How To Minimize Health Risks While Traveling

Nowadays, it is easier than ever before to travel around the world for business and pleasure. No matter why you’re flying from one nation to another, it is very important to take time to consider your safety during your travels. Going to a country for the first time can put you in contact with a number of health issues like infectious diseases and local viruses. In order for you to stay healthy, feel your best, and enjoy your trip, you need to make your journey a safe and secure one.

Give yourself a moment to consider these simple travel tips. With a little research, you’ll be ready to minimize your health risks the next time you fly. 

My Suite at Ascott Sathorn in Bangkok
Bedroom of the master suite at Ascott Sathorn in Bangkok, Thailand

Sleep Is Key

Ensuring you get proper sleep each night is one of the most important steps you can take for your health. Your sleep cycle is directly connected to the performance of your immune system. When you are up for long hours due to jet lag or because you are too excited in a new city to sleep, it can compromise your immune functions and make you more susceptible to environmental irritants. Essentially, a lack of sleep makes it a whole lot easier for you to fall sick while traveling. To avoid this, be sure to sleep a lot while you’re traveling.

The view from an airplane window is quite nice. Nothing beats air travel.

Review Your Insurance Coverage

Health insurance is also a lifesaver when it comes to international travel. If you plan on traveling in the near future, you absolutely want to review your current insurance policy before you step foot on a plane. Many people discover that they do not have proper coverage when an injury takes place and it is too late to do anything about it. To avoid a very expensive or outright frightening scenario in a foreign land, look at your current provider and determine if there’s a better answer for your international health insurance coverage needs.

Dinner and drinks with locals at Jiaozi Snow Mountain
Dinner and drinks with locals at Jiaozi Snow Mountain in Shaanxi, China

Everything In Moderation

When you’re journeying to a new and exotic country for the first time, you probably want to try everything you see. From foods to drinks to experiences, it can be difficult to control yourself when there are so many captivating and unusual things in front of you. Unfortunately, this is an easy way to get sick or injured. Exhibit control and try everything in moderation. Rushing into food or drink might cause you to get sick from specific regional ingredients or elements in the local water. Practice moderation and you’ll enjoy yourself in a much safer way. 

Mountain Jogging in Chamonix, France
Mountain Jogging in France

Time for Exercise

If you spend a lot of time at the gym back home, then you likely want to make sure you stay current with your exercise routine while abroad. Luckily, almost every corner of the world has some type of gym or fitness facility. Even if it pales in comparison to the gym back in your home country, it is a good idea to stick with your daily exercises while traveling. Staying in your routine keeps your body fit and ready for whatever risks or dangers await on your trip.

The view from my office this week -- the palm trees and sandy shores of Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka
The view from my office this week — the palm trees and sandy shores of Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka

Do Your Research

Whether you’re going to London, Bali, Milan, or Boise, you absolutely need to do a little bit of research before you set foot on a plane. If you’re concerned about your health before you travel, the best way to calm your fears and prep for what’s in store is by doing a little bit of reading on the internet. Learn about potential restaurants, tourist spots, interesting places to take pictures, and anything else you want to know. This can lower your stress levels and, in turn, make you feel more excited about traveling.

There are a number of ways to stay mindful of your health while journeying to new places. Be sure to take your time and consider all factors to produce the best results for your trip.

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About Derek Freal

"Some people eat, others try therapy. I travel."   Cultural enthusiast. Adrenaline junkie. Eater of strange foods. Chasing unique and offbeat adventures around the world since 2008. Derek loves going to new destinations where he does not speak a word of the local language and must communicate with hand gestures, or places where he is forced to squat awkwardly to poo -- supposedly its healthier and more efficient. For more information (about Derek, not squat pooing) including popular posts and videos, check out his bio.

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