How to not get sick while travelling. Picture: Supplied

We are pretty sure that you can find yourself in the following scenario: you’re on a beautiful trip with your loved ones and suddenly you start sneezing and feeling a bit odd. 

Perhaps it’s from the air conditioning system or maybe you spent too much time in a windy environment, either way, catching the flu during vacation can pretty much ruin everything! 

Here’s how to avoid it:

Do your research and get vaccinated

It seems obvious enough but many travellers fail this basic rule of Travelling 101.

This is especially important if you’re travelling to a tropical destination where water-borne diseases such as dengue fever and typhoid are prevalent and mosquitoes are rife to help spread malaria and yellow fever.

It’s even more important if you know you’ll be travelling to remote areas where there’s limited medical assistance.

Water, water, water!

Your body needs a lot of water to stay nourished. Dehydration not only leads to fatigue but can also exacerbate jet lag. Make sure that you always carry a water bottle with you and refill it as soon as it gets empty, but when you know tap water is of poor quality, make sure you ALWAYS drink bottled water. 

Mostly, try to stay hydrated on your flights where high altitudes and low cabin pressure directly contribute to dehydration. Sadly, booze and coffee don’t count, so be sure to add in some water!

Get enough sleep

Sleep deprivation reduces the body’s ability to respond and ward off the bugs. 

We know that you don’t go on vacation to sleep through it, but beating jet lag quickly and establishing a regular sleeping pattern of at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night is essential to any travel routine. 

If you’re on a long-haul flight, try and sleep as much as you can on the plane. If you arrive at your destination in the morning, try and spend as much time as you can in the daylight so that you can sleep better during the night. 

On the other hand, if you arrive in the evening, try and stay awake during the flight so that you can sleep during the night.

Choose your restaurant wisely

When roaming the streets of a new city, it’s tempting to grab a bite to eat from a street vendor.

However, make sure the food is served hot, the cart looks hygienic and it’s relatively busy (the fewer customers, the longer the food has been sitting out).

When choosing a restaurant, it’s a similar situation. Never go to a deserted eatery, go where the crowds are. Busy restaurants generally mean a higher turnover so the food is fresher and safer (not to mention tastier).

If you’re somewhere where water quality isn’t high, avoid eating water-drenched foods such as watermelon or salads (they’ll be washed in tap water).

Wash your hands often

Most people tend to bite their nails, rub their eyes or touch their face more than they should. But imagine that you’re in a new city and you are basically touching everything. 

Don’t let bugs and viruses end up making you sick and wash your hands as often as you can. Moreover, grab a hand sanitizer and keep it in your bag for those situations in which you don’t have access to a sink and soap.

Be kind to yourself

When in a new place, we can all be tempted to rush around trying to see and do everything, party all night, then attempt to do it all again the next day.

However, your body needs rest.

So when planning your itinerary, try to factor in a few hours every day to take it easy, relax and make sure you get enough sleep.

Insufficient rest puts extra stress on your immune system and as we all know, that little guy needs some extra TLC when travelling.

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