Before a trip you plan everything; what to wear, where to stay, what to see, but very rarely do you plan to get sick. Despite this, many people have found themselves ill in another country. While some illnesses are inevitable, many of the ones incurred while traveling can be avoided entirely by following a few simple steps. In order to maintain good health after getting another stamp in your passport be sure to…

1) Drink Plenty of Water

Airplanes are considered a low-humidity space. While in the air, our bodies dry out more quickly. As a result, it is advised that those traveling by air begin rehydrating themselves prior to boarding the plane. Increased water intake should continue throughout the duration of the trip abroad as individuals usually do not realize they are low on water until early side effects of dehydration have already taken place. For trips that include tours and extensive walking, the goal is to have a glass of water before you feel thirsty enough for one. To read more about just how much water you lose during air travel, click here.

2) Eat Well

Eating well means eating the right foods and enough of them. While traveling diets are often determined by destination, a change in this routine can be shocking to digestive health. In addition to increasing protein intake, one should maintain a diet similar to what is eaten at home. Having a breakfast high in protein can help keep hunger pangs away and allow the focus to be on new experiences rather than the next meal. That being said, hunger can often affect our mood. To help keep high spirits, pack healthy and protein dense snacks as meal schedules may be dictated by sight-seeing or planned activities.

3) Wash Your Hands Often

No matter where you go in the world, hand-washing is the single most important way to stop the spread of infection. Hands should be washed before and after meals, after using the restroom, and after touching items in public that may have been touched by a sick individual. Because finding a restroom can sometimes be a challenge, alcohol-based hand sanitizers are a good alternative, taking up little space in your bag while killing a lot of germs.

4) Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is essential to maintaining health but even more important while traveling. The chances of jet lag are high, and sleep takes a backseat to a laundry list of new experiences. Not getting enough sleep can cause fatigue, headaches, irritability, and drowsiness, all of which can make visiting a new environment less than enjoyable. To avoid these downfalls, getting good quality sleep for a sufficient amount of time is key. Good sleeping habits include avoiding the use of electronics before bed, maintaining a routine bedtime, and sleeping in complete darkness. While traveling, an eye mask can be essential to filtering light.

For more tricks on how to stay out of the doctor’s office while abroad, click here.

Are you interested in traveling to the U.S. for a clinical rotation with AMO? Apply for a rotation today!