insurance will certainly help if you fall ill whilst you’re away from home, but there are precautions you can take that will hopefully avoid the situation altogether. We’ll look at some of them here. Good luck!
Keep your hands clean
We all know about the importance of keeping our hands clean and washing them after we use the bathroom, or touch something particularly grimy. However when you’re abroad you need to be washing them more often. Everything from using the bathroom, to touching the back of a bus seat, animals in the market place, petting stray dogs and of course handling money. While it’s true that many handwashing facilities won’t be up to scratch (or even exist at all in some remote places) it’s always worth carrying a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you, so you can kill all those nasty germs before they have chance to make you sick.
Beware of the water
Do a little research before you travel and check out the water sanitation at your destination. Some areas will recommend that travellers avoid tap water and stick to drinking bottled water instead. Even if you see locals drinking the tap water, you should exercise caution; their bodies are probably able to handle the water much better than yours. So, don’t take the risk and buy bottled water instead. If you’re conscious about the environment (lets face it we all should be) then you might want to consider purchasing a bottle with a sanitation filter. That way you can drink water safely without using more single use plastic.
Food, glorious food
We all know that a big part of the travel experience is all about the food! You’ll have the chance to experience a whole culinary journey on the road, but you need to be careful! Gastroenteritis issues and diarrhea are the biggest killjoys of the travelling world so bear these tips in mind when you’re at the food market:
- Make sure that the stall you’re buying from is clean and well maintained
- Make sure all cooking utensils are clean
- Check to see if any raw meat is left exposed or touching other products
- Is the vendor exercising good hygiene practices? Wearing gloves? Or washing their hands after handling money?
- Is the salad being washed in local tap water?
- Is your food piping hot and cooked all the way through
- Ask other travellers you meet their own experiences of the food market and which stalls (if any) you should avoid