Experiencing new cultures and exploring new places are great ways to exercise the brain and may even contribute to healthy aging, according to the world-renowned Mayo Clinic. But, it’s hard explore and enjoy a destination if you become ill while on vacation. Fortunately, there are tips you can
follow to stay healthy, even some things you can do before you leave home to put yourself on track for a safe, healthy journey.
Whether you’re traveling inside or outside North America, consider a pretravel medical checkup – doctors recommend this be done four to six weeks before departure. In addition to a physical exam, your doctor can help you assess any potential health risks you may encounter at your destination. Be sure to discuss any special health needs and how to handle them while you’re traveling. Your doctor may recommend vaccinations for some destinations.
Jet lag – the disruption to your body rhythms that result from rapid travel through time zones – can affect travelers of all ages, and older adults may take longer to recover. You may be able to minimize jet lag by adjusting your sleep schedule to that of your destination a few days before you leave. If that’s not possible, try to shift to the local schedule as soon as you arrive.
Jet lag and excitement can contribute to traveler’s diarrhea, which can also result from contaminated food or water. It often goes away in a day or two with no special treatment. Instead of preventive medications, most doctors recommend frequent hand washing, drinking only bottled beverages or liquids that have been boiled, eating fruits and vegetables that have been washed and peeled, and eating meat that has been properly cooked.
If you exercise regularly, continue that routine while traveling. Ask your Cruise Holidays personal travel expert about exercise facilities available on your cruise ship or at your hotel, then pack what you need to take advantage of them: athletic shoes, exercise clothes, or a swimsuit. Even if there are no facilities where you’re going, pack your walking shoes; and, items like jump-ropes or resistance bands can be used anywhere.
Vacation is a time to let go of the stresses of daily life and enjoy yourself, but don’t forget to follow common-sense safety practices. Mayo Clinic says injury is the most common cause of preventable death among travelers. Safety practices such as wearing seat belts, having a companion when going out at night, and controlling alcohol intake will help keep you safe on vacation, as they do at home.