Now being sick while on holiday is the pits. It holds you back from experiencing everything around you to the fullest because you’re either stuck in bed or at a hospital.
I share 5 ways to avoid getting sick while travelling based on my own travel experiences. These tips work whether you’re travelling within the country or going abroad.
1. Always keep hydrated.
Water flushes out toxins from your immune system. It helps your body function at its optimum to be able to ward of any contaminates that can cause infections.
In Nigeria drinking water from the tap is a no-no even for the locals. Bottled water is a norm this side, so water wasn’t so hard to find.
2. Take your vaccine shots.
It’s a mandatory procedure to take certain vaccines a few days before flying out to protect & prepare your body for the country you’re headed to.
I did the normal yellow fever vaccine a month before I left for Nigeria. You’re required to get the shot a minimum 10 days before you fly out. Upon arriving in Nigeria I realised the yellow fever vaccine won’t protect me from malaria. I got malaria a month after arriving in Nigeria. I struggled to find an antimalarial that my body didn’t react to. I am glad to say I found one and I take it diligently every month.
3. Strengthen your immune system.
This was so crucial for me. I literally got sick two weeks after arriving in Nigeria. My menstrual cycle even changed. It is so important to eat proper, fresh food. Load up on vitamins to assist your immune system in fighting off new bacteria. Visit your doctor or pharmacist and let them know where you’re travelling to and allow them to provide medication to help you fight of common ailments in the country you’re headed to.
Always wash fresh food with running water. Always keep your hands clean and always eat fully cooked food. Stay clear of a lot of street food to eliminate stomach bugs and food poisoning. As well as always enquire about the ingredients in the food you’re eating.
4. Wash your hands a lot
You already wash your hands after using the bathroom (hopefully!) but when you’re travelling, even during cold season in general, you should wash your hands a lot more. Think how many door knobs, counters, arm rests one touches while travelling . Think of how any other people are touching them as well. Washing your hands more frequently helps prevent the germs that you’ve been in contact with throughout your day from getting into your system. Other countries have different germs than what you’re used to. In Nigeria there is typhoid fever, cholera etc which aren’t as common back home as they are here so I must take extra precautionary measures.
5. Sleep properly
Lack of sleep has long been linked to sickness, whether one is trying to avoid it or recover from it.
One study found that people who get six hours or less of sleep nightly are four times more likely to catch a cold they’re exposed to than people who get more than seven hours of sleep.
Be ready to battle for a few days because of different time zones, altitudes etc but be consistent in developing a sleep routine that ensures you cover 8 hours of sleep.
Sleeping time is when your body recovers, heals & regenerates itself. Sleep aids in energy boosting to be able to go about your day effectively.