While traveling for extended periods of time, health is not at the forefront of many people’s minds. Instead, travelers are focused on outdoor activities, adventures, saving money and having fun. Ironically, health should always be a priority when traveling. After all, traveling poses many potential health risks. First and foremost, traveling in foreign countries can put individuals at risk for catching several different diseases or sicknesses.
Additionally, people tend to eat rather unhealthy while traveling. This means that most travelers aren’t’ receiving enough nutrients and vitamins to help their immune system fend off sickness. Perhaps most threatening to a traveler’s health is the lack of familiarity with each country’s health care system. Here are four tips for treating an unexpected health problem while traveling.
Visit a Pharmacy
Visiting a local pharmacy is a reliable strategy for treating unexpected health problems while traveling. Most tourist-friendly countries have a plethora of local pharmacies scattered throughout major cities. Fortunately, many drugs that require a doctor prescription in the U.S. can be purchased over-the-counter in other countries.
Travelers can simply enter a pharmacy and describe their condition. The pharmacists will then offer potential solutions to the problem. Travelers can also use coupons to save money on medications. In countries where travelers don’t speak the language, a helpful local or a translation device can be used for communication.
An alternative solution would be to turn to alternative remedies. For minor conditions, you can use fruits, vegetables, or plants for soothing or treat it. For example, drinking water is a simple solution to dehydration or slow bowel movement. If drinking plain water doesn’t seem tasty, find out how to make it more interesting.
See a Local Doctor
Depending on what country you’re visiting, this tip may be more difficult in some situations. Contrary to popular belief, those who are traveling do not have to be without proper medical attention. Doctors can be visited by foreigners in most accessible countries. Naturally, medical systems will be easier to navigate in countries that are more familiar. Language and culture will always pose a major barrier for travelers.
However, finding a helpful local to translate can be a great asset. One of the major advantages of visiting a local doctor is an immediate evaluation of the unexpected illness. Furthermore, local doctors will be well-versed in endemic diseases or illnesses that are unique to that particular country. This can increase the chances of recovery and proper diagnosis.
Resist the Temptation to Continue Traveling
One of the biggest mistakes to make when experiencing an unexpected health problem is to continue traveling. Many people are under the false assumption that it is better to ignore a potential sickness rather than catering to the problem. Sleep is an essential component to helping an individual recover when ill. In the same article, Dr. Stuart Quan described how rest could help increase the number of T cells within the body. These specialized components of the immune system help fight off the infection.
Whether someone is traveling for a short vacation or extended periods, pausing travel because of an unexpected illness can be very frustrating. However, the alternative would make you more prone to further illness and pain. It is critical that individuals rest immediately upon feeling ill or uneasy. This extra rest can help to speed up recovery time and ensure a faster return to your travels.
Purchase Quality Insurance
Having quality insurance is one of the most effective ways to handle unexpected illnesses while traveling. Because these sicknesses are unexpected, you must plan accordingly for the possibility of them developing. Unfortunately, most local insurances do not cover members when they are traveling abroad.
Before embarking on a trip, it is important to contact your insurance provider to see what kind of coverage they offer for traveling. Most insurances do not provide coverage abroad. Also, Medicare never covers travel outside of the United States. Fortunately, several companies specialize in providing travel health insurance. These insurance companies will provide bespoke coverage depending on the locations you visit and what activities you will be participating in. Fortunately, many of these travel insurances are very affordable for both short and long-term travel.
There is nothing more frustrating than developing an unexpected illness while traveling. Instead of trying to overcome the illness by ignoring it, travelers should attend to it immediately. Fortunately, steps can be taken even before the illness is contracted. Travelers are advised to purchase quality health insurance to cover their health expenditures abroad.
When a traveler experiences potential symptoms, they are advised to visit a local pharmacy or doctor to get a proper diagnosis and treatment. These tips can help travelers to treat unexpected illnesses properly and quickly, allowing them to continue traveling as soon as possible.