Nothing ruins your trip more than getting sick when you get there. Be sure to consult your doctor and follow these tips to keep your body heathy and happy while traveling.
1. It All Starts on the Plane
Planes are dirty. The air is recycled, the tray table is filthy, and you will be exposed to germs circulating through the cabin. Before getting on a plane, be sure to take some Vitamin C, drink plenty of water and get a good nights rest.
Once on the plane and at your seat, use a sanitizing wet wipe to clean any plastic you would touch. The tray table, arm rests, window, etc. Refrain from touching the magazines or pamphlets on the back of the seat.
While the air in the plane is circulated, the air from your vent is purified. Be sure to turn that on with the air stream pointed towards your face, it will give you overall cleaner air to breathe and push away circulating air.
2. Watch the Water
If you have a sensitive stomach, only drink bottled or boiled water once you are there. Hot teas and soups are safer, ask for drinks with no ice.
If you want to drink tap water, boil it the night before and let it cool down overnight. This is actually a good strategy if you want to slowly acclimate your body to the local water if you plan to stay longer.
3. Bring Your Own Medicine
Odds are that something will bother you sooner or later, whether that's something you eat that you weren't used to or allergies from unfamiliar pollen. Check with your doctor about recommended medication. Personally, I don't leave home without some Tums, Peptobismol, Ibuprofen, allergy medicines and vitamins. When I travel, I take vitamin C frequently to keep my immune system sharp! It's always good to have medicines your doctor recommends and that you are used to rather than trying new medicines abroad (often in foreign languages).
4. Keep Your Hands Clean
Wash your hands frequently, or even better, bring hand sanitizer. Keeping your hands clean is one of the best tips to stay healthy, especially if you are taking public transit.
5. Walk When You Can
Walking is good for the blood flow, but it has the added benefit of keeping you out of public transit or cabs which are crowded with germs. Take a nice walk to-and-from your activities to keep you healthy!
6. Check Your Health Insurance
Contact your insurance provider and check their coverage when you are overseas. Odds are that you are covered for major incidents, but if you are not happy with their coverage, consider investing in health insurance for the trip. Coverage is available through World Nomads, Travel Guard, CSA Travel Protection, and even limited insurance is provided through Hostel International membership.