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Have you ever been traveling and then suddenly came down with a nasty bug?
I have. It sucked.
I was running what would be my 4th Ragnar Relay in beautiful Napa valley when I came down with a nasty cold. At first, I just thought it was allergies. But when my tonsils swole up and my throat ached I figured this was more than just some sniffles.
There wasn’t much I could do about it, so I just continued groggily and painfully running and ended up feeling crappy the whole trip.
It was definitely my least favorite Ragnar.
I promised myself after that experience that I would be prepared next time.
Being sick is horrible. Being sick while your away from home in a strange place is a full out nightmare.
Your head gets cloudy, nose get’s stuffy, temperature rises, maybe nausea sets in and it’s all you can do to not throw up and control your bowels…
…and all your plans suddenly fall through or seem a heck of lot less enjoyable.
So much for a relaxing or adventurous vacay.
This post is to give you my top tips on how to stay healthy while traveling or in the case you do need a doctor, a super simple and helpful solution.
How to Stay Healthy While Traveling
1.Bring sanitizer and USE it.
You know how it says on hand sanitizer, “kills 99.9% of germs”? That number might be an exaggeration, but one study found that workers who used hand sanitizer 5 times a day were 2/3 less likely to get sick. So it really can be helpful, especially if you don’t have access to soap and water.
Keep hand sanitizer with you, some disinfecting wipes, or even a small spray bottle of rubbing alcohol. Use it in public places like in airports, planes, trains, and theme parks. Even use it after eating at a restaurant or shopping.
Use generously and you might just avoid getting someone else’s bug.
2. Bring some immune boosters.
Did you know that certain foods and vitamins can help boost your immunity? Besides eating plenty of fruits and veggies while on your trip (make sure they are washed!) you can also bring some vitamins for an extra boost.
- Vitamins A, C, and E: These are the 3 immune boosting vitamins I always make sure to take with me. I usually bring Airborne (swear by that stuff), vitamin C pills and vitamin A in the form of cod liver oil. It sounds gross but trust me. They can really give your immune system a boost and help you fight off any nasty bugs.
- Lysine: I bring lysine with me on every trip. Why? Cold sores. If I’m not careful and if I’m out in the sun too long without protection, my bottom lip will break out into a cluster of cold sores and my lip swells as big as my face.
Ew! I know. It’s horrible.
Lucky for me tho, I learned that lysine can combat this misfortune! If you get cold sores and would rather not deal with an outbreak on a trip, try taking some lysine.
3. If you are traveling abroad, be sure to get your shots.
You might think you are being clever by saving money and avoiding getting a needle stuck in your arm, but trust me you’d much rather be protected against horrible diseases like typhoid, Hep A, and Yellow Fever than take a chance at getting deathly sick while your half way across the world.
Be sure you are up to date on all your routine vaccines and use this website from the CDC to see what shots you should get before traveling abroad.
You can take additional precautions by following the health guidelines of each country. Use bug spray where diseases spread my mosquitos are frequent. Don’t drink the water in a place where they don’t have clean water. Only eat out at reputable places. Being a little more careful is much better than sitting on the toilet all day.
4. Bring a small first aid kit.
This doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but a small first aid kit with bandaids, Ibuprofen, antibacterial gel, and other basic tools can go a long way. Just make sure if you’re traveling on a plane, there is nothing sharp that shouldn’t be flying with you.
5. Need a doctor? Use this free website.
If you do happen to be traveling in the US and are in need of a doctor, I would recommend Amino. Amino is a free resource that helps you find the best and most qualified doctors nearest you according to you medical needs.
Whether you have asthma that needs to be taken care of or a wretched cold, Amino is personalized just for you.
You can customize what you want by selecting your condition, your age, your location, insurance, and distance you are willing to travel. Amino finds the best doctors nearest you to get you the care you need while traveling. It’s pretty neat! And it’s nice to know someone has your back in case of an emergency.
Hopefully, you are now prepared for your next adventure! Feel free to pin this infographic from Amino as a reference so you can stay at the top of your health game. For more tips about healthy travel, check out my post about how to stay fit while traveling!