You save up all year for that once-in-a-lifetime trip to Rome…. Then spend half your vacation close to the bathroom in your hotel room. Or you head to Hong Kong for that career-trajectory-altering business trip… then slip at the hotel pool and break your wrist. Or this – my 75-year-old mother ventured to Patagonia earlier this year for a hiking-intensive tour. At the airport just after they arrived, she missed a step, fell down and badly bruised her knee. After two days of not being able to get a round, she flew home.
Accidents happen. You get sick. Plans go awry. But as your great-grandmother used to say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. With that in mind, here are five preventive measures every traveler should take before and during their trip:
1. Drink Bottled Water:
In terms of general well-being, dehydration is a major factor for travelers. The environment in planes and hotels can be very dry, and travel-induced sleep issues can leave you all dried up. So be sure to drink plenty of water – it’ll give you more energy than that cup of espresso (really). And be sure the water you drink is bottled, especially in parts of the world where cleanliness is a bit further from godliness than what you’re used to. As many as half of international travelers are afflicted by diarrhea when they’re away from home. A major culprit is water that isn’t quite potable. So stay in the good half of the statistics, and drink bottled water. Also, be leery of ice cubes and produce, which may have been rinsed in that less-than-clean H2O.
2. Visit the Doctor Before you Go:
Particularly if you haven’t had a check-up in a while, you should head to the doctor and make sure everything is in working order and that you’re fit to travel. Make sure you get the necessary immunizations. This may well require a visit to a travel clinic. Check out the International Society of Travel Medicine for a clinic near you.
3. Maintain your Exercise Regimen:
Whether you’re on vacation or a business trip, it’s easy to skip your morning workout. Don’t. Even if it’s a shorter, less vigorous workout – something as simple as some stretching and push-ups and sit-ups in your room – it will help you maintain your energy, and you’ll enjoy the trip more. Also, try to pay some attention to your diet; it’s fine to cut loose a little bit, but grab a salad every now and then.
4. Pay Attention to the News:
Before you head halfway around the globe, you need to be aware of what’s happening out there. In this hyper-connected world, getting the news is easy enough. You just need to tear yourself away from the latest news about Kim and Khloe and focus on what’s happening in the world. Check out a credible news site, and also be aware of the travel notices at agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. State Department.
5. Purchase Travel Health Insurance:
No matter the precautions you take, accidents happen. This is why God created insurance. Purchasing a policy specifically designed to protect you when you’re in a different country can help you navigate the vagaries of the local healthcare system; honestly, you don’t want to rely on the concierge’s recommendation for a heart specialist, do you? We’re partial to HTH Worldwide and its worldwide network of healthcare providers, but other insurance providers can also fit the bill. Please – make sure you get coverage from someone.