Healthy Holiday Travel Tips: A Doctor’s Guide

Looking forward to an upcoming trip? The last thing you want when you’re on holiday is falling sick. Dr Michael Chee, an anchor doctor with Doctor Anywhere, shares his top tips for a healthy holiday and his hacks on how you can stay well when you’re travelling overseas.

Preparation for your trip is key.

“Once you’ve confirmed your travel plans, you should look up the recommended vaccinations for the area,” says Dr Michael. 

Travel vaccinations are one of the easiest ways to prevent yourself from falling ill when you’re overseas. You can consult your doctor 4 – 6 weeks before your trip, to find out more about vaccine recommendations and their respective schedules.

“You can also look into the types of medication you may need, depending on your planned activities,” shares Dr Michael. For example, if you’re planning on diving or being at sea, bringing along sea-sickness medication may be a good idea, especially if you’re prone to nausea.

preconception planning

Image source: iStock

Ensure your travel medical kit is well-stocked.

In addition to medication for your activities, you should also carry along a travel medical kit.

“If you have chronic conditions, such as diabetes or asthma, ensure you’ve packed sufficient medication for your trip.” says Dr Michael.

“You can also pack some Over-the-Counter medication for acute conditions, such as paracetamol, antihistamines, lozenges and cold medication.”

This will be useful if you’re going to more remote areas, with limited access to medical care.

Other items you can include in your kit include: plasters and bandages, antiseptic cream, and antibacterial hand wipes.

Healthy Holiday Travel Tips: A Doctors Guide

Image source: iStock

Avoid foods you’re unsure about.

When you’re on holiday, you may be tempted to try all sorts of local food. However, as appetising as everything looks, practise some caution to avoid getting traveller’s diarrhoea.

“Generally, you should opt for fully cooked options rather than raw food,” advises Dr Michael.

“Additionally, keep an eye out for food establishments with good food handling practices.”

Healthy Holiday Travel Tips: A Doctors Guide

Image Source: iStock

Protect yourself against mosquito-borne diseases.

Mosquito-borne diseases, such as malaria and dengue, may be endemic to the country you’re visiting. There are a few things that you can do to reduce your risk of contracting any of these diseases.

“In the day, wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants and apply insect repellent, when you’re going out,” says Dr Michael. “At night, you can use mosquito coils or a mosquito net to protect yourself, when you’re sleeping.”

Zika virus

Check if your local water is safe to drink.

Some of us may be used to drinking water directly from the tap in Singapore, given that tap water is potable. Make sure to look up if local water in the area you’re travelling to is potable, before you do the same when you’re overseas.

“Drinking untreated water carries a high risk of bacteria or parasitic infections, such as Hepatitis A, cholera, or typhoid,” cautions Dr Michael. “This may lead to serious and severe symptoms like vomiting and diarrhoea and may require you to seek medical attention.”

Healthy Holiday Travel Tips: A Doctors Guide

This article was first published on Doctor Anywhere and republished on theAsianparent with permission.


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