Travel Health: Beyond the shots…

Though it is crucial to visit a Travel Health clinic in order to have the necessary immunizations and medication to face all kind of bugs that are not common at home, there are some simple things that maybe you didn’t think of that could make your trip way more enjoyable!

Montezuma’s Revenge, Cairo 2-Step, Delhi Belly…

… also known as Traveler’s diarrhea.  Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to eat infected/improper food or drinks to contract it.  Change of climate, exhaustion from traveling, a udden change in your eating habits… individually or added together, these are sufficient to cause intestinal discomfort.

Starting 1-2 week(s) before your trip, start daily intakes of probiotics and continue during the whole length of the trip and some time after you’re back home. It won’t guarantee you won’t be sick, but it sure helps. If you can, avoid all loperamide medications, as it won’t fix the problem; it just creates a plug that will eventually dissolve without actually curing your belly bug. (If you have fever or taking antibiotics, do NOT take loperamide.) Bismuth-based meds are better alternatives because less “radical”.

Don’t turn a blind eye: Contact Lens solution

contact lensesApparently, this can be a tricky item to find when you’re abroad. Though widely available in Northern America & Western Europe, contact lens solution and drops seems to be hard to find in some countries, particularly in Asia. My recommendation? Bring many travel size (100-150 ml) bottles that you will throw away when once done. It will take you forever to finish a regular size bottle which will take the same amount of space in your backpack, full or half-empty. With smaller containers, you get to win a little space every time you finish a bottle!

These boots are made for walking… so get orthotics!

Walking is a crucial part of backpacking. Being a plus-size traveler makes it tougher on your knees, ankles and lower-body joints. Getting proper orthotics for your shoes will make a world of difference. Personally, orthotics took me from being in ankle pain every night and having difficulty walking after 2 days of saying “Where are the next Mayan ruins?” after standing on my feet all day!

It is expensive, it’s true. But considering the positive outcome and how it’ll allow you to enjoy your trip even more, I see it as an investment. If you are lucky enough to have it covered by your work insurance, then what are you waiting for? Wait until you get your orthotics before buying shoes to ensure they fit perfectly and to maximize comfort!

My (big) foot in the sand of Palolem Beach, Goa (India) – 2012

I want to know…
What are YOUR tips & advices that most people don’t think of that make your travel better & more enjoyable?  Please comment! 🙂

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