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Here are our new Solo Travel Safety Tips to Stay Healthy Abroad. In the first half of this decade, the ebola virus raised global concerns although primarily active in West Africa. could breathe a sigh of relief. However, shortly thereafter, the Zika Virus became a tremendous concern in tropical and certain sub-tropical regions of the world. Now the Coronavirus has created both new, serious health concerns as well as global travel restrictions.
Although epidemics vary, it is always important to consider the health implications of travel. Moreover, an often overlooked fact is that common, sometimes serious, illnesses or accidents that can happen at home can still be lurking around a corner when you are away. To avoid trouble, I plan ahead and try to be aware of what is happening around me while traveling. The problem is that jetlag, general fatigue and distractions from a new setting combine to make it harder.
Solo Travel Safety Tips to Stay Healthy Abroad: Avoiding Headaches!
Before you go, find out what vaccinations or medicines are suggested. One caveat: These are generally wide recommendations of one size fits all. It is important to tailor it to your individual trip. For example, before going to SE Asia, I saw that the CDC recommended rabies shots. I considered the hefty price. Also, if bitten or scratched, I would need additional shots. I took a pass. My reason? I was staying in top urban hotels. I was then going on a week’s luxury Mekong River cruise, I was unlikely to interact with stray animals. As it turned out, I was hard pressed to find any animals up close. It was difficult to even get selfies with marauding monkeys!
To avoid a financial headache, check out your insurance before leaving home. If you become sick or injured abroad, what does your existing health insurance cover? Consider purchasing travel insurance. However, read all the fine print carefully. Exclusions for “risky behavior” may cover many active sports or touri
Solo Travel Safety Tips to Stay Healthy Abroad: Consider the Region.
Think about how your destination poses a health risk. Is it because of largely polluted water? Drugstores carry water purification tablets. Boiling water can be protective but generally requires a lengthier period than just making coffee or tea. Is it because of malaria and dengue fever carried by mosquitoes? In addition to malaria pills, take insect repellent and be especially careful of dawn and dusk when many mosquitoes feed. Lastly, never thought of packing socks for the tropics? Covering up is one of the best ways to avoid insect bites. Try substituting Bugs Away brand “couture” in lieu of high fashion on your travels. When traveling to China during the Swine Flu epidemic, I discreetly carried in my purse a mask of the type worn in Asia during, or to prevent exposure to, an illness. (I felt too self-conscious to use it and luckily did not have any serious, long-term harm having apparently dodged the Swine Flu!)
Solo Travel Safety Tips to Stay Healthy Abroad: Beware of Accidents.
Accidents can happen easily if you are jetlagged or distracted by new surroundings. Be especially vigilant if driving in an unfamiliar location or under special circumstances, like a sudden snowstorm. When trying out new activities from skiing to mopeds, don’t race down the nearest hill until you figure out how to slow down!
Solo Travel Safety Tips to Stay Healthy Abroad: Watch Out for Crime!
Unfortunately, crime at home and abroad creates certain safety risks, especially in urban areas. Avoid deserted areas, particularly at night, and don’t try to fight off petty pickpockets. Divide up your cash and credit cards so at least any enterprising bandits don’t get away with all your cash/funds. Be vigilant at tourist sights when you may not notice that your valuables have just left on a separate trip.
Solo Travel Safety Tips to Stay Healthy Abroad: Carrying Pills.
On a past trip outside the US, I watched some updates on border crossing requirements. In this case, it related to US and Canada. However, this is even more an issue in some other spots. The issue? It was prescriptions and over-the-counter supplements.
- Bring a druggist and/or doctor’s letter.
- Keep the tablets in original packages.
- Check at home what the destination needs.
- Be really careful as to pain killers or drugs that are on controlled lists.
The good news is that most of the things we worry about won’t happen. Just use good sense abroad as you would at home, and plan before you head out on travel. Be sure to check out our blog, “5 Solo Traveler Tips-Staying Healthy Abroad“.