Being sick at home is not fun but being sick while traveling is even worse. When it happens, you may be in a country where you can’t access the same over-the-counter medications you normally take. You may also be more hesitant to seek medical care or may not have easy access to clinics or hospitals. And, most frustrating, illness can ruin the vacation you’ve planned for months. Despite all precautions you take before a trip, it’s wise to be prepared with the basics for combating or preventing sickness on the road. Here are 7 easy tips that will help you stay healthy while traveling:

Update: we’ve added an 8th important way to stay healthy while on the road. Travel subjects us to lots of bacteria-laden places. While you’re in transit remember to take and use disinfectant wipes and wash your hands whenever possible. Here’s new information about the dirtiest places at the airport and on the plane

1. First, and most important: Get travel health insurance.

No matter how healthy you are, get insurance. If you have benefits with your employer or spouse’s employer, then you may be covered. For any coverage, remember to check the duration. If you’re on a long stay holiday of 30 or 60+ days, many plans won’t extend to that long and you’ll need to pay additional to cover the extra time. Also be cautious when traveling state to state or in Canada, province to province. Although plans are honored country-wide, coverage may vary.

stay-healthy-travel-insuranceAnd one other consideration, check the ‘pre-existing condition’ clause. A pre-existing condition may apply even if you’ve only been tested for that condition. A common example is a blood pressure test that’s a standard procedure most any time you’re seen at a medical facility.  Good Times Magazine offers more advice.

2. Take a small supply of common over-the-counter medications with you. Things like ibuprofen, acetaminophen and digestive meds.

3. Many people experience in-flight digestive issues. To help alleviate or avoid them, minimize eating on the plane and avoid alcohol. Doctors also suggest taking Gravol (or a generic) during flights but don’t take Imodium (or it’s generic). That will just keep the food in your stomach longer and may cause more issues.

4. Take a greens powder with you to mix with water and drink first thing in the morning. It can help replace the vegetables you may not eat while traveling and because it’s in a dry form, it’s easy to carry. A travel agent I know is a prime candidate for sickness. She tends to frantically rush from one task to another whether traveling constantly or on the road leading groups or dealing with a lot of personal family stress. BUT I’ve never known her to get a cold or get sick. She attributes it to her greens powder that she has taken every morning for years. Well, if it’s works for her…

5. Zinc and Vitamin C are helpful for maintaining a strong, healthy immune system especially right after or during flights.

6. Lavender essential oil acts as a natural headache cure, sleep aid, relaxation scent and insect repellent. Here are other natural tips from Travelettes.

7. Finally, one of the most important ways to stay healthy: drink lots of water. In most countries, do not trust tap water. Take your collapsible water bottle and fill up when you are in a location with filtered or safe water. Though plastic bottled water isn’t ideal, the lesser of two evils is to buy bottled to stay healthy while on the road.

*Note: None of the companies or products listed here have contacted us, paid or requested we mention them. All references are entirely the result of travel research.*

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