Here at MyTravelMoney.co.uk, you’ll never hear us saying travel sucks. But sometimes, we admit, it really does. There are times when you’re so sick the only thing you want to do is curl up in a foetal position, suck your thumb and cry out for mummy. Luckily, most travel ailments are easily prevented and swiftly treated. All you need is a little preparation and a few hints (which we have kindly compiled) and you too can easily avoid some common travel ailments. Keep in mind that you cannot possibly bring along medications for every eventuality; so the best thing to do is make sure your vaccinations are up to date, pack a few essentials, and improvise the rest!
This is probably one of the most underestimated ailments whilst on the road, and can have disastrous consequences. It’s easy to lose track of your fluid intake whilst traveling, so you must make a conscious effort drink at least 3 liters a day, more in hot and humid countries. By the way…beer doesn’t count. If traveling through high altitude countries, remember to halve your food and double your water intake.
If you suffer from motion sickness we dare say you know this before you travel, so pack your favored treatment. Anti-nausea tablets are always a good bet…even iron-stomached blokes will tend to have a bender when sharing a 12 hour bus ride with a dozen chickens and three dozen locals on a 40 degree day in Bangladesh. It may be ‘something-else’ sickness, but the consequences are always the same.
We’ve seen grown macho men reduced to whimpering, shivering corpses, by a seemingly innocent nibbly bought from a street stall. This is one you cannot possibly avoid altogether; eating only in fancy restaurants and hotels does not make an interesting holiday. So let’s get it over and done with. Whatever you do, for the love of God, keep away from things like Imodium or poop-stoppers! All they do is plug in the nasties, just so they can make a much unsavory return a week later. Let your body flush them out. Drink lots of water and clear soup; take something for the cramping by all means, but if you must spend two days looking at the inside of your hotel toilet then so be it. Better two days than two weeks.
Now here’s a curious one. You’re likely to get 101 opinions on this and, if you’ll allow me, I’d like to add one more. Keep in mind I spent three years in Africa, took no prophylaxis and never contracted malaria. Being a tour guide I’ve witnessed time and again the horrendous side effects of drugs like Malorone: things like heat rashes, insomnia and even psychotic episodes (person in question may have actually been naturally psychotic but I’m willing to give him the benefit of doubt). Prophylaxis DO NOT necessarily prevent malaria, they only delay the onset and perhaps weaken its effects, which mean you still have to be totally paranoid anyway. An hour before sunset you must cover up and bathe in DEET and, should you feel even slightly off (stiff joints, feverish etc) you MUST assume it’s malaria and take treatment. Malaria has a way of mutating efficiently and this is the one case when I would highly recommend local treatments; they are always much more up to date. Visit an international hospital upon arrival and buy yourself a full course of malaria treatment before you do anything else.
It’s easy enough to injure yourself while traveling, especially if ‘roughing it’; but that tiny little cut/blister/scrape can turn mangy and infectious in the blink of an eye. You should be vigilant and make sure the cut is cleaned, disinfected and kept dry and clear of dirt. A daily change of bandage is strongly recommended; in high humidity countries wounds have a nagging habit of taking forever to heal.
Stay safe and happy while you travel and remember, should you ever find yourself curled up around a toilet bowl in the middle of nowhere… be thankful you’re on holiday! Before you leave, don’t forget to compare travel money options by visiting MyTravelMoney.co.uk.