Traveling abroad can be an amazing experience. Whether you’re going away for a few days or a couple of months, visiting another country allows you to learn about a different culture, try new dishes, and see unique and historical landmarks. To optimize your next vacation, it’s crucial to stay healthy. Injuries and illnesses can seriously sidetrack your plans, and there’s no guarantee you’ll find reliable medical care everywhere you go. If you are planning a trip overseas, use the following tips to stay healthy and safe.
How to Avoid Medical Care on Your Vacation
1. Verify Your Vaccines Are Up-to-Date
Before leaving, schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. During this visit, discuss your travel plans and ask them to review your medical records to ensure your vaccines are up-to-date. Depending on where you are traveling, you may need boosters for typhoid, yellow fever, and hepatitis A and B.
2. Carry a First-Aid Kit
Pack a small first-aid kit that can easily fit into a backpack or purse, and keep it with you at all times. In addition to alcohol swabs, band-aids, and gauze, your kit should also include ibuprofen and an over-the-counter gastrointestinal medicine. While these supplies should not replace urgent medical care when needed, they can help with minor illnesses and injuries.
3. Avoid Raw Meats & Seafood
Food poisoning is the most common reason travelers seek medical care while abroad. Some people have a difficult time adjusting to new ingredients and spices, and they may even have an adverse reaction to certain dishes. While it is difficult to predict what might react poorly with your system, you can minimize your exposure to bacteria by sticking to cooked foods, especially meat and seafood.
4. Drink Bottled Water
Water is another common source of bacterial infections. In fact, countries such as India and Mexico advise visitors against drinking tap water, as it will likely cause a negative reaction. Stay safe by sticking with bottled water or invest in a reusable bottle with a built-in filter.
5. Don’t Forget Bug Spray or Sunscreen
If you are heading for a tropical location, pack sunscreen and bug spray. Bug spray will help protect you against insects such as mosquitoes, which carry the dengue and Zika viruses. Sunscreen will stave off sunburns and diseases like skin cancer.
For quality medical care before or after your vacation, visit 181st Street Urgent Care Center. Serving the Washington Heights and Uptown Manhattan regions of New York, NY, this walk-in medical clinic offers everything from primary care services to urgent medical care. To learn more about what they do, visit them online. You can also call (347) 756-6000 today to schedule a same-day appointment.