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Home » Travel Tips

Tips For Staying Healthy While Backpacking

Submitted by on 07/06/2016 – 10:41 pmNo Comment
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Photos from Flickr by Chris Fynn

Backpacking is an exciting way to see the world. You get to live like a local, really explore off the beaten track, and meet fascinating people along the way. However, all the travelling, long days, and unfamiliar environments can soon take a toll on your health, and you’re bound to suffer a few medical issues along the way. Here’s a guide to coping with the most common complaints, and how to stay as healthy as possible when you’re on the road.

Stay healthy on the plane

Most backpacking or round the world trips involve at least one long haul flight. If you’re flying frequently it’s important to know the symptoms of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and to take measures to prevent it. Taking lots of flights can be tough on your body, so make sure you:

  • Drink lots of water and try to avoid alcohol
  • Move around in the cabin whenever possible
  • Try to time your naps at times that’ll match the time zone you’re travelling to
  • Choose healthy food options on the plane

Flying can be hard on the body, especially if you’re crossing time zones, so it’s important to stay healthy on long journeys and to time things like sleep to minimise jet lag.

Be careful what you eat and drink

One of the most common medical issues that travellers will face is a bout of sickness and diarrhoea. Although it’s usually not serious, nobody likes being sick in a strange country, and it can mean you miss out on fun stuff. Follow local advice about food and drink.

Many countries don’t have the same standards of tap water for example. Use common sense when it comes to things like street food. It’s nice to try authentic foods, but don’t eat anywhere that doesn’t look clean. It goes without saying that you should be especially cautious with alcohol, and don’t drink anything that’s not in a sealed bottle.

Get vaccinated

If you are travelling to certain areas of the world, you’ll need to be vaccinated, and these should be carried out in plenty of time before you leave. If you are pressed for time you can get a typhoid vaccine from Lloyds Pharmacy, as well as any other shots you might need. Before you visit a new country, check their page on the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) website. They have advice on the vaccinations you’ll need and the specific health risks of each country, as well as what the healthcare system is like in general.

Nobody wants their backpacking trip to be interrupted by illness, and so it’s important to follow official health advice when you visit new countries. When you backpack you should try to take care of yourself in general. Get sleep when you can and eat well. This will ensure you have plenty of energy to explore new places, and have a strong immune system to fight off any bugs you might pick up along the way.

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Blanche has written 758 articles. +Aaron Bradford is the leader, mentor and chief geek of HappyTimeblog. He put together the crack team of writers known by codename “The Firm“. He's a permanent traveller and a lifestyle hacker. Wanna know more? Check out my Bucket List or my About page... I'm here to show you how to live a Life Less Ordinary

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