Traveling or not traveling, health is the most important thing. If you can keep your health, you can visit as many countries (and places) as you want but without health, you are going to be stuck in your bed.
Ensuring good health while traveling is a key requirement, which many travelers don’t understand and appreciate. Till it becomes too late, that is.
Here are a few precautions to take while you are traveling, which will ensure you don’t need medical care in the first place. If you follow these precautions, you may not have to get medical care at all while you are traveling.
1. Be careful while eating and drinking. Don’t partake overexposed or uncooked food.
2. Prevent bug bites by using creams available for the purpose
3. While you are outdoors take the necessary precautions
4. Keep a safe distance from animals even if you love pets
5. Reduce your exposure to germs by staying away from suspicious materials, stagnated water, polluted air etc.
6. Avoid sharing body fluids
How to get medical care while traveling
1. Before embarking on your travel review your health insurance plan and be aware of what medical services it would cover during your travels. It is even better to buy a travel medical insurance plan. Do also purchase medical evacuation insurance.
2. Always carry a list of local doctors and hospitals in the city or town where you are traveling
3. Always carry a card in your top pocket which identifies both in English and a local language your blood group, the medicines/items you are allergic to and any chronic illnesses you may be suffering from
4. Before embarking on your travel get your doctor in the home country to prescribe extra for you so you don’t run out of your prescription medicines in the country of your travel. Besides in some countries prescription or over the counter medicines may be counterfeit….so doesn’t hurt to get some extra.
5. Not all prescription medicines are legal in every country. If you will be carrying some prescription medicines with you, do check with the embassy if it is OK. It wouldn’t hurt to also carry the doctor’s medical prescription.
6. Just because you are traveling and having fun, please don’t stop the medicines your doctor has prescribed. Continue to take them during your trip so there is no need for getting extra medical care.
Items to carry for self-medication while traveling
You can’t always rely on medical care at the visiting country. Depending on the country you are traveling in…it can come, it can come late or it won’t come at all. So we recommend you carry your own ‘medical care’ while traveling.
1. Carry your prescription medicines if any (in labeled containers)
2. Also do pack in a First Aid kit, which includes a pocket knife, scissors, thermometer, syringes, and tweezers – Carry Gelusil for an upset tummy
3. Carry medicines for cough and cold (especially if you are going someplace cold) – medicines such as pseudoephedrine tablets, and over-the-counter cough syrups
4. If you are traveling to a colder climate, we also recommend carrying a tube of Vaseline
5. If you are allergic to anything, please carry decongestants and antihistamines
6. Even if you don’t suffer from motion sickness we recommend carrying medicines for preventing motion sickness.
7. Do carry antibiotic you are used for situations where you may need them
8. Carry enough of pain-relieving medicines like Paracetamol, Asprin or Ibuprofen
9. Carry Imodium and/or Lomotil for diarrhea (happens often in developing nations)
10. Don’t be caught without condoms and other contraceptives