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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

Self-Flying Planes And The Future Of Air Travel

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Since the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airline crashes of Boeing 737 Max planes were discovered to have been partly caused by software and automated systems, many people have wondered how safe automated air travel really is. Although some older commercial airliners still use good old fashioned pilots in the cockpit, a growing majority of commercial airliners have automated systems. These systems are capable of replacing pilots; controlling the aircraft and even complete safe landings.

Despite worries by consumers, it seems inevitable that the future of air travel will be self-flying planes. Self-flying planes used to be in the realm of sci-fi, but with innovations in technology, and the prospects of reduced costs for airliners, planes that self-fly aren’t as far-fetched as they once seemed.

In recent times technological companies have heavily invested into self-driving cars. And airline companies have also followed this trend, albeit with less fanfare.

Airbus

Aviation industry giant, Airbus, is currently developing an air taxi. This taxi, dubbed Vahana, is a tilt-wing, multi-propeller aircraft capable of takeoff and flying about 50 miles. Although meant for urban transportation, it is not hard to imagine Airbus taking the leap to larger, more efficient aircraft.

Boeing

Despite the Boeing 737 Max disaster, Airbus’s main rival, Boeing has revealed that plans for self-flying airplanes might be on the way sooner rather than later. The company’s vice-president of Product Development, Mike Sinnet, at the 2016 Paris Air Show that “the basic building blocks of the (self-flying) technology clearly are available”.

Effects of Automated Flying Systems

Self-flying aircraft come with different effects both positive and negative.

First of all, automated air systems can cause pilots to lose concentration. Since most of the work is done by the computer system, the pilot tends to be lax. This is reportedly what happened in the Air France Flight 447 crash in 2009. The autopilot switched itself off and the pilots were unable to figure out the course of safety.

Aside from losing focus, spending a lot of time flying with automated systems is reported to dull the ability of pilots to fly planes without help. Airplanes rely more and more on automated systems now. For example, a pilot of a Boeing commercial plane reportedly only manually flies the plane for 3-6 minutes.

The Aviation Industry’s Stance

Despite some of the misgivings and effects, the aviation industry fully supports automated systems and is actively looking for ways to manufacture completely automated aircraft.

This stance is due to a couple of reasons.

Airliners claim that they would save money and solve the problem of a few qualified pilots in a single stroke with automated systems. By changing the design of the cockpit, and the front of the aircraft, they would save power expended and the cost of using such power.

As pointed out earlier the big players in the industry are actively testing out fully automated systems. Aside from Airbus and Boeing,  delivery agencies Amazon and UPS are developing their own crafts to help with automated deliveries.

The German company Volocopter has gone further by testing out air taxis since 2016. From Google to Uber to Bell, all the big players are actively interested in these vehicles.

The Consumer’s Stance

The excitement in the aviation industry is not fully matched in the consumer market. Although many folks do not recognize the extent that automation plays in flying aircraft, reports suggest that most people are more comfortable with having a driver in the cockpit, instead of a computer.

The reason for this apprehension is mostly due to a lack of information about how much safer and efficient automated systems really are. If more people realized how much safer it is, they’d be more willing to adopt it.

The Future of Air Travel

The cold, hard truth is that automation is here to stay. As technology continues to grow and giants in the industry continue to pump money into funding, the automated system will continue to be used and developed.

Despite misgivings by the public, automated systems are the safest means of traveling. Air travel is statistically the safest means of travel, and most accidents have been as a result of human error, not machines.

Large airplanes might adopt fully automated systems later than smaller air taxis because of the cost and technology required, but we are convinced the future of air travel will be self-flying crafts sooner rather than later.

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Travel Tips

Travel Tech You Need This Summer

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When you’re going away on holiday or traveling, there is plenty of tech out there which can keep you connected, safe, and entertained. Check out this list to see what you should be packing this summer.

Power Bank

It is so annoying when your phone dies, and you need it most. So, whether it’s to give someone a call to tell them you’ve arrived at your destination safely, to use Google maps to find out where you’re going or for playing games to keep you entertained, you want to have a full battery, making Power banks the ultimate travel accessory. Whether you need to recharge your phone, laptop, Nintendo Switch, or any other piece of tech, a power bank will ensure you’re not left without battery wherever you are. With so many to choose from as well so you can spend as little or as much as you want depending how much power you think you’re going to need.

Waterproof Walkman

Whether you want to exercise while traveling or listen to music, audiobooks, or podcasts on the go, the Sony Waterproof Walkman is lightweight, takes up hardly any room and can keep up to 16GB of content on there. You can also use it while you’re swimming in the pool or on the beach too.

Smartphone

If you don’t manage to take anything else, don’t forget your smartphone. While it’s good to keep in touch with people while you’re away, smartphones also have excellent Camera quality now, plus there are apps that will allow you to edit your images on the go and then share pictures and video in real time on social media. Mobile entertainment is also a must on long journeys. Be careful, though, and make sure to keep your tech safe. However, to make life easier, you might want to know how to turn off two-factor authentication as the last thing you want when traveling is to be locked out of an account.

Portable Speaker

A Bluetooth portable speaker is a great holiday accessory to have for wherever you are. If you want music while you’re in your hotel or villa, by the pool or even a waterproof speaker for the shower, then there are speakers available now to suit any budget and so many different needs.

E-Reader

If you love reading but can’t take a pile of books with you when you’re traveling, then get yourself an eReader, so that you will never be stuck for something to read. While you can always use your smartphone to read books, having a dedicated eReader is still a good idea as they’re a lot cheaper and they can also be lighter than a book, yet they can store thousands of books. You can happily read your way through a fortnight-long holiday just by taking your eReader along. Most eReaders have a 6in screen, although some go a little bigger and they look more like paper and are easier on the eye than the color LCD screen of a phone or tablet.

Image by rawpixel from Pixabay

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Travel Tips

5 Travel Items I Can’t Leave Home Without

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When you spend most of your time on the road, there comes a point where packing your bag becomes second nature. It’s taken many trial and error runs of packing the unnecessary and leaving the necessary items at home…wishing I’d brought a certain item…. discovering that I didn’t need such expensive products or even wishing I hadn’t brought so much with me. 

Most seasoned travellers will say the same, that it takes a few backpacking adventures for you to really nail the bag packing element of travel. So, to give you a little help, I’ve put together a list of my top 5 travel items I can’t leave home without. 

Good luck!

A good pair of sunglasses 

You have no idea how imperative a good pair of sunglasses are. When you’re spending so much time in hot countries where the sun shines brightly all the time and you have to shield your eyes from the dust and dirt, a good pair of sunglasses is a must. Sure you can pick up a pair of cheap sunnies from a local market or shop, but will they have UV and UBV protection? Will they preserve your eyesight? Probably not. Which is why investing in a good pair of sunglasses like these here, is the right choice. Don’t take your eyes for granted!

A small padlock

The unsung hero of the travelling world. A small padlock will come to your rescue more than once on the road, whether it’s keeping the broken clip of your rucksack together, or its keeping potential thieves away from your camera, phone, laptop, passport or chocolate. Your hostel might provide lockers, but most wont have locks, so don’t leave it to chance. I usually take two, one for my locker and the other to secure my day bag. It’s true that a padlock might attract thieves to your bag, so try to keep it out of sight. 

Earplugs

These little guys will be your new bet friend on the road. Whether you’ve rocked up to a new hostel with an “all night every night” party vibe, your new dorm mate is a bit of a snorer, or the couple in the room next door are very noisy…then these will come in handy. From drunken antics to loud traffic – always include several pairs in your bag. 

A sarong

Not just a fashion accessory, but a sarong is the perfect travel companion, why? Because of its versatility. Throw it on when you’re a little chilly, use it to cover your legs when you’re visiting temples or religious sites, it works as a skirt, a dress, a beach towel, a bed sheet or blanket, even something to drape over the toilet door to preserve your modesty, neck scarf and more! The possibilities are endless!

Hand sanitiser

Let’s just say that they hand washing facilities aboard aren’t always what we’ve come to expect. So, it’s a good idea to travel with a small bottle of hand sanitiser, so if you’re doing anything a little grimy, like touching door handles, money, or using the toilet, you can get rid of all those nasty germs and bacteria quickly. 

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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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