You’ve been planning your backpacking adventure for months – possibly even years, you know exactly where you’re going, what sights you’re going to see, what activities you want to do, you’ve done hours of research on the best hotels and hostels, you’ve packed your bag, arranged your insurance, prepared yourself mentally and physically – only to be ill on the second day of your trip and need to head back home again.

The above is something that many travelers fear; having their dream adventure cut short by something that’s out of their control. But did you know that you can control your health when you’re traveling? There are certain steps you can take to reduce the risk of illness that’s for sure!

Unsure of where to start? Don’t worry, read on for 5 simple ways to keep yourself healthy on the road.

Protect yourself from the sun

Sun protection is something you need to take seriously when you’re traveling. Heatstroke and dehydration are devastating and can happen quickly, so make sure you have adequate sun protection including a high factor sun cream, plenty of water, a sun hat and a good pair of sunglasses like these round sunglasses from Eye Buy Direct. Not only will these sunglasses prevent you from squinting all day, but they’ll help to shield your eyes from dust and dirt as well as protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.

Wash your hands

It’s one of the most basic elements of hygiene, but you’d be surprised how many of us still don’t do it. Washing your hands will dramatically reduce the risk of diarrhea, sickness, flu, norovirus and other nasty illnesses you don’t want to catch! Travel with a small bottle of hand sanitizer for those times when the hand washing facilities aren’t up to scratch, or you’re about to eat.

Be wary of food contamination

Any traveler will tell you that experiencing new cuisines is one of the highlights of traveling abroad. However, it’s also one of the main causes of diarrhea and gastroenteritis. Always ensure that the food you’re eating is cooked fresh, is piping hot and cooked thoroughly. Before you try every stall in the food market, ensure that the stall is clean, that the food is prepared right in front of you and that you can see food hygiene practices like hand washing after money handling, the use of gloves, and clean utensils.

Stay active

Like at home, the best way to stay healthy is to add a little movement to your day. You can fight off infections with exercise, so keeping active on your travels and keeping your fitness levels up, means that you’re more likely to get over any potential illness very quickly. It’s not 100% foolproof, but it’s a known fact that the fitter you are the less sick you get!

Speak with your GP

Before you travel, speak with your health professional and let them know your travel plans, they can ensure that you have the right vaccinations and that you’re fit and healthy. You can also pick up any prescriptions and contraceptives that you’ll need to take with you.

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