ATLANTA – You’ve been waiting for this vacation for months, and Kaiser Permanente of Georgia internist Dr. Sylvia Morris, says following a few simple steps can help you stay healthy while traveling.
“Everything with travel is prevention,” Morris explains.
If you take prescription medication, she says, bring it with you in your carry-on bag or purse.
And use your smartphone to take a photo of the paperwork that comes attached to the bag with your prescription, or clip the information off and tuck it in your wallet. “In the event that, unfortunately, the prescriptions get lost or your forget something, then you have that information,” Dr. Morris explains. “You can go to whatever chain pharmacy you go to and ask for a onetime vacation emergency fill.”
Before you leave for your trip, Morris recommends hitting the drugstore, and putting together a over-the-counter, just-in-case travel kit you can also put in your carry-on.
This will help in you get an upset stomach or other issue while you are on the road.
“Get something like an antacid, something for heartburn, and you might want to take something for diarrhea,” Dr. Morris says. “You probably may want to take something for sleep, if you have problems acclimating to different time zones. “
If you’re traveling with kids, bring a children’s medication for fever.
And, once you are on your flight, Morris says, skip the free alcohol, which can leave you dehydrated.
“Sometimes dehydration is part of that crankiness that we get when we’re sleep-deprived, we haven’t had enough water, and we may be a little ‘hangry’ as well,” she says. “So, definitely, have water.
If you are flying overnight, and arriving in the morning, resist the urge to check in early and go to sleep.
Morris recommends staying up until nightfall, when you can have a light meal and tuck in afterward.
“What you want to do is try to get your body onto the current time zone,” she says. “And if you go to sleep, you’re going to feel sleepy the entire time.”
Finally, Dr. Morris says, check to make sure it’s safe to drink the water at your destination.
If it is not, stick to bottled water, even for brushing your teeth.
And while you are exploring the local cuisine, be travel-savvy.
“Make sure you follow the same rules that you would at your cookout, or barbeque: hot things should be hot, cold things should be cold,” Dr. Morris says.