No one wants to get ill on holiday! The pandemic has been with us for almost two years. In the early days, travel was curtailed, we now have the opportunity to travel domestically and to certain international destinations. One still has to comply with various protocols when leaving South Africa.
It has been a rough period, people deserve to get away and recharge their souls. You mustn’t get ill, that spoils things. Especially if you are bedridden and the group are enjoying themselves. Covid remains a threat and is not going away in a hurry.
A common-sense approach to travelling will make a big difference. A good strategy starts before you leave home.
Firstly follow the laid down Covid- 19 protocols such as social distancing, sanitising, hand washing and wearing a mask. Masks are an effective way of not contracting the virus or spreading it. Be careful of crowded areas such as shopping malls and indoor spaces. Hand washing is a highly effective way to avoid illness. One should wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water ( at least 20-30 seconds ) after contact with surfaces used by many people. Think shopping baskets and trollies, door handles and escalator rails. Your hands should be clean before touching your face. Germs can enter through your eyes, nose and mouth. If you can’t get to soap and water make sure you have access to a hand sanitiser.Preferably with a 70% alcohol content. Drop the surgical gloves because they can still collect germs.
Sleep deprivation is another reason you can get ill. You run yourself ragged before leaving, this coupled with the loss of sleep can lower your immunity. It’s also important to sleep well while travelling. Even those afternoon naps are important. Skip sleep supplements unless you have spoken to your doctor or a travel clinic.
Hydration is important, nothing beats plenty of water especially if you are flying. Dehydration can leave you feeling tired and fuzzy. Upping your water intake can assist ward off germs. It creates a moist environment in both your nose and throat which assists your body fight germs. When flying the air inside the plane is dry, this is caused by high altitude and air-conditioning so water is important. I also use a nasal solution before flying as I find this helps. Especially after a burst eardrum on a domestic flight.
Everyone has different hydration needs. This can be influenced by the weather in hot climates. Around two to three litres per day is good but chat to your doctor.
Watch that garage pie or anything that looks dodgy. This could see you staying close to the bathroom and not enjoying yourself. Try and stick to cooked foods and be careful of salads, they may have been washed with contaminated water. Avoid bottled water that has already been opened ( seal broken ). Locally we are blessed with good restaurants on the main routes and lesser routes Be cautious. Watch items that contain dairy products as they turn easily. Google is a great resource for international travel as are dedicated Facebook pages.
No one expects to get sick but check that vaccinations are up to date if required as well as Tetanus shots. Carry the necessary certificates as proof.
Pack a suitable first aid kit either with the help of your doctor or even a travel specialist. Don’t forget insect repellant and sunscreen and stay away from the pool during the hottest time of the day sunburn can be painful and sunstroke debilitating.
If you are taking personal medication and a first aid kit across borders ensure that you have a script from your doctor as it may be required. Bottom line, there is no sure way to avoid getting sick but a bit of prevention goes a long way. You can enjoy the journey without stress. Insurance is critical, check that yours is up to date. Repatriation cover is invaluable in an emergency. So get out there and enjoy what the country has to offer.