Being under-weather feels awful – no matter when it is- whether at home or at work or worse, when you are on a holiday. It has been a crazy last week where each one of us at home fell ill, nothing too serious but enough to keep us away from our daily routine. It is also, one of the reasons that prompted me to do this post for my readers, for falling ill while on a holiday is possibly the worse experiences that you can have. Here is my guide to a travel medical kit and possible ways to avoid falling sick.
It is not unusual to fall ill when you travel to any place. What makes it awful is that you end up missing out on tons of things while you recuperate. The enjoyment quotient of your holiday really falls down, making your great memories some of your not-too great memories of the place. Before I prep you on how I try to tackle this during my travel, let’s just list down what are the possible causes –
1) Change of weather
DUH!!! Seems obvious but most of us tend to ignore it by not packing the right clothes or gadgets to deal with it. Research is extremely important to know what you are going to be facing when heading to your destination. Make a list of clothes, shoes and possible medicines that you need to carry with you to face that weather.Sunscreen and soothing lotions are a must depending on the weather. And I tell you from my experience in Goa this year, despite taking the precautions, I had some awful sunburns.
And no, I am never putting up those blotchy photos – the other downside of not taking enough care.
2) Foreign Food
I know I am the one who keeps saying what is travel without tasting the local food. And I stand by it. But sometimes, one needs to be cognizant of the fact that not all foreign food is something that you are used to and you are likely to get affected in some ways. I remember this one time when we were in Sri-Lanka and we went berserk with the string-hoppers and coconut curry. It was not too foreign considering we have the same dishes in India but I guess, the way it was made was a little off for my poor tummy. Thank God for the Digenes that I had carried. On the whole, I realized it is that best that you try everything in moderation 🙂 All was well in the end.
Of course, besides subjecting yourself to excesses, ensure that the place you are eating from is clean. If you buying fruits, ensure they are washed well.
3) Not enough Water
Guilty here! I tend to miss out on the most important part of any travel. This should be literally rule number one. I tend to be so excited about seeing things that I forget this basic rule. One tip that I have and use religiously is adding a reminder every hour to drink tons of water. It helps your system enormously.
I recall this from my college trek where we were busy looking for some green specimens for Botany at Kodaikanal and with all the excitement and fun, a friend literally fainted mid-way with cramps owing to a poor intake of water. Gosh! An extreme case but could happen to anyone.Guilty here! I tend to miss out on the most important part of any travel. This should be literally rule number one. I tend to be so excited about seeing things that I forget this basic rule. One tip that I have and use religiously is adding a reminder every hour to drink tons of water. It helps your system enormously.
On a safer side, opt for the bottled water option in foreign land. Costs a penny but worth it for your health.
4) An over-kill of trying to do it all
Know your limits. A lot of travelers go beserk, trying to see every small thing. There isn’t much point in doing so for all you are left with is a frenzied feeling and exhaustion. Ask yourselves after the trip – how was the trip and what do you remember of it? Most likely the answer would be “exhausting ” and “lots of things but nothing in particular”. My advice here is take it easy and let go of a few things if you do not have time for. It’s hard but better than falling sick with exertion.
5) A niggling cold or cough at the start.
You might have contracted something at the start of the journey, in which case, as much as I am against medicines, it is possibly better to treat it then and there itself before setting off. It helps ensure that things are in control and do not flare up more when on your trip.
6) A small work-out during your holiday
Nothing elaborate. A small set of exercises or a run or possibly the gym at your hotel. Just to keep up a routine if you have one and add that little immunity by way of staying healthy. Sometimes, a 15 minutes stretch-out is also, useful. And hey, its fun too, especially if you are running along the roads and the beach. 🙂
While we are all cognizant of these facts, what is important to know is that you need to be prepared for every eventuality. There are chances that despite the precautions, you do have a mild form of stomach upset or fever when you are traveling. I always, carry a medical kit for such eventualities. While you can always buy some where you are, sometimes owing to various reasons, it becomes difficult. Some reasons being –
- OTC medical rules. Not every country has the same rules when it comes to medicines. Even the most common ones in some countries need a prescription
- Language barriers – Reminds me of Thailand where I was not sure if I was picking up the right medicine for everything was written in Thai
Here is my suggested list of what can go into your travel medical kit –
(Disclaimer: These work well for me. However, pls be aware of your medical allergies and consult your doctor before adding all these to your kit. Not all medicines are suitable for all)
- Analgesic / Antipyretic- generally Paracetamol
- Gas and Indigestion tablets
- Anti-acidity tablets
- Motion Sickness Medicine
- Anti-inflammatory tablets – in case you have hurt yourself and have a sprain/ swelling
- Anti-inflammatory cream/ spray – like Volini or Moov
- Crepe bandage and band aids
- Small bottle of Dettol or Savlon
- Cough/ Cold medicines
- Sun-Screen – not the cosmetic kinds but with some good SPF
- Mosquito repellent
- Calamine lotion – soothing against insect bites and sun-burns and I really, swear by this.
- Hand sanitizer
- Mouth Gel for mouth ulcers
This should help prevent possible eventualities and I hope you never have to use them. A note to the people who are traveling abroad – always better to check if you have all the right vaccinations in place. Best be prepared for the enjoyment comes to those who are less things to worry about.
Safe and healthy travels to all.