Travel Preparation: How To Prepare For Your Health and Safety
If you are packing for your next trip, and finally setting off to a new place after the long lockdown at home due to COVID19, then it is natural that you would be under some stress or anxiety. Especially about the preparations and precautions before you step out of your house. With norms of social distancing, changed outlook on personal and public hygiene, new rules for different destinations and a revolutionised world, this is bound to happen.
To help you counter that stress, here’s a guide about how to prepare for travel after coronavirus.
Get a Medical Consultation
Before a trip, make sure that you visit the doctor’s. Even if you are fit and in the pink of health, it is imperative you get yourself tested for the listed infections or viruses on your country’s list. And also get vaccines or booster shots for diseases that may be active in your destination country. Even if you are travelling domestically, it is best to have a clean bill of health in these unhealthy times. Also, do ask your doctor for a prescription of basic medicines like cold, fever, stomach infections etc to tide you over on your trip.
On the official side, most international boarding checks will ask for medical certification of your health. So that makes a pre-travel medical check mandatory for all.
Assess Travel-related Health Risks
If you are travelling to a developing or under-developed place or country, then in all likelihood you may be exposed to viruses, bacteria or infections that are not prevalent in your land. So your first step should be to assess your destination and any health risks that it might pose. Like malaria and ebola in many African nations, waterborne diseases in South-east Asian countries, and now the novel coronavirus in many European and North American countries. Research well about the food, water, stay and other travel-related health risks in your destination, as well as know your own bodily health. If you have co-morbidities like hypertension, kidney disease, cancer, diabetes etc, then your doctor’s permission is very important before you travel.
Buy a Travel Insurance
We cannot stress the importance of travel insurance enough. Medical emergencies and virus outbreaks aside, travel insurances come handy in times of accidents like missed flights, delayed trains, road rages and other unexpected impediments to your plans. One needs to understand that such incidents otherwise dent your pocket pretty bad. Even medical care abroad is very expensive, especially for tourists without any local subsidies. Make sure you get a health insurance that includes coverage for emergency evacuation for health reasons, changes in itinerary, hospitalisation, etc.
Prepare Medical Kit & Personal Hygiene Kit
Essentials on a long distance trip have changed with the decade of 2020 and Coronavirus pandemic. Now, you must always carry an updated medical and personal hygiene kit with you, and refrain from using items and kits offered by airlines or hotels. What should each of these kits contain?
A Medical Kit must have:
- Prescription medicine and a written prescription to refill
- Antiseptic cream/liquid
- Adhesive tape
- Lubricant Eye Drops
- Nasal drops to combat dry air
- Insect repellent
- Antihistamine tablets
- Oral Rehydration salts
- Analgesics (paracetamol)
- Clinical Thermometer
A Personal Hygiene Kit must contain:
- Face Masks (reusable + disposable)
- Packet of Hand gloves (reusable + disposable)
- Hand Sanitiser
- Dental kit (tooth brush, toothpaste, floss)
- Shaving kit
- Neck cushion
- Warm Shawl
- Any medication for pre-existing conditions
- Sanitary napkins/ Tampons
- Condoms/ Oral Contraceptives
- Water disinfectant
Pack your Food
For the safety of you and your family, prefer home cooked food while travelling. Even if you are assured that the airlines or railway meals are healthy and hygienically prepared, there is nothing better and safer than knowing what goes in your mouth is 101% safe. You might be tempted with those coffees at coffee shops or munchies and snacks, so it is also advised to pack a travel cup or thermos of your favourite beverage and a couple of small boxes with snacks like peanuts, trail-mix, chips, popcorn, cookies etc.
Avoid carrying raw foods like fruits, sushi etc as they are easily spoiled by heat.