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Travelling sick sucks: Travel Tips to staying healthy

Travelling sick really sucks so make sure you read our travel tips on staying healthy while travelling to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.

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Travelling sick sucks especially if you end up in hospital!

There is nothing worse than travelling sick.

Not the kind of sick that leaves you with a little bit of the sniffles. I mean proper sick. The kind where your body aches in every nook and cranny.

Your throat feels like it is filled with sandpaper and your head pounds with the sounds of a construction crew.

Sitting in a hotel room staring out the window in some foreign city watching all the other tourists gorge themselves on sights while all you want to do is curl up at home and let your Mum look after you really sucks.

Travelling sick sucks especially if you end up in hospital!

Travelling sick sucks especially if you end up in hospital!

Actually there is something worse…

And that is when you have a trip coming up and you can feel the start of a cold coming on.

We had planned to go Mountain Biking in the north of England over the weekend and had even pre-booked our accommodation at the local YHA in Kielder. Unfortunately all week I have had the effects of one of those very colds.

Waking up bright and early on a beautiful Saturday morning with our bags packed and bikes set up I knew immediately that there was no way I could enjoy myself on this trip. I felt like shit.

There was nothing to do but cancel.

I had done everything right. I was a pill popping maniac. A few lozenges here, Vitamin C there. Nothing helped and the flu hit me like a tonne of bricks.

Could I have battled on and gone on the trip. Sure I could have. Would I have felt sorry for myself the anytime. You betcha.

We want to make sure that you don’t feel like me and get to enjoy your holidays! So these are our top travel tips to stay healthy while travelling:

Healthy eating and maintaining a balanced diet

Travelling and maintaining a healthy diet. “Pffff as if” you are thinking! Well let me tell you it can be done. Eating right will not only help keep you healthy it will also keep you on top off the world giving you the energy to continue exploring.

Vending machine lights will attract travellers like moths to a flame. Make sure you grab your 5 a day with local fruit and veges which will always be cheaper than that greasy kebab at the corner market stall.

Fruit and Veges Staying Healthy Travelling Sick sucks

Keep hydrated

If you are a frequent plane traveller then you will know that you will become dehydrated when you fly. And it is not just your insides. Your skin will become dry as well so remember to use moisturizers and fine sprays to keep your skin moist too.

Staying fit

The temptation to relax at all inclusive resorts can be alluring. However, just be aware that if you do then you are more likely to put on those few pounds that you probably tried so hard to shed before you started travelling.

If you are like us then you probably stay reasonably active on holidays. But you don’t have to go mountain biking in Canada or diving in the Red Sea to do that. Instead of catching a taxi or bus across town consider hiring a bike or using those two things sticking out the bottom of your pants. Yes, your feet!

Stay healthy by biking in Paris on the velibs

Stay healthy by biking in Paris on the Velibs

Get lots of Sleep

Travelling across time zones will quickly screw up your body clock. Unfortunately it is one of the hardest tips to set right. With your head nodding onto your chest do you try to grab an hours sleep when you arrive or party till you drop?

We recommend fitting in with the local time zone immediately. If it is the morning when you arrive then make sure you stay up till at least the evening. This will help you adjust quickly while still giving the rest you need to stay healthy while travelling.

Keep your paws clean

I was horrendously sick when we visited Marrakech and we could never pinpoint what went wrong. I don’t know whether it was the food I ate, the snake that was forced around my neck and made to kiss or something I touched. All I know is that I lost 8 kilograms in 2 weeks.

We wash our hands with alcohol sanitizer after we handle money or go to the bathroom when we are in foreign countries. It is disgusting not knowing what other people have done and then not washed their hands. So take all the precautions you can as well.

Wash your hands after handling snakes in Marrakech

Wash your hands after handling snakes in Marrakech

Medicines and Vaccinations

While you don’t have to carry a suitcase of spare meds as most places will stock the standards like paracetamol, cough drops and other pain killers. It is wise to carry spare prescriptions with you and translate lists of medications you usually use if you are headed to a foreign country.

If you regularly take medicines such as for asthma like myself then you know how much of a pain in the ass it can be if you run out or misplace your inhaler.

If you are headed somewhere that may require vaccinations then make sure you plan those well in advance. Some may require several doses over the course of a couple of months.

Better safe than sorry

These are pretty basic travel tips, but the basics are the ones that most of us often forget. Our greatest piece of advice is just to stop and consider everything you do, before you do it.

If the food doesn’t look quite cooked, or the water is cloudy, or that dude offering to shake your hand just sneezed into it then it might be worthwhile skipping it.

You do not want to end up like me at the moment and be travelling sick!

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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36 Comments

36 Comments

  1. Monica

    February 20, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    Great advice. There is nothing worse than being sick while travelling but most of the time you never really know what it was that made you sick.
    I’d also add that you should always try to eat in busy restaurants – even if that posh 5* restaurant ‘looks’ nicer. The busiest places always have fresh food and not something that’s been sat around waiting for a tourist all day.

    I hope you feel better soon!

    • Cole

      February 20, 2012 at 8:40 PM

      Good point Monica about the busy restaurants! You always know it is going to be nice as well if it is packed with locals 🙂

  2. Cathy Sweeney

    February 20, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    Great tips. I rarely get sick while traveling and it’s because I do these things (well, maybe I don’t get enough sleep). My husband swears by Colloidal Silver — uses it when he’s starting to feel a cold or flu coming on.

    • Cole

      February 20, 2012 at 8:41 PM

      Never heard of Colloidal Silver. Will look in to it thanks Cathy! We hardly get sick either but when I do it is the worst man-flu ever haha

    • Cole

      February 20, 2012 at 8:43 PM

      Haha yea we are pretty clued up on insurance now Stef after all our luck with broken bones and injuries 😉

      • Izy Berry

        March 27, 2012 at 8:30 PM

        Yeah, I think you got sick because the snake was angry you didn’t give him any tongue 😉 he put some voodoo curse on you – hehe!

        Nice tips. I’ve been sick a few times on the road, sucks, especially when you’re on your own. but it’s life = )

        • Cole

          March 28, 2012 at 3:18 PM

          Hahaha best comment ever! It’s fair to say that Adela didn’t want to kiss me after either 🙂

  3. Sam

    February 20, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    Well timed breaks from alcohol also seem to give your body a better chance of staying flu free and so forth.

    • Cole

      February 22, 2012 at 12:53 PM

      Haha yup a rest from alcohol can make a world of difference. Its amazing how much you can end up drinking on a holiday and then pay for it by getting sick!

  4. Suzanne Courtney

    February 20, 2012 at 11:59 PM

    Great tips – when in Marrakech we were advised not to buy orange juice from the stalls in the square. There’s nothing wrong with the juice but apparently the cups are washed in very dirty water… In India handwash was a must have.

    • Cole

      February 22, 2012 at 12:52 PM

      We drank the juice every day because it was so delicious so it could have been the glasses that made me sick! Unfortunately you never know with these things.

  5. Cherina

    February 21, 2012 at 2:03 AM

    e great list, Cole. I hardly ever get sick when travelling but recently ended up with a horrible case of food poisoning from food that seemed absolutely fine. So annoying when you do all the right things and still get sick. Hope you are feeling better soon!

    • Cole

      February 22, 2012 at 12:51 PM

      Thanks Cherina. Still sick but starting to bounce back slowly!

  6. Christy @ Technosyncratic

    February 21, 2012 at 3:10 AM

    I’m just getting over a nasty cold so I can relate. 🙂 We’ve found that sleep is a big one for us — as soon as we start traveling too quickly and feel run down, we start sniffling.

    • Cole

      February 22, 2012 at 12:50 PM

      Sleep is the key I think. Adela is lucky she can sleep anywhere but I always struggle on planes etc. And hate taking sleeping pills as it makes me feel worse I think.

  7. Laurence

    February 21, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    Travelling sick is the worst – it’s the only time when travelling that I’d prefer to be curled up at home!

    • Cole

      February 22, 2012 at 12:49 PM

      I hear you Laurence! Nothing worse than missing out on something all because of a cold.

  8. Jarmo @ Arctic Nomad

    February 21, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    I think I’ve been pretty lucky with my health on my travels so far, nothing too bad, and I tend to eat from almost every street vendor I find and I while I used to have an alcohol sanitizer bottle, I gave it away after it sat six months in my bag unopened.

    I do agree about the medications. You can’t really trust good medicine being available everywhere. The only time I got sick properly while travelling last year was of course in a small village in the Philippines where the most advanced medicine I could find was four tablets of Paracetamol! So do keep some basic medications (and antibiotics) with you 🙂

    • Cole

      February 22, 2012 at 12:48 PM

      We don’t travel with antibiotics but all the usual medicines we try to carry for sure.

    • Cole

      February 24, 2012 at 8:08 AM

      Thanks Aisleen! Agree with ya there 😉

  9. Stephanie - The Travel Chica

    February 23, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    I have been very lucky during my travels. Only one really bad cold that lasted over 2 weeks and 1 case of food poisoning in 16 months of travel. That is mainly because I follow the tips you have outlined here… except I never use hand sanitizer. I figure the germs and bacteria in small portions make my body stronger 🙂

    • Cole

      February 24, 2012 at 8:07 AM

      Never sure if the sanitizer works or not but didn’t seem to in Marrakech! I am just getting over the worst cold I have had in a number of years. Really knocked me back.

  10. The Time-Crunched Traveler (Ellen)

    February 23, 2012 at 11:39 PM

    Great tips on staying healthy! My problem is not usually getting sick while I am traveling, but for some reason getting sick once I return! Never fails after a big trip!

    • Cole

      February 24, 2012 at 8:05 AM

      I think that is always the case! We are always run down after a trip as we burn ourselves out and need a holiday from the holiday haha.

  11. Leslie (Downtown Traveler)

    February 25, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    Solid tips for staying healthy on the road! I’d agree that hand sanitizer is key especially when traveling in areas without good sanitation or even soap and running water in restrooms.

    • Cole

      February 26, 2012 at 9:00 AM

      Thanks Leslie! We always wash our hands after handling money or using the bathroom in countries where we cannot drink the water. It’s an annoying precaution but hopefully it works.

  12. The GypsyNesters

    March 2, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    Excellent – and you are right, a lot of it is basics. BUT I need to be reminded about the basics constantly! It’s so easy to get caught up in seeing new things and forgo proper sleep and eating! -Veronica

    • Cole

      March 2, 2012 at 9:27 PM

      We are terrible at not remembering the basics until we are sick and by then it is always too late!

  13. Gelois

    March 21, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    Hello,
    I’m Cuban, I like reading. I visit blogs that are interesting.
    I found your blog and liked it. I hope to visit you often.

    A kiss from Galicia, Spain

    I invite you to visit my blog

    • Cole

      March 22, 2012 at 9:47 AM

      Thanks! Much appreciated 🙂

  14. Pingback: Travelling Sick equals Travelling Sucks! | Travelling Piggy

  15. Lucy | gapyeardotcom

    June 7, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    You’re so right – nothing sucks as much as being on your travels and feeing ill.

    Looking after yourself can often be overlooked when you are having so much fun 😛 Keep hydrated is the one I always need to remember to do 🙂

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Travel Tips

Tips for Celebrating Christmas While Travelling

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Christmas is a wonderful time of year to spend with those closest to you and showing them how much you care. However, it can be really tough if you’re travelling away from home. Whether you’re backpacking and hostel hopping or living away in another country -Christmas doesn’t quite feel the same if you’re not at home. However, there’s plenty of things you can do to get into the spirit of things and enjoy your own celebrations.  

Video Call 

One of the most valuable things you can do if you’re away from your loved ones is to call them on Christmas Day. Make sure you establish a time which will work for the both of you as you will have to factor in the time differences. Even though you won’t be in the same country a video call means you can still spend part of the day celebrating together. You can use whichever app works for you. 

Posting Gifts

Just because you’re not in the same country over the holidays doesn’t mean you can’t send one another gifts. You could send your family and friends festive parcels. They could send you things you miss from home, and you could send them trinkets from the country you’re in. Photos and personalised cards are also a great addition to make the gift even more thoughtful. It’s important you use a reliable courier system – like Parcel2Go so your packages get there safely and in time for Christmas.  

Embrace the Experience

If you’re travelling to new places over Christmas, it gives you a great opportunity to do something different. You won’t get to do the normal family traditions so why try something completely new? This could be particularly special if you’re somewhere warm. You could spend Christmas Day on the beach, having a barbecue or swim in the ocean. There’ll be plenty more times with your family and loved ones. Embrace the adventure and see where the day takes you. 

Meet People 

No-one wants to be alone on Christmas. If you’re solo travelling, the thought of spending the whole day alone can be daunting. However, the wonderful thing about solo travel is you’re rarely by yourself. Get talking with people in the hostel, or whatever place you’re staying. You could arrange to do something together.  Or, why not research the place you’ll be in beforehand and see what events are being hosted? You could see what the locals are up to. There are so many possibilities and people waiting for you. 

Just because you’re away from home for Christmas, doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun celebrating it. Whatever you end up doing, you’re bound to create some unique memories for yourself. Do you have plans for Christmas celebrations while travelling? 

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Travel Tips

Finding Culture in the Tourist Hotspot of Benidorm

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Benidorm is a popular holiday destination with UK families and it is easy to see why because it is an easy and affordable way to have a sun, sea and sand holiday. This does mean that Benidorm doesn’t have the best reputation if you are looking for culture, but there is another side to this sunny Spanish seaside resort which will give you an authentic Spanish experience.

Here are a few of the best things to do in Benidorm that will allow you to escape the crowd and find the hidden gems. 

Placa del Castell

The beautiful Placa del Castell is situated at the point of the promontory between the two beaches and it is perhaps the prettiest area in the resort. Featuring checkerboard tales and white balustrades, this is where Benidorm Castle previously sat but is now an idyllic spot with beautiful views and plenty of surroundings bars.

Old Town

Benidorm’s quaint Old Town feels almost like stepping back in time and can be a refreshing change of pace from the chaotic beaches. With twisting backstreets, whitewashed buildings and impressive architecture, Old Town is a charming place to explore on foot with plenty of shops, cafes, restaurants and bars to visit along the way for an authentic Spanish experience.

Tapas Alley

Leading on from this, in the heart of Old Town is a small, covered alley called Calle Santo Domingo which is lined with inviting tapas bars. This is the best place to sample authentic Spanish cuisine in Benidorm and a chance to see how the locals live – try sampling some wine and tapas and sitting on the tables out in the alley where you can mingle and people watch.

L’Aiguera Park

This long Parkin neoclassical style separates the newer parts of Benidorm from the old and can be a nice place to visit if you are looking to relax and recharge. In addition to the lovely green areas, the park also features two amphitheaters which host a range of cultural shows to check out.

Getting Around

These are a few of the best cultural activities in Benidorm which will allow you to escape the hordes of families. Keep in mind that as such a busy place with tourists, it can be hard to get around which is why it is a good idea to book your transport in advance, including Benidorm transfers from the airport. 

Benidorm has a reputation as being somewhere cheap and cheerful for Brits to enjoy a sun, sea and sand holiday. While there certainly is this side of the Spanish seaside resort, there is also a more cultural, authentic and enjoyable side beneath the surface which is not to be missed and somewhere that allows you to see the real heart and soul of Benidorm. 

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Travel Tips

Essential Things to Equip Yourself for the Perfect Camping Trip

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Camping has always been a popular way to take a trip. It can be done in so many ways from a family excursion with all the associated things you need to keep everyone, including children, happy to a solo trek going hiking and climbing in rough and remote terrain. But no matter what form of camping you are getting involved in you need some essential kit that’s important for everyone. 

Tent

Well, you need somewhere to sleep. So no matter what happens a tent is an essential part of the trip. So firstly it needs to be waterproof, and windproof. So although you can indeed pick up a cheap pop-up tent for a few dollars it’s likely that it won’t be up to the task. If you are taking the family then you can get large tents with several rooms and even a living area.  

Sleeping Bag & Mattress 

Next up you are going to need something to sleep in. So a sleeping bag is the first thing to consider. Sleeping bags are rated in two ways, by seasons, as in a four-season bag that will be suitable for spring, summer, autumn, and winter. They are also given a temperature rating, this is done via two values, a comfort value and a survival value, so the first temp, if it is 6 degrees you should be nice and comfortable at that level and then if it has a survival rating of -2 degrees you will survive but it wouldn’t be fun. Also, you will need a sleeping mat or a camping mattress as well.

Transport

You may be hiking and in that case, then you are your own transport. But if you are driving then you need to consider how to transport everything. Often the more space the better but there will always be decisions to be made so try and keep everything to essentially what is useful. You can even think about converting an old vehicle to turn it into a camping van, check out parkedinparadise.com for some great info and guides on how to achieve this. 

Cooking Equipment

Hungry? Of course you are! So we’re going to need cooking equipment. Camping stoves come in a variety of sizes, from a small single burner to a double burner with grill and even bigger barbecues, etc. You also will want to consider camp cookware rather than traditional pots, pans, and plates as the size and weight of the camping versions are designed to be as small and light as possible.

Camp Furniture

You are going to want to sit down and relax, so there is a whole range of camping furniture available these days. You can get everything from normal camp chairs to full inflatable sofas, armchairs and you can get camp kitchens and stores. You can get a fold-away picnic table and even separate pop-rooms to use away from the tents as well. 

So no matter how you do it be sure to enjoy your trip, make sure you have a checklist and bring everything as well.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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