When you think of international travel, you probably imagine a fun and exciting experience. And while it more often than not certainly is that, it can take a real toll on your health. Long plane trips, changes in atmosphere and elevation, and varying qualities of air and water can all contribute to illness. This may range from simple colds or fatigue to something much more serious that leads to hospitalization. So how can you make sure that when you travel internationally for business or pleasure, you are protecting your health? Here are some natural ways that you can minimize health risks while traveling abroad.
- Watch what you eat. Most people have heard warnings about watching out for drinking water in many foreign countries, or about not eating food you are not familiar with. But keeping a proper diet while traveling abroad is about more than what you avoid; it’s also about making sure you are getting enough of the right things. For a lot of travelers, going on a business trip or vacation leads to very poor eating habits. Eating too much, not eating at all, eating convenience foods, or indulging on unhealthy foods are all common occurrences when traveling. We all know it is important to eat fruits and vegetables because of the powerful vitamins and nutrients they provide. But there are many other helpful natural foods you can eat while traveling to protect your health or relieve a problem. You can use honey to treat a sore throat. Rice can assist with both constipation and diarrhea, two common problems for travelers.
- Be sure to drink plenty of liquids as well to keep hydrated and keep your system flushed. Staying well-hydrated keeps your energy levels up, keeps your immune defenses strong, and helps flush any toxins out of your body before they can do harm.
- Get plenty of rest. This sounds like a very obvious trip, but think about it: when you are traveling abroad for business, you may be so busy preparing presentations and documents, conducting meetings, and entertaining clients or colleagues that suddenly the entire day has slipped past you. And when you are on vacation, you are often so busy trying to pack every available activity into your day that you find yourself deprived of sleep. Make sure you are getting at least 8 solid hours of quality sleep, and make every effort to work a nap into your schedule as well during the afternoon. When your body rests, it can repair itself from the stresses that travel puts upon it. To help deepen your sleep, buy magnesium supplements. If you cannot sleep, it can help you get to sleep, and if your sleep quality is poor, and it can improve it.
- Fight off nausea with ginger. Nausea is pretty common on turbulent flights, or in locales with poor air quality, or on cruises. By carrying ginger with you and mixing it with hot water, you can naturally cure your upset stomach. Ginger is also purported to help with pain relief and indigestion, so it can definitely be a helpful item to have on hand.
- Build your immune system up. Everyone knows vitamin C helps the immune system, but some less well-known options include Echinacea and cod liver oil. These supplements are easy to find at any health food store, and a dose each day will help strengthen your ability to prevent illness.
For travelers who do not want to rely on artificial cures, these are just a few of the great natural options available. They are proven to be healthy solutions, and using them will help you have a healthier, happier trip.
About the author:
The author of this article, Chiranth Nataraj is the President & CEO of International Services, Inc. a brokerage specializing in visitor health insurance and short term health insurance for travelers and expats. He is a licensed insurance professional and enjoys writing about health, travel and insurance.