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Finally, it is time for your eagerly awaited holiday. Be it a short break in Europe or an epic round-the-world adventure, one thing you don’t want is to be ill while you are away. While it is impossible to guarantee this won’t happen, there are a few simple things you can do to greatly reduce the chances of getting sick on holiday. However, should the worst happen and illness does ruin your holiday, you may be able to make a claim against your insurance. You can find out more about holiday sickness claims here.
Here are our top five tips to help you stay healthy and get the most out of your holiday.
1. Keep hydrated
One of the most important things to stay fit and well is drinking enough water. This is particularly true if you are visiting a hot country or taking a long-haul flight to get there. It’s surprising how much water you can lose through sweating when it’s hot. Flying is also incredibly dehydrating, both for your skin and the rest of your body. We know some of you will hate us for saying this but alcoholic drinks and coffees are dehydrating, so they are best enjoyed in moderation.
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2. Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep is also important, helping to reduce stress and improve your mood, with many additional health benefits. Take an eye mask and earplugs if you are flying or in case your hotel turns out to be noisier than you would wish for. Alcohol can also have a negative impact on the quality of your sleep.
When flying to a different time zone try to avoid arriving at night. Arriving in the morning, when the sun is shining, is a great incentive to go out and explore. Try to stay awake until the evening and hopefully, you’ll get a good night’s sleep.
3. Protect yourself from the sun
A sunhat (preferably with a wide brim), sunglasses with both UVA and UVB protection and high protection sun cream are easy ways to help avoid the damaging effects of too much sun. Sunburn can not only be painful, it is very damaging to the skin and increases your risk of developing melanoma skin cancer. If you’re visiting a hot country and are planning on being outdoors a lot, it’s worth investing in clothing with UV protection, such as the range from the outdoor clothes specialists, Rohan.
Don’t forget that this is also necessary when skiing, as the snow’s reflective properties make the UV rays even more powerful.
4. Avoid tummy upsets
Always travel with a small bottle of hand sanitiser. It can be particularly useful if you are out and about and fancy a snack but there are no nearby facilities in which to wash your hands.
The food and drink in the majority of hotels around the world is perfectly safe to eat and drink. However, depending on where you are travelling and the type of establishment you are in (and you’ll have to use your own judgment here), it may be best to avoid anything uncooked that may have been washed in local water, such as salads or fruits that you don’t need to peel.
Wherever you are, be cautious about buffets. If the food is not kept hot enough it’s the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. For hot food, buffets should be kept at a temperature of 60 ℃ (140 ℉) or higher and each buffet should have a visible temperature display.
It’s a good idea to travel with some rehydration sachets in case you get an upset stomach. They help replace the fluid and electrolytes (minerals and salts) lost when you have diarrhoea and are more effective than drinking water alone.
5. Avoid deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
Sitting still for long periods of time, be that on a plane, train or coach, can contribute to DVT, which you can get at any age, although as you get older you are more at risk. Wear compression socks and try to stand up and move around if you can. There are exercises that can also help. You can find out more about preventing DVT on the NHS’ website.
Wherever your next adventure takes you, we wish you safe travels and a happy and healthy holiday.
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