Looking forward to getting out into the big wide world again? Aren’t we all after the upheaval and pain of the past couple of years! Read on for some top tips to stay safe and look after yourself on your travels this year…
Travel has not been easy during the pandemic, and at times
has been impossible. But now fingers crossed we can finally look forward to
getting back to some sort of normality. And that includes taking holidays and
going on overseas adventures to explore the world again.
One inevitable consequence of COVID-19 is that it has made
people that much more aware and perhaps cautious about their health. If among
all the excitement of going on holiday again there is a little part of you that
worries about busy airports, bars and restaurants, and tourist attractions –
then rest assured, you’re not alone.
The experience of COVID-19 will live with us all for a long
time to come, and perhaps make many of us think about our health and well-being
a little bit more. Including when we go on holiday, when in the past we might
have been more likely to just let our hair down and throw caution to the wind.
If you are heading abroad this year, your main priority is
obviously to enjoy yourself. But that doesn’t have to be at the expense of
looking after yourself. Here are some simple tips to keep you happy, well and
safe when you travel.
Stay COVID safe
With a little luck we’re through the worst of the pandemic
now. But that doesn’t mean COVID-19 no longer poses a risk. Infection rates in
many parts of the world remain high. And even with vaccinations and boosters,
it still has the potential to make people seriously ill.
Exercising the kinds of precautions that have become second
nature over the past two years while you travel is sensible. So carry sanitiser
with you, keep washing your hands, stick to open spaces and avoid large
gatherings indoors if possible. If you feel comfortable doing so, wear a mask.
Also, be sure to look out for local COVID rules that might still be in place
and stick to them.
Be mindful of what you eat and drink
There are a lot of scare stories and myths around where you
should and should not eat when you are abroad. Most of the myths are around
The truth is, you can pick up an upset stomach from
something you eat absolutely anywhere. It’s not even that the food was bad,
undercooked or cooked in a dirty kitchen. It’s just a fact that the microbes
that live on absolutely everything around us vary from place to place. At some
point your body will react to something new to it.
That said, not eating because you’re worried about about
suffering from a bout of diarrhoea can be even worse for your health.
Especially when temperatures are high or you’re active all day long, not eating
properly can leave you with low sodium and blood sugar levels. That will make
you feel weak, possibly dizzy and nauseous, too.
Eating and drinking healthily is vitally important. Fresh
fruit and vegetables carry less risk than meat and fish. Also, don’t be shy of
trying out the smaller joints popular with locals. Tourists tend to flock to
what they believe are the more ‘upmarket’, expensive places that look good on
the outside. But looks can be deceiving. One of the best ways to judge the
quality of food in a place is tables packed with locals. They’re not going to
eat in places where the food makes them sick!
Remember to stay hydrated, especially in warmer countries.
Just to be on the safe side, it’s advisable to stick to bottled water.
A little sun is good for you. But not too much!
One of the reasons we all love heading to hot sunny places
on our holidays is because the sunshine genuinely makes us feel good. Our
bodies make Vitamin D from cholesterol in our skin
when it is exposed to sunlight. And among other health benefits, Vitamin D
lifts our mood.
So yes, get out and enjoy the sun. But all good things come in moderation. Too much sun, of course, and you run the risk of sunburn and sunstroke.
It’s always safer to sit in the shade (your skin will still be producing Vitamin D, but not burning). And if you are out in the sun, cover up and use lots of sunscreen.
Take out travel insurance
Finally, even by being extra careful and taking every precaution, you can think of, you can’t completely eliminate the risks of falling ill or having some sort of accident while you are away. So the next best thing is to be prepared just in case something does happen.
The issue with falling ill while abroad is that medical care
can be very expensive for foreign visitors. For anyone who is not a national of
that country, you will be expected to pay out of your own pocket. This can
double the pain for anyone who has also seen the holiday spoiled by a bout of
To avoid the extra hit of high treatment costs, make sure
you never go abroad without travel insurance. Travel insurance policies
cover you for all sorts of things, but the single most valuable part is cover
for emergency medical costs. Most travel policy medical payout limits run to
millions of pounds, to cover worst case scenarios where you fall seriously ill
or have a bad accident and need complex care, followed by repatriation.
DISCLOSURE | This post is sponsored by Avanti.