STAY HEALTHY WHILE TRAVELLING
» Before you leave Ensure that you’ve received all the required vaccines for the country or countries you’re visiting. Some countries can refuse you entry if you’re unvaccinated. Visit travelvaccinationclinic.com.au or smartraveller. gov.au to find out which vaccinations you need, or talk to your GP. » On the plane Drink. Drink. Drink. Water, that is. To counter the effects of low humidity, which increases your chance of getting airborne viruses, drink plenty of water. Studies have shown that sipping small amounts throughout the flight is more beneficial than drinking a lot of water in one sitting. » Use a saline nasal spray The low humidity on the plane can also dry out your nasal passages leaving you more vulnerable to infection. Using a non-medicated saline nasal spray is an excellent way to keep the nasal passages moist. » Keep your hands clean Take some antibacterial wipes and wash your hands regularly. According to Travelmath.com, tray tables, overhead air vents, seatbelt buckles, toilet flush buttons and toilet stall locks are the dirtiest surfaces on airplanes. Washing your hands regularly and wiping your tray table and seatbelt buckle with antibacterial wipes go a long way in helping to prevent the spread of germs. » Keep your air vent on While it may cause you to shiver, studies have shown that keeping the overhead air ventilation on is actually a key way of avoiding illness. This is because the blowing air creates a barrier around you, forcing airborne viruses away.
» Get up To prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT), get up regularly and walk around, especially on long flights. Contrary to popular belief, DVT doesn’t just occur on planes but also on long bus and train trips too. When you can’t get up, flexing and rotating your ankles for a few minutes every half an hour is a good way to exercise your calf muscles, as well as encourage better circulation. » At your destination Be careful what you put in your mouth. Visit smartraveller.com.au to see what’s safe to eat and drink at your destination. » Go shopping If you’re worried about getting traveller’s diarrhoea from eating contaminated food or water, there are products on the market that claim to minimise your chances of getting sick, by binding to the germs that cause diarrhoea and preventing them from attaching to the intestinal wall. Check out travelan.com.au for more information. » Out in nature If you’re out in nature and want to drink from that crystal-clear mountain stream, think again. While they may look safe, streams, creeks and springs can be contaminated with water-borne bacteria such as Giardia intestinalis and Cryptosporidium.
So, make sure you carry plenty of water or be prepared to purify your water using methods such as boiling, water purification tablets, Uv-light water purifiers or water filters. » Stock up on essentials As well as food and water, always bring a first aid kit with all the essentials – including plenty of plasters for blisters – when you’re out in nature. And don’t forget your sunscreen and insect repellent.
Streams can be contaminated. So, make sure you carry plenty of water or be prepared to purify your water