Travel Medicine 101: What to Bring?
We all get ill, bitten by mosquitoes, cut our fingers or simply get struck by bad luck – and not only at home, but when we are traveling too.
Health insurance is a great thing to have, but you still need to be very well prepared yourself when it comes to traveling as sometimes it might be very crucial that you have the right thing at hand to help yourself, your friends or beloved. Even if you don’t want to pack with overweight, it is always better to even do so as long as you have the essentials.
Don’t forget that it is always better to bring your own medicine than rely on a pharmacy which might be closed, not to mention that each place has their own variation of even the most common medicine, which will be perhaps a bit different to yours.
Even if you were never allergic, you might still encounter some new food or flower which will cause some allergic reaction which won’t even be rough enough to head over to the doctor, yet will still bother you. Also, if you have been allergic in the past your allergy might come back, so bear in mind that you may be once again allergic to, say, tomatoes. Choose any of the antihistamines which help you such as loratadine (clarityn) or any of the other variations. It is recommended to use after any sting of any bug such as bees and also snakes in case you might be allergic, better safe than sorry!
Don’t forget you can always catch the flu, and bringing paracetamol or aspirin with you will give you the back up of also having something against any pain. Having a pain-killer is essential as you don’t know if you might get bad cramps, some odd stomach ache or a very bad migraine in the middle of the night.
One of the worst nightmares which unfortunately seems to go hand in hand with traveling sometimes if you are not too careful! The statistics of travelers which catch it every year is around 20-25%. It usually happens due to the fact that the traveler is not used to the local cuisine or ingredients which cause an internal imbalance, leading the body to play safe and defend itself. Make sure to always buy bottled water wherever you are to avoid different stomach problems, not just diarrhea. Always bring loperamide or diphenoxylate/atropine with you
You must be aware if the zone you are travelling to is a malaria-free zone, and if not consult your doctor before you go there (consult your doctor in general before traveling anywhere, if in doubt). You will be provided with medication or given a prescription on what should you get and as long as you follow the instructions carefully don’t worry, all will be OK and you will not catch it. Make sure you know when to start the anti-malaria medication as some of them require you to start taking them a week prior to arrival at the infected zone.
Also don’t forget to bring band aids, antiseptic solutions for bites and scratches, sunscreen and a thermometer, a blood pressure device if you have had any struggles with blood pressure in the past, safety pins and scissors. And don’t forget to take birth control if you need it, as you may not know when you will need it next!