Vacations are overall a time to relax and have fun, but they can also be a time when your health is at risk if you’re not careful and prepared.
From sunburns and insect bites, to food poisoning and getting lost, there are many things that can go wrong on vacation.
We’ve put together a list of 10 ways to stay safe and healthy on vacation. From packing the right supplies to being aware of your surroundings, these tips will help you enjoy your trip without worrying about your safety or well-being.
10 Ways to Stay Safe & Healthy on Your Next Dream Vacation
1. Pack the Essentials
Make sure you pack all of the necessary items for your trip, including any prescription medications. You’ll want to take at least enough of your medication to last the entire trip, plus a few extra days in case of emergencies.
In addition to medications, pack a first-aid kit with bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and other items that can come in handy if you or a travel companion gets injured.
It’s also a good idea to pack some insect repellent and sunscreen, as well as any other personal care items you may need that can prevent illness & injury.
2. Stay Hydrated
Drinking plenty of fluids is important for preventing dehydration, especially in hot weather. Although alcohol & caffeinated beverages may taste good and may be plentiful, they can actually dehydrate you. So be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially when you’re active or outdoors.
Staying hydrated can actually help offset any stomach issues that may come from eating new foods in your destination – after all, culinary experiences are a big part of many vacations!
3. Protect Yourself from The Sun
I know, I know. You’ve heard it before. But apply your sunscreen regularly, especially if you’re going to be spending time outdoors. And wear protective clothing, such as a hat and sunglasses, to reduce your risk of sunburn.
Did you know that sunburns can actually make you sick? Not only can they cause pain and swelling, but they can also lead to fever, chills, and nausea. So be sure to take care of your skin while you’re enjoying the sun!
(I once saw a bottle of sunscreen priced at $30 at a hotel – so bring enough so you don’t run out!)
4. Avoid Insect Bites
Insects can carry diseases, so it’s important to avoid being bitten. Pack long sleeves and pants if you plan on being outdoors in the evenings, and use insect repellent often.
In case you do get bit by an insect, I recommend packing a topical antibiotic ointment to help prevent infection and/or a topical ointment to help take away the discomfort.
5. Practice Safe Food and Water Habits
Be careful about what you eat and drink while on vacation. Stick to bottled water, avoid ice cubes if you’re not sure if a foreign restaurant has a filtration system, and wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly. When eating out, make sure the food is cooked well and served hot.
You may find that the water is not necessarily “bad” in destinations, but stomach troubles can occur simply because our bodies aren’t used to the different natural organisms found in it. So it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to food & water while on vacation.
(Take some anti-diarrheal medication with you just in case, too!)
6. Stay Aware of Your Surroundings
It’s important to be aware of your surroundings when traveling, especially in unfamiliar places. Make sure to pay attention to your belongings and keep track of where you are. If possible, avoid walking alone at night or in any place that is unfamiliar.
A keychain with an alarm can also be a helpful safety device, as it can attract attention if you find yourself in an unsafe situation.
7. Bring Hard Copies Of Your Documents
Make copies of all important documents before you leave on your trip, including your passport, driver’s license, and insurance cards. Leave one copy at home with a trusted friend or family member, and carry the other with you in a safe place.
If you lose any of your documents while on vacation, having copies will make it much easier to replace them.
Don’t count on your Wi-Fi always working or your phone always being accessible for electronic documents. Make sure your hard copies are with you!
8. Learn Basic Phrases in The Local Language
This can be helpful for a number of reasons – from ordering food to asking for directions. And it’s a great way to connect with locals! If you’re traveling somewhere that speaks a different language, try to learn at least a few basic phrases before you go.
(The Google Translate App is a great way to quickly translate words and phrases on the go. It can also be used offline, which is helpful if you’re traveling to a destination with limited or no internet access.)
If you have any food allergies, be sure to translate these clearly on paper into the local language as well. That way, if you need to ask about ingredients or make sure something is safe to eat, you’ll be able to do so easily.
9. Use Caution when Taking Taxis or Other Forms of Transportation
When traveling in unfamiliar territory, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions when getting around. If possible, try to use only licensed taxis or other transportation services.
When in doubt, always ask the hotel staff or another trusted local for advice on the best way to get where you’re going.
Travel agents such as those at Love of The Magic Vacations will also be a good resource for information on transportation options in your destination. Much of the time, your transportation can even be set up ahead of time – taking lots of the stress off when vacationing!
10. Opt for Travel Insurance.
This is something I always recommend, as it can give you peace of mind while on vacation. In the event that something does happen, travel insurance can help cover the cost of medical care, lost or stolen belongings, trip cancellation, and more.
(We don’t want to think about the possibility of something going wrong on vacation, but it’s always best to be prepared. Just in case!)
Did you know that many hospitals in foreign countries will not take insurance, even though your health insurance company may boast that you’re “covered” on vacation? It’s more likely that you’ll have to pay cash up front for your treatment and then ask for reimbursement from your health coverage when you get home.
No one wants to be refused treatment for their inability to pay up front!
There are a variety of different policies available, so be sure to ask your travel agent about what might be the best option for you and your trip.
By following these simple tips, you can help ensure a safe and healthy vacation for yourself and your family.
And if you’re looking to choose a destination that is safe for you and your loved ones to travel, I’d love to help! Contact me at the button below and let’s chat about where you’re dreaming of traveling next.
I can’t wait to help you plan the vacation of a lifetime!