Holiday time has arrived at last. Whether it’s a hurly-burly city break, packing a rucksack to climb a mountain, taking a cruise or replenishing your tank on a white, sandy palm beach, the main thing is: relax and escape from the daily grind!
Before you can sniff that long awaited holiday air, there’s still a few little jobs to do in preparation for the journey. It’s not just the swimming things that need to be packed. Think of the environment you’re going into and what you’d need to keep yourself healthy such as sun screen, vaccinations and perhaps a first-aid kit too. So, if you really want your holiday to be the best part of the year, it’s worth spending a few moments to think of your health. Read on for a few tips to help plan your holiday.
The sun boosts our circulation and strengthens the immune system and tops up our Vitamin D. But too much UV light can cause sunburn and harm the skin.
Feel free to feast on holiday. However, our gastrointestinal tract can sometimes be overwhelmed in distant lands. Keep your choices fresh and healthy and not too much spice if you’re not used to it.
The simplest rule for eating and drinking safely is:
The same applies to drinking water. Only drink boiled or commercially bottled water – not all countries have safe tap water. Furthermore: don't have ice in your drink as this is usually from tap water.
Vaccinations and preventive medicines offer the best protection against diseases such as typhoid, hepatitis, yellow fever or malaria.
The risk of catching an infection is highest in countries with a tropical climate. Find out about the conditions at your destination before you leave, for example, on the homepage of the Foreign Office or ask your GP or Pharmacist for advice.
Protect yourself from mosquitoes as they can transmit the diseases. Wear long clothing whenever possible, sleep under a mosquito net if appropriate, use anti-mosquito spray and light votive candles to keep the little beggars away in the evening.
A well thought out first-aid kit is worth its weight in gold. It should include the following recommended items:
A successful holiday begins with a relaxing journey.
Long journeys over 3 hours, whether it be in an aircraft, a car, buses or trains, can increase the risk of thrombosis (DVT). A DVT can occur if a blood clot forms in a leg vein and blocks the vessel. These blood vessels transport the blood from the feet back to the heart.
To help avoid this happening, you need to keep the calf muscle pump moving. By doing this, the contraction and relaxation of the calf muscles ensures the veins flow the blood back to the heart efficiently. If we sit or lie around for a long time without sufficient exercise or moving, this muscle pump cannot work which makes the blood flow slow and increases the risk of a DVT.
But there are many tips for minimising the risk of traveller's thrombosis:
Now, go and enjoy your well-deserved holiday!