Traveling overseas has several challenges, of which staying healthy is one of the most important. All of these obstacles, including staying healthy, can be overcome; however, they require some planning. The following are some suggestions that will help people stay healthy while traveling in a foreign country, whether one a business trip or vacation. The tips are separated into things people should do before departing and things to remember while overseas.
All medications that are regularly taken must be packed, regardless of whether they are over-the-counter or prescription. In many areas, people do not have access to medicine as readily as they do at home. Even in countries with well-established healthcare systems, communications and legal requirements can prolong the process of ascertaining a medicine.
Anyone who will be assuming the care of another person, such as an elderly family member, on the trip has to be familiar with all of that person’s medications. The caretaker should sit down with a nurse, or at least a certified nurse assistant, who can go over each medication and its administration.
For travel in some countries, people will need vaccines. These immunizations protect travelers against diseases that are common in foreign lands, but not in their home country. Most tourists and business travelers who are headed to Europe from North America do not need to worry about this, but they should still check with their government.
Documentation and a First-Aid Kit:
In addition to regularly taken medications, a first-aid kit should be packed. The items that should be in the first-aid kit will depend on one’s final destination, but every kit should include a physician’s contact information. This will be needed if there is a medical emergency abroad. A pharmacist’s phone number can also be helpful. Anyone caring for an elderly family member should know the name of that family member’s CNA, if he or she has one.
Most people know they should not consume unsafe water, meats or shellfish; however, many people fail to consider the dangers of eating peeled fruit. In theory, food preparation workers wash their hands regularly, but this is not always true in reality. If a worker handles contaminated food and then a piece of fruit, that fruit can become contaminated with harmful bacteria. Whenever possible, people should opt for fruit they peel themselves. This way, any harmful organisms remain on the outside of the fruit, and they hopefully will not be ingested.
All travelers are tempted to skimp on sleep while away from their own bed. There are exciting things to do and see and work that can be done. Even when this is not the case, a hotel bed is rarely as comfortable as one’s own bed. Sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, and it is even more important to get adequate sleep overseas than it is at home.
These tips will help travelers stay safe overseas, so they can have a fun vacation or productive business trip.
This was published by the CNA Training Center of Hawaii, which helps people train to become nurse assistants in that state. It was written by Wayne Page. For more information about safe travel, people should visit the CDC here
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