So, while we covered the necessities of basic travel bag content in the previous articles, there is another critical step in avoiding a holiday abroad unforgettable for the wrong reasons: a visit to the doctor to find out what vaccines you may need depending on your desired destination.
Even more important is to do this with sufficient time in advance rather than right before hopping on the plane, because most vaccines take up to 2 weeks to start working. Also, some may require repeat shots, such as the anti-rabies or the anti-hepatitis A ones.
Keep your urge of going wild for the adrenaline inducing activities you can join while on the road rather than for the hospital induced experiences you may have to live through if you chose to live life on the edge by not vaccinating before traveling.
Also, it is very good to keep in mind that only a part of the possible diseases which you could end up with can be prevented by vaccination. Should you have any long term or chronic illnesses you better discuss it with your doctor and prepare any needed medication you may need to carry with you.
When traveling overseas, the more exotic the place, the higher the probability that the water quality and food hygiene standards are very different than back home. Add to that a variety of local ingredients your body hasn’t been exposed to previously. So no matter how careful you are with your personal hygiene and how often you wash your hands, you will most probably end up enjoying episodes of the unpleasant gastroenterological troubles, some mild but others pretty aggressive.
In order to stay on top of it, many seasoned tourists will carry upon them some sort of preventive medication at all time – something along the lines of Smecta or Loperamids. Sometimes even some type of antibiotics or medicine against bacterial infections, too.
However, while this may be helping as a quick fix, there are several drawbacks from where I stand:
It is a medicine and this may not get along well with the alcohol you may be consuming while on vacation, testing unnecessarily the patience and strength of your liver.
They may have limited effect: during our trip to Indonesia couple of months back, my significant other insisted on not using the natural remedies I had in my bag. Which meant that few days into our trip he ended up taking his tablets 3 times a day. And had to know his surroundings at all times – meaning where the nearest toilet was for him to make a quick escape in case the medicine would cease to have effect unexpectedly. Basically, his derriere was either on fire or totally glued down for few hours after each tablet.
Me, meanwhile, I chose a different content for my well being: drinking pure Aloe Vera gel every morning on an empty stomach, followed by garlic supplements. Without the less aromatic consequences of consuming loads of fresh garlic, I made sure I could still benefit from the boost to my immune system by this powerful antioxidant; while allowing the Aloe to do its bit in fighting inflammations, help boosting the immune system and improve the function of and the general condition of the gut. Which meant no desperate need to make a run for it unexpectedly, too.
And no matter how crazy you may be about the local variety of fruits and fresh vegetables, some days you may just not feel you could take one more bite of the dragon fruit. And the weather is so damn hot that while you know you need nutrition, you cannot make yourself eat anything heavy. Or, you may have wandered so far off the beaten path that any half-decent feeding establishment may not be within your reach and having a welcoming dish from a warm smiling local is not an option. Either ways, in such cases a major savior is the protein cocktail: it can be mixed with anything, from simple water to coconut water or milk or soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, etc. I am carrying one package of this powder with me in my small backpack when traveling and it have come handy more than once.
However, regardless of how well prepared you are and how careful you are, at some point during your trip you are bound to relax and go with the flow. Which may bring also less pleasant consequences, like a nasty sunburn. So, a quick remedy as I also found out from all the massage and beauty salons that are populating the touristic side of Bali coasts, is the same magical Aloe Vera: this time in its topical format.
Besides it anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, the Aloe topical gel soothes and calms irritation. It should be part of your first-aid kit and you should apply it generously both on bruised skin due to more rough activities or on sunburns as nasty as mine. Pack some and you won’t regret it!
Have a fantastic trip and make loads of memories!