Five tips for staying healthy while traveling

When you are a traveler exploring new destinations around the world you are exposed to some dangers in some cases. Not only do they come from environmental threats, but some of the biggest problems are invisible to the human eye.

To stay healthy while traveling, everyone who boards a plane or enters a hotel room should be aware of some dangers. With a little preparation and knowledge of potential health hazards, anyone can enjoy their next adventures without taking a tour of the local hospital.

When preparing for a trip, travelers should make sure their checklists include personal wellness items, as well as some safety habits, among other things. Here are five simple travel tips anyone can follow to stay healthy. All of these tips are especially important for seniors.

1. Always opt for mineral water

One luxury many travelers take for granted is clean water straight from the tap. However, in some parts of the world, including parts of the U.S., clean water is not a guarantee. In certain places, tap water may also contain bacteria and toxins that can lead to illnesses that may end up requiring a doctor's visit.

If you want to travel healthily, always ask for bottled water. Although it can be a more expensive option, this precaution will ensure that you consume even clean water and stay healthy. If bottled water is not available, bring a bottle with a built-in filter to protect against germs and bacteria.

2. Use hand sanitizer

In certain locations, the quality of personal sanitation may vary. As a result, hand washing and cleansing facilities may not be easily accessible. In addition, rinsing your hands may not be enough to ensure cleanliness, as the water may not meet certain health standards.

To ensure healthy travel, it is always advisable to carry a small bottle of alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you. Hand sanitizers can ensure travelers keep dirt and germs off their hands, especially if they have contact with other vulnerable surfaces. Many brands make bottles that are not objected to by airport security, so they can stay in carry-on luggage at all times.

3. Use an insect repellent with DEET

Germs and bacteria are not the only threats travelers face abroad. Mosquitoes are a common vector for diseases that spread Ebola, malaria and Zika.

When traveling to countries known for mosquito & insect borne diseases, using an insect repellent is mandatory for healthy traveling. Research has shown that insect repellents with DEET as the active ingredient are the most effective at repelling mosquitoes and reducing the risk of being bitten by an infected mosquito. DEET insect repellents can also be purchased as lotions and wipes, making them easy to pack and airport security friendly.

4. Use sunscreen when outdoors

With all the demands of travel today, sunscreen is one of the most overlooked items on your travel checklist. Sunscreen, however, is arguably one of the most important items to include in any travel first aid kit. While sunburn can be uncomfortable and make traveling unpleasant, long-term exposure and repeated sunburns can contribute to skin cancer.

Dermatologists recommend using at least 30 SPF sunscreen when daily activities take place outdoors. In addition, travelers should reapply their sunscreen every two hours for maximum sun protection. Spray-on sunscreen, however, should not be used to achieve maximum protection.

5. Relax between your destinations & excursions

Time differences can mess with the "internal clock" of even the most seasoned traveler. From the hassles of jet lag to food shifts, finding time to rest & recover between adventures is crucial to healthy travel.

Travelers can prepare to fight jet lag in several ways before arriving at their destination. Doctors recommend shifting meal times to the local time zone, drinking plenty of water upon arrival, and adjusting sleep to the direction of travel. Experts recommend sleeping when traveling east and staying awake as much as possible when traveling west.

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