I dream about my summer vacations – leaving the daily grind behind to enjoy myself with family and friends in a breezy, beachy place. But my excitement has often been ruined by a widespread vacation complaint; I get sick.
Now, vacations are supposed to be relaxing and rejuvenating – so what’s up? There’s a preponderance of evidence suggesting our bodies succumb to illness when we are on vacation. It seems that the combination of summer activities and unique aspects of travel exposes us to additional health risks.
But there are ways to keep safe and healthy this vacation. All it takes is a little bit of awareness and preparation to have a summer vacation that’s safe and carefree.
Tips and Tricks for Preventing Summer Vacation Sickness
1. Get the Jab
Before you travel, check the recommended vaccinations for your destination and ensure you are current. Vaccinations can protect you from serious diseases such as typhoid, yellow fever, hepatitis A and B, and rabies. You may also need a booster shot for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. Some vaccines require multiple doses or take time to become effective, so plan ahead and consult your doctor at least four to six weeks before your trip.
2. Wash Your Hands (a bunch)
Consider everything you touch while on vacation, from public transit handrails to bathroom stall locks – pretty scary stuff. If you want to avoid getting sick, regularly wash your hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds at a time. Carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer everywhere you go and use it.
3. Stay Hydrated
Airplane air can cause headaches, dry mouth, and dry skin. Drinking plenty of water gives you energy, helps prevent headaches, and helps alleviate travelers’ constipation. Whether you’re sick or not, you should always drink lots of water while you’re traveling. Research your destination to find out if tap water is safe to drink. If it’s not, be extra careful about the ice and other liquids you consume. Be extra safe and splurge on bottled water.
4. Avoid Too Much Sun Expose
Your skin is your largest organ, and when it’s damaged from too much sun exposure, your entire immune system responds to repair it, leaving you feeling sluggish and achy. Wide-brimmed hats, cover-ups, and umbrellas may defeat the purpose of a sun-filled beach vacation, but when it comes to avoiding too much sun exposure, they are the best medicine. Apply sunscreen all over your body, including ears and lips. If you go swimming or exercise, apply it again.
If you’re feeling under the weather, sometimes the best thing to do is take a day to sleep in your hotel room. No one wants to miss out on a vacation day but once you recover, you’ll up and running again, and overall you’ll probably enjoy the trip more.
6. Prepare Your Body
Visiting a destination where the climate and sanitary practices are different from your home increases your risk of developing traveler’s diarrhea. Fortunately, it’s typically not serious — it’s just very unpleasant.
Traveler’s diarrhea which is the onset of stomach cramps, loose stools, nausea, and gas, can last for a few hours to a week or more. Exposure to parasites like E. coli found in contaminated food and water is usually the culprit. Since tap water can also be contaminated, things like brushing your teeth or ice in your drink can infect you with E. coli.
Prepare your body in advance against a harmful parasitic onslaught by balancing your gut bacteria.
When gut bacteria are imbalanced, you’re more susceptible to harmful microbes, and the imbalance itself can cause diarrhea and other painful symptoms. Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Biotics™ daily dose contains 16 unique strains of good bacteria and an industry-leading 50 billion CFUs to create a lush, healthy gut microbiome and help lower the risk of diarrhea and other health problems.
Dynamic Biotics™ also contains probiotic strain Bifidobacterium breve known to help combat travel’s diarrhea so you can quickly recover if you do get sick. Keeping a supply of Dynamic Biotics™ on hand is an excellent idea for upcoming trips and improved daily digestive health.