Prevent Getting Sick on Vacation

2548C0F2-765A-42C0-A0C2-3625D34B7652Packing a small emergency kit will also be useful should you need pain and symptom relief in a pinch. We recommend a kit with ibuprofen (Motrin) or acetophenone (Tylenol) as well as Pepto Bismol, which can help with stomach-related illness and contains antibacterial properties which help fight off an infection. As a world traveler we never travel without a Z-pack (Zithromax), which is “a broad-spectrum antibiotic,” as well as Vitamin C supplements, Imodium, hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes, to ward off and help cure any maladies that may arise. Though they seem common, these items can be difficult to find outside of major cities or in foreign countries, and having them on-hand, especially when you’re too ill to procure them yourself, can be hugely beneficial.

While you may be eager to get home while your nose is leaking all over that hotel remote, flying back to comfort may not be the best idea. “If you’re very congested, being on an airplane may make you feel worse,”pointing out that the air pressure can create unpleasant symptoms. Airlines will typically charge a fee to rebook your flight, but that fee should be worth not extending your illness — and infecting other travelers.

Want to stay healthy for your next trip? Dr. Rajapaksa emphasizes, “Take a probiotic regularly to help your immune system be more resilient.” Just think of it as a wellness boost to your frequent flier miles and you’ll feel gold status in no time.

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The Essentials

A list of your prescriptions (in case you lose them)—bring a translation if traveling abroad.

• Hydrocortisone cream, for rashes and bug bites

• Pain and fever reducer, such as Tylenol or Advil

• Bandages

• A copy of a recent EKG, if you have heart problems

• Antihistamines for allergic reactions

• Tweezers

• Small scissors

• Adhesive tape

• Alcohol wipes

For Traveling Abroad

Emergency Contraception: “It’s not easy to find internationally,” says Anne Terry, director of the travel-medicine clinic at the University of Washington in Seattle.

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Antibiotics: Ask your doctor for a prescription that will address diarrhea from bacterial infections.

Rehydration Powder: If you spend half of your trip in the bathroom, you’ll need to rehydrate. Stock up on packets of Adventure Medical Kits’ oral rehydration salts.

Spare Specs: Lost or broken eyeglasses will make you even more vulnerable in an unfamiliar place.

Extra Meds: Pack an extra week’s worth. (This holds true for travelers of all ages.)

Antibiotic Cream: Older skin tends to be drier and thinner, putting seniors at greater risk of cuts that could get infected.

Backup Power: If you plan to venture off the grid, take a portable power pack, like the Goal Zero Venture 30 Recharger, which can juice up your phone or camera battery.

Blister Care Pack: Carry alcohol wipes to clean the skin and a needle to drain fluid before bandaging the injury, Zeichner says.

Iodine Tablets: That bottle of water won’t last long if you’re stranded unexpectedly; pack iodine tablets to purify water in an emergency.

Dramamine: Bumpy roads or rough water can make even a seasoned traveler queasy.


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