If you are planning a summer vacation, be sure to be prepared for the unexpected, including protecting your health. While illness and injury cannot be predicted, there are precautions that you can take ahead of time to make those moments more bearable, and promote healthy summer travel.
1. Fill all prescriptions ahead of time. If you require any special medications that you will be taking (or may end up taking) on your trip, be sure to have an adequate supply on hand. Things such as allergy medication are great to have on hand, should the event arise that you need it. Also, if travelling by plane, be sure to carry on all medications to avoid anything getting lost in baggage.
2. Always consider sun and heat exposure. Drink plenty of liquids, especially water, on your trip. Summer heat and sun can quickly wreak havoc on your body. If you will be outdoors, make sure to lather up with sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. If you sweat, swim, or exercise, be sure to reapply as necessary. Limit sun exposure between 11 am and 4 pm, when the rays of the sun are at their most intense.
3. A few weeks ahead of time, ensure that your vaccines are up to date. When traveling, you may come into contact with viruses that are not common in your home region. Take steps to protect yourself in advance by visiting your doctor for a check-up.
4. Protect yourself from bugs and insects that carry disease, such as mosquitoes. Carry and use bug repellent if you will be outdoors. If you are certain there will be insects where you travel, wear protective clothing such as long sleeve shirts, long pants, hats, and boots.
5. If traveling with children or elderly, keep in mind that common travel aliments such as motion sickness, earaches, dehydration, and food poisoning can take a fast toll on a compromised or immature immune system. If symptoms of any sort are noticed, they should be addressed.
6. Know the area. Should you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of needing medical care while on vacation, a quick pre-trip search of the area where you will be staying could be very helpful, especially if your destination is a remote location. Another thought for advanced consideration is if you need to stay within a certain network for insurance reasons (and the medical reason is non-emergent), the treatment facility could be a factor in where to get help.
Summer is a fun and exciting time for travel. Taking proper precautions for your health is an important part of ensuring the best experience possible. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
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