Staying Healthy on the Road
No one likes to be sick. But being sick in a strange room with no medicine and no way to communicate is a whole ‘nother level of pain and discomfort.
Here’re a few pointers for avoiding the whole tortuous scene:
• Don’t go already sick. I am a bad example of this. Many, many times, I’m working right up until the day I leave and am totally exhausted when I get on the plane. This is no way to start a “vacation.” See: Urgencia! in Portugal.
• Rest if you are sick. Adjust your itinerary to stay in bed for a few days. Mom and I did this in Vienna, Austria when she got the 24-hour flu. The Opera will wait (although the Sacher Torte wouldn’t wait – yum!)
An Ounce of Prevention
• Be pro-active! Preventative medicine can certainly help. I just read about someone who takes pro-biotics while she travels. This may not be a bad idea since they may help fight off some tummy turbulence.
• Watch what you eat. This one is tough since trying new foods is a big part of travel fun. A few simple rules to keep in mind: no ice, no un-peeled fruits / vegetables, no under-cooked anything.
I used to pride myself on my iron stomach – until I was taken out by a transvestite in Thailand. Read: Trannie Revenge.
• Buy Drugs. One of the first things I do overseas is hit a pharmacy, especially if I’m in Latin America and the drugs are cheap and can be bought over the counter. For instance, I’ll buy a Z-pak just in case I need a course of antibiotics along the way.
• Bring your own Paraphernalia. I’ve also read about people carrying clean syringes with them. This seems a bit extreme to me. I mean, if I’m sick enough where someone has to inject me (with what?) and there no clean facilities, then I better be getting medivac’ed out of there.
• Seek Professional Advice. If you’re not getting better, bite the bullet and see a doctor. Depending where you are, you can get a recommendation from your hotel concierge (although I usually don’t travel at this level of luxury), your local tour agency, or your country’s consulate. At various times, I’ve resorted to all three with good luck.
• Point It. I’ve seen this book a few times and have always thought it was unnecessary (a few phrases, pointing and smiling usually does the trick for me.) But I can see how if you’re delirious with fever or pain, a picture dictionary might be helpful. Check out: Point it by Dieter Graf.
And my all-time favorite preventative medicine: Beer!
No, really, I think it really does kill off lots of unwanted bugs and the bubbles can do a tummy good. Note: This is advice from someone with zero medical experience, but lots of hours logged in ale houses.
So let’s raise a glass to our next – healthy — holiday!
Tags: Healthy Traveling
This entry was posted on Saturday, September 18th, 2010 and is filed under On the Road.