Healthy Travelling

by Interhealth Worldwide
Posted on 1st July 2017

InterHealth's top 10 tips for travellers

1. Drink lots of water
Staying hydrated makes a big difference to your energy when in a hot, tiring environment, and during a long flight. If it's very hot at your destination, one or two drinks of oral rehydration solution during the day can be very reviving even if you don't have diarrhoea. In addition to replacing fluids, it also puts back electrolytes and sugar.

2. Know the common diseases of your destination
Before you set off, book an InterHealth Travel Health Consultation with a travel nurse to ensure you have the appropriate malaria tablets, travel vaccinations and an awareness of the other tropical diseases present in your destination. It's worth remembering that only about one episode in ten of illness internationally is prevented by a vaccination. The real secret is knowing how to prevent illness. Knowledge is power especially when it genuinely changes behaviour!

3. Regular Health Checks-Ins
For those travelling three or more times a year we would recommend a Wellness Medical with an InterHealth doctor. This fully tailored medical provides individuals with a unique opportunity to ask questions and discuss any health problems with a sympathetic doctor.

Stress Management Consultations & Resilience Check-ups can also be arranged for those looking to tackle work-life balance issues.

4. Get plenty of sleep
Getting some sleep on a long flight and during busy trips can make such a difference. A high quality eye mask is a great investment. Ear plugs can be really helpful in a noisy environment, with banging hotel rooms, or if you or your travel companions happen to be snorers! Rubber ear plugs lightly smeared with a bland cream can keep the sound out even more effectively.

5. Exercise regularly
Doing some form of aerobic exercise can really help reduce stress and keep up your fitness especially if you are away for more than a couple of weeks; also try going for a run, swim, or even skipping on the spot!

6. Adjust yourself to the time schedule of your current location
As quickly as possibly, try to get on the right time frame of your new destination. Arriving late afternoon and evening with a night's sleep before the first meeting is ideal especially if going west-east or east-west. If sleep is a real problem, a short acting sleeping pill such as zopiclone can help on a long flight or for a night or two after you arrive. Some people find melatonin helpful for 2 or 3 nights after arriving.

7. Always carry healthy food
When tired and hungry it is hard to resist the temptation of junk food. As you never know when delays might occur, stock up on dried fruit, nuts and other healthy snacks to prevent reaching for the hamburger. Buy a copy of Ted Lankester's Belitz Travel Health Pocket Guide for further advice.

8. Take important medication with you from home
There is increasing evidence of fake or poor quality products being sold in many developing countries, including antibiotics and treatment for malaria. Have some spares in case you get delayed. 

9. Refrain from drinking too much alcohol
This applies to life in general, but it is particularly important to not be dehydrated while travelling so avoid the hangover and choose the fruit smoothie rather than another gin and tonic.

10. Find some time to engage in something enjoyable
Even though you are working and on a tight schedule, try to relax and do something you will enjoy. This could be a massage, some sightseeing, swimming or a visit to a local cultural event. Have your favourite travel guide with you. "But I have to get back for meetings", I hear you say. What a'll have to plan it in next time!

InterHealth Worldwide was an international Christian health charity preparing, sustaining and supporting the health and wellbeing of individuals working around the world.