Avoiding the Travel Bug

You’ve waited for months in anticipation of your vacation. You’ve caught up on all your work, got the OK from your boss, and hired the perfect vacation company like Zoom Vacations® to plan a flawless vacation for you. Now before you take the first sip of your margarita, observe these 10 health guidelines, or the only excursions you’ll be taking are multiple trips to the bathroom.

1. Wash your hands often and thoroughly. Airports and airplanes, like all public spaces, are like fabulous 5 star resorts for germs. Washing your hands after spending time in these areas and especially before eating will help you from becoming their next vacation destination.

2. Avoid touching your face with your hands. Your eyes, ears, nose, and mouth are the main ports of entry for germs, so don’t give them access.

3. Get a lot of rest. Perhaps the best way to keep your immune system strong is by getting plenty of sleep. Many people use travel as their time to stay out late, partying all night long. This is fantastic, and absolutely advisable, unless you have an early morning of siteseeing scheduled for the next day.

4. Drink a lot of water. Flying dehydrates you, as does dancing the night away in Rio de Janeiro or hiking the ruins of Machu Picchu . Oftentimes fatigue, headaches, and even mild stomach pains are signs that you haven’t had enough water. If you experience any of these symptoms, drinking eight ounces of bottled water will most likely make you feel better right away.

5. Don’t drink water from the tap. Bottled water is never very expensive, and it’s always worth it. It’s also easy to bring with you as you head out for a day of touring. Also, when you are ordering drinks at a bar or restaurant, make sure that the ice has come from filtered water, and not just frozen tapwater.

6. Trust your instincts. If you’re eating something that smells, tastes, or looks as if it has gone bad, don’t eat it. Some people will actually eat spoiled food because they don’t want to waste money. If you eat something that makes you sick, the money you will spend on medicine and doctor visits will far outway the cost of what you were eating. Remember what mom told you, “when in doubt, throw it out”.

7. Eat well-cooked, freshly prepared dishes that are steaming hot. Avoid raw or undercooked meat and seafood, salads, uncooked vegetables and fruits (unless they can be peeled). You may also wish to stay away from unpasteurized milk, cheese and anything that contains custard or mayonnaise. No matter how delicious street vendor food looks and smells, avoid it at all costs. Those lamb kabobs really aren’t that tasty anyway. Raw seafood (including shellfish) as well as undercooked meats are no-nos. And nix the street vendors and wilted buffets.

8. Do not take antibiotics in anticipation of a trip. This will only compromise your immune system and increase the chances of you really getting sick. Instead, pack an over the counter anti-diarrhea medicine such as Imodium or Pepto-Bismol in case you have stomach issues. In most cases, this will take care of having eaten something that did not agree with you.

9. Avoid overexposure to the sun. We all want to come back from a vacation with a killer tan, but going out and baking yourself is one of the worst things you can do. You don’t want to get so burned the first day of your trip that you have to skip out on several days of activities, seeing only your hotel room until your sun burn and sun poisoning subsides. Ease into your tan, and remember that the sun may be stronger in other parts of the world than where you live. Bring sun protection with you every time you head out during the day.

10. Ask for assistance when lifting heavy bags. You may spend hours at the gym every week, but this won’t save you from pulling a muscle while removing a heavy bag from the overhead. In fact, it’s usually during these unsuspecting moments when strains and sprains occur.


Bryan Herb is co-owner of Zoom Vacations®, a US company that creates stylish international private events and gay group vacations to the world’s hottest destinations. Learn more about them at www.zoomvacations.com or call 773.772.9666.

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