Below are 10 Health Tips for Traveling Abroad, based on our years of personal experience doing so!
Rest before flying
We used to leave everything until the last minute. Before flying. Our last night was always spent packing, balancing our weight limits with our decsions of what to pack, what not to pack. That was until someone (who was much older, but seemed to handle flying much better than us) gave us this tip- rest the day before. Don't go into work (if you're able), especially for long flights - like 24 hours duration. This makes a huge difference.
Sometimes people schedule what they will do from day 1 of their trip. Give your body a break! We need rest. Resting or taking it easy the day you arrive is crucial! You'll enjoy the rest of the trip better and be more productive when your health is top notch!
Build-up Your Immune System - Vitamin C, Super Tonic
Flying hits the immune system. We have noticed a huge difference from building up your natural defenses against the diseases encountered on the aircraft, and in the country of destination. Others who live there may be immune to the bacteria which may exist in the air and food... but you're not. Build up your immune system. A good couple of days of Vitamin C (either tablet, or even better, fresh oranges and lemons (including the skin) will go a far way. As will upping your normal dose of Super Tonic, something we have found to not only help when you're feeling any flu symptoms, but if you're pro-active, take a little bit daily so you don't get sick in the first place.
Aircraft may have super cold cabins, but they are also super dry! You may have to use the rest room often, but that's better than becoming dehydrated at 30,000 feet before landing in a foreign country! Don't forget when you arrive, your body might not be ready for local water and, in some locations, the local water may not be hygienic. Find a healthy source of good water on day 1. You also want to make sure it's sealed properly.
Move around the aircraft
Stand, walk, stretch... These simple activities get your blood flowing, and some say it prevents thrombosis.
Sign up for flying miles (+ tier status benefits)... early
A health tip?? Yes! (Apart from the financial incentive... getting miles to discount future flights - and they do add up over time, especially if you start early), the more you stick to one airline, the more they up your "status" which gives you access to the very refreshing airport lounges. Some countries even offer the perks of an airport lounge (rest, bathrooms, wash facilities, fresh food etc) even if you're not a "gold" or "silver" club member... at a fee-- and it's not always expensive. Think $20 to get a place to rest, refresh, sleep, snack and drink something for a couple hours before continuing.. in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) or Nairobi (Kenya)... in our humble opinion, money well spent!
Watch what you eat when you arrive
I usually give myself a day or 2 where I'm extra careful what I eat. Nothing uncovered (meaning without a skin, like lettuce, fresh tomatoes, etc). Banana's are great, cooked food is fine, but fresh salads, you have to be very careful. Also be careful of ice-- you can be really careful what water you drink, but how do you know what water went in the ice? (Now my third world traveling experience is really coming out!)
Don't get bit!
If you're going to a destination that has malaria, go ahead and take the malaria medication (we've found Mefloquine to have the least side affects; Doxicyclene caused my skin to go wierd, like melting, so I never did that again, and Larium I heard from a friend, gave someone we know brain issues... so stick to Mefloquine) - but even better... just don't get bit!
Be extra careful at night, use mosquito nets, have the windows covered, use fans/ AC if available, spray bug spray on your arms etc at night, and try wear long sleeved clothed at night..
Handle your jet lag your way
Ok, we have differing opinions on this one! My wife likes to break it suddenly, I prefer to let my body slowly adjust. Another friend of mine takes all sorts of flying medication to deal with it.. I would say just be aware of the phenomenon, and boost your immune system with Super Tonic, and you'll be fine, whatever way you handle the jet lag.
Travel stress free!
A merry heart does good like medicine. Boy is that true! The condition of the immaterial part of us, our heart, our soul, our mind, is closely related to the health of our material part (the human body).. so relax, enjoy the ride and on a super practical stress free traveling note...
- Leave early - get there early (like 3 hrs for international), planning extra travel time to the airport, for any sudden issues
- Watch your flying time - when searching for a flight, don't just click on the cheapest one (which might be $10 cheaper... from an airport an extra hour away... Or an extra 8 hrs of travel!!!)
- & Travel light - I travelled with my mother once who had one solitary carry on bag, and no checked luggage! No waiting at the baggage carousal, no lost luggage, no carrying huge cases... since then I've packed a lot less, and had less stress flying