Travel Tips - Part 2
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MAKE YOUR HEALTH A PRIORITY
Experienced travelers can tell you that often the hassle in your dream vacation doesn’t just come at your destination, but getting to your destination. Long haul flights to exotic places south of the equator or across the Atlantic Ocean can leave many senior travelers in discomfort.
In part one, we explored all the necessary pre-trip planning from medical check-ups to packing your suit case. In this issue, we’ll tell you how to keep yourself healthy so you can enjoy your trip to the fullest.
ECONOMY CLASS SYNDROME
Coronary heart disease, being overweight and sitting still for extended periods of time are known risk factors for the development of blood clots in the veins of the legs.
This condition is known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or economy class syndrome. Some researchers believe that long haul flights can be a risk factor in susceptible people.
If you are faced with a long flight to get to your dream destination, here are some tips to help you out:
- Consult with your doctor before flying. They may recommend that you take half an aspirin (150mg) on the day of the flight, and you may be advised to use elasticized stockings for the flight.
Wear loose clothing.
Avoid alcoholic drinks.
Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
Take a stroll up and down the aisles when possible.
Avoid sitting with your legs crossed.
Perform leg and foot stretches and exercises while seated.
PROTECTING YOUR HEALTH ABROAD
After a long flight, allow an easy day or two to recover from jet lag. There is nothing worse than losing your energy half way through the day. Interestingly, many people find the effects of jet lag are often worse when they fly east rather than west – so if your trip takes you in an easterly direction, plan to allow your body more time to adjust.
People who travel overseas have a 50 per cent chance of suffering a travel-related illness. While most travel-related illness is minor, some very serious infectious diseases are endemic in some parts of the world. As a result, it is always necessary to take extra precautions to ensure your safety and reduce the risk of danger.
Always make sure to carry your doctor’s phone number with you so that in case of emergency, the doctor can be contacted if necessary.
While you are there – eat and drink wisely. The most common travel related illnesses are gastrointestinal diseases, usually picked up from poorly prepared foods or untreated water. To avoid the diarrhea, stomach pains, nausea and vomiting associated with these illnesses:
- Use boiled or bottled water, or water purifiers or tablets.
- Avoid ice in drinks.
Avoid unpasteurised milk and dairy products.
Avoid fruit and vegetable that have been washed in the local water.
Eat thick-skinned fruit and vegetables that you can peel yourself, such as bananas, oranges and mandarins.
Make sure food is cooked thoroughly and eat it while it’s hot.
Don’t buy food from street stalls – hotels and busy restaurants are safest.
Take care with your personal hygiene.
AVOID INSECT BITES
Some serious infectious diseases such as malaria, yellow fever and dengue fever, are transmitted by insect bites. While there are vaccines and drugs available to help protect against some of these diseases, travelers are advised to always protect against mosquito bites.
In part three we will look at safety – how to avoid theft and personal injury. Tourists, regardless of age, are a target for pickpockets and scam artists. Knowing what to watch out for may decrease the risk of becoming an unsuspecting victim.
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