Exploring the world is always an adventure. It’s a journey of self-discovery and an opportunity to learn about diverse cultures, taste exotic foods, and immerse yourself in environments different from yours.
This adventure doesn’t come without its potential pitfalls. One of the lesser-discussed aspects of traveling is the health issues it may bring. Learn about a few common health problems when traveling abroad to have a more enjoyable trip.
Common Health Problems When Traveling Abroad
Respiratory infections, including the common cold and influenza, are prevalent among travelers due to confined spaces with recycled air, such as airplanes. Protect yourself by staying hydrated, regularly washing your hands, and wearing a face mask in crowded areas. Starting your trip without problems will ensure you get the best abroad experience.
Sunburn and Heatstroke
Traveling to tropical locations puts you at risk for sunburn and heatstroke, especially when you’re not used to that type of weather. Protect your skin by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen, wearing a hat, and staying in the shade during peak sun hours. Stay hydrated to prevent heatstroke, and limit strenuous activities during the hottest part of the day.
Foodborne illnesses are another health hazard that travelers often face. One such illness is salmonella, contracted from consuming contaminated poultry, eggs, or unpasteurized milk and cheese. Practical tips to prevent salmonella include avoiding undercooked food and eating hot, freshly cooked meals. You should also avoid raw seafood and salads washed in untreated water.
One of the most common illnesses while traveling to other countries is traveler’s diarrhea. The cause is often contaminated food or water. Symptoms include loose stools, potent abdominal cramping, and nausea. To prevent this, only drink bottled or purified water and steer clear of street food vendors with questionable hygiene practices.
Motion sickness is a common problem for travelers, especially when traveling by car, boat, or plane. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and general discomfort. To prevent motion sickness, try to sit where there’s less motion, like the front of a car or wings of a plane, avoid reading while moving, and look at the horizon. Over-the-counter medications can be effective to minimize this problem.