After being cooped up for the past year and a half, people are ready to hit the ground running this summer. Beaches and amusement parks are re-opening, cruises are embarking, and airlines are taking to the skies in an effort to revitalize the post-COVID travel industry. Although tempting, it’s not time to let your guard down just yet. If you decide to travel this summer, follow these 11 tips to stay healthy and happy:
Receive a pre-travel checkup
Give your primary care physician a call and schedule a checkup at least one month before you travel this summer. Discuss your intended destinations and itineraries with your doctor. They can recommend destination-specific vaccinations and therapeutic medications, plus provide information on illness-prevention tactics. If you’re in the Tampa Bay area and planning to travel this summer, schedule a pre-travel checkup with the medical team at AFC Urgent Care in Tampa by calling (813) 960-1100 today.
The COVID-19 vaccine is on everyone’s mind this year, but depending on where you are going, other vaccinations may be just as important. Follow your doctor’s recommendations on which vaccines to get before your trip.
Wear a mask while indoors
Even if you are vaccinated against COVID-19, don’t leave your mask at home. There are still many places where facial coverings are required, including healthcare facilities, education facilities, and government buildings. You never know where you’ll end up, so bring a mask to be sure you don’t miss out on any of your summer trip fun. If you aren’t vaccinated, wear your mask at all times to protect yourself and others.
Check your insurance
Double-check with your health insurance agent about coverage for domestic or international travel. You can also purchase extra coverage with travel-specific insurance policies from a variety of companies. These policies offer emergency medical evacuation coverage, refunds for missed airline connections, search and rescue services, help with lost baggage claims, and other benefits.
Carry bug repellant
Many diseases in tropical regions can be prevented with a simple spray of bug repellant. Standard varieties contain DEET, an insect-killing chemical deemed safe by the US EPA. However, some people believe DEET is too toxic for human use; several DEET-free repellents are now on the market too.
Bring healthy snacks
Eating on the road can get very unhealthy and very expensive. Instead of a steady diet of cheeseburgers and chicken nuggets from the drive-thru, prepare healthy snacks for your trip such as washed fruits and veggies, rice cakes, nuts, popcorn, trail mix, yogurt, or granola bars. Your waistline and your wallet will thank you.
Hundreds of heat-related deaths happen in Florida each year. Drinking plenty of water is crucial to surviving the brutal summer heat. Drink at least one cup every 30 minutes when engaged in physical activity, and 8-10 glasses per day in general.
Wash your hands
There’s a reason we all learn to wash our hands in kindergarten. Washing your hands is one of the easiest ways to stop the spread of disease. When soap and water aren’t available, use hand sanitizer.
Skin cancer is a killer, so sunscreen is important even when you’re not planning outdoor activities. Any exposure is too much. Use sunscreen every day and reapply often, especially when outdoors. Many skin care products and makeup now include some SPF to make protection from the sun easier and more accessible.
Get plenty of sleep
It’s easy to overdo it while enjoying the summer sun, but remember to get plenty of sleep so you’ll feel your best and avoid fatigue. Lack of sleep can lead to different health issues that will ruin your fun in the sun.
If outdoor sports aren’t on your vacation’s agenda, be sure to plan some time for physical activity such as walking or yoga. Circulation issues can result from a long plane or car ride, so be sure to get up and do a lap every so often while flying or driving. Take advantage of layovers and rest stops. Resorts, hotels, and cruise ships also offer gym facilities for fitness-conscious travelers.