Traveling is a way for us to explore the world. Whether we go near or far, we are always given the ability to see through new eyes when we step foot outside our normal comfort zone.
Getting out there to travel looks a little different these days, however. Given the current state of the world, it’s more important now more than ever to travel safely and cautiously.
You may not think there are many positive outcomes of the coronavirus pandemic, but in actuality, people are much more aware now of the need to travel smart and stay healthy.
So if you do decide to travel during these times, what can you do to keep yourself safe? And what might happen if you were to fall ill while traveling?
Taking Precautions Before You Depart
Before you even depart on your trip, there are some preventative steps you can take to keep yourself healthy on your vacation.
Be Up-to-Date on Vaccines
Before traveling somewhere, be up to date on your vaccinations. Depending on where you are traveling, the vaccinations you need may differ. Research before your trip to ensure you are properly protected before leaving.
Take Care of Yourself
Getting in vacation mode before actually leaving for vacation may come around to bite you. Before you leave to travel, it’s important not to lose sight of good self-care.
Continuing to eat healthy foods such as broccoli, grapefruit, avocados, and apples and exercising at home or in the gym before your trip are important factors to keep yourself healthy while traveling. If you are in good health before you depart, you have a higher chance of staying healthy while away.
Staying Safe While Away
Once you actually leave for your trip, be sure to take the proper steps to ensure you stay healthy.
Pack a Bag with Essentials
Essential items may seem different now than they ever have been, but they are important to include in our current situation. It is a smart idea to pack a small bag that you can carry with you at all times during your travel.
This bag should contain essential items such as:
- Hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol)
- Extra masks
- Disinfectant wipes
- Extra soap
- Disposable gloves
Protecting yourself while traveling is the first step to ensuring your health stays strong while away.
Wash Your Hands Frequently
When the option is available, always opt to wash your hands while traveling. There may be many items you come in contact with, and washing your hands as often as possible can help stop the spread of germs.
Be sure you are washing your hands for 20 seconds with warm water. If you feel uncertain about the provided soap where you are washing your hands or simply don’t see any soap, this is a great moment to use the soap you brought along in your travel bag.
Avoid Touching Your Face
It’s tempting. We all touch our faces frequently. We have an itch or feel a hair and we instinctively go to scratch or wipe our face. We simply can’t help ourselves.
Touching your face can be an extremely easy way to spread sickness. Your nose, mouth, and eyes will more easily pick up on any germs you may have come in contact with, making a quicker path for you to fall ill.
Avoid touching your face as much as possible to reduce your risk of catching the germs you may have come in contact with while traveling.
Keep Yourself Hydrated
Without proper hydration, your body will become dehydrated, which can leave you more susceptible to germs.
Being mindful of your water intake and making an effort to be sure your body stays hydrated can help you avoid sickness while traveling.
Be Prepared: Steps if You do Get Sick
You’ve taken all the precautions and the worst has still happened: You’ve gotten sick while on your vacation.
So what do you do now?
Well, there are a few steps you can take, and even some things you can do before you embark on your trip to make the situation smoother if it happens to arise.
Contact Your Insurance Company
This is a precautionary step to take before you start your journey. It is important to know whether you will be covered by your insurance company where you are traveling.
Some companies may not provide coverage if you are traveling to certain destinations internationally. If this happens, you can purchase a short-term health insurance policy that will provide you coverage.
If you need medical attention, you can contact the U.S Embassy for a list of healthcare facilities in your current location.
Look to Your Travel Insurance Policy
Travel insurance is a great benefit to have when you are taking a trip. This insurance will cover you if unexpected medical issues arise.
There are different levels to travel insurance, and it is important to choose one which works best for you.
A typical travel insurance policy will cover you if something unexpected happens and you need to cut your vacation short. You may be reimbursed for unused hotel bookings and flight change costs. This will not cover you, however, if your illness is caused by a pre-existing condition.
The good news is, you can opt for a policy that will cover you if your illness is brought on by a pre-existing condition. Simply speak to your travel insurance company about your available options.
Travel insurance can also play a part in covering your medical bills if you are caught sick abroad. You will typically be covered up to your benefit limit by your policy, which can take a weight off your shoulders worrying about coverage.
Keeping Yourself Healthy: Worth the Extra Steps
It may seem inconvenient to take extra steps before taking what is supposed to be a relaxing vacation, especially during the new normal of our current times. But the extra precautions you take could mean the difference between enjoying your trip being healthy or falling ill.
Proper hygiene, preparation, and having a backup plan in place such as travel insurance can allow you to still enjoy your trip while keeping yourself safe and protected.
Author: Alexandra Arcand writes and researches for the car insurance comparison website, CarInsuranceComparison.com, and enjoys traveling as much as possible. Her love of travel leads her to find the best ways to stay safe while on a trip.