Don't Let Small Ailments Get In The Way Of The Trip Of A Lifetime

Planning an extended trip abroad can be incredibly exciting. Whether you’re jetting off around the world on your gap year, or just escaping to a couple of destinations for a month or so, traveling is so very different to your average holiday. When you go on a ‘vacation,' you tend to go to relax, and most things are done for you. An authentic travel experience, however, relies on you to use your initiative to a much higher degree, and there is a focus on experiences rather than relaxation. Being exposed to different cultures can enrich your view of the world, and you may come across challenges on your travels that end up shaping you greatly as a person. With all that in mind, it only makes sense that your health should be in tip-top condition while you are there, so any ailments or issues do not affect your time there. The time you have on your travels is precious, and there no doubt that you would want to squeeze every opportunity possible out of it. Feeling unwell or being in pain can have a direct impact on how much you enjoy your trip, and how ‘in the moment’ you can be. Plus, depending on where you are in the world, getting to a doctor’s surgery (or even finding a doctor who speaks English) could potentially be quite the challenge. No one wants petty illness to get in the way of them enjoying the trip of a lifetime – here are some things you can do to ensure that you are fighting fit for every moment of your travels.
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Delay your period

Now, your period is not an illness or an ailment – and normally, back at home, it is barely an inconvenience. Dealing with your period while you are traveling, however, can be a whole other kettle of fish. You may find yourself staying in very rural places, where there is nowhere to buy sanitary products, leaving you in a bit of a pickle when your supply runs out. You also may be sharing dormitories or tents with other people, often strangers. While everyone knows that periods are natural and nothing to be embarrassed about, many girls can often feel self-conscious being on their period in such close quarters to people they don’t know. Simply for peace of mind, you may decide to start taking the contraceptive pill before you leave for your adventure. By taking two packs of pills back to back, you can delay your period for a month. If you need to avoid your period for longer than this, you may be able to run a few more packs concurrently, but always consult with your doctor first. As far as dealing with period pains go, you may be one of the lucky ones who don't tend to get cramps or any other adverse effects. But if you do tend to suffer quite badly during your time of the month, make sure you pack some painkillers in your travel bag to take the edge off.

Keep your feet protected

Sightseeing and adventuring while you are traveling tends to involve a LOT of walking around. Many of the world’s most beautiful and exciting destinations cannot be reached by public transport or by a car. If you’re traveling on a budget, it’s fairly unlikely that you will have a car anyway. But all that walking can have a pretty harsh impact on your feet, if you don’t take the necessary steps to take care of them while you’re away. The last thing you want is to end up with huge blister on your second day, which then subsequently make getting anywhere for the rest of your time away that little bit more difficult. The first thing to ensure is that you have a pair of comfortable shoes to wear; if not walking boots, a pair of thick-soled, breathable sandals. Forget anything with a thin or completely flat sole, as shoes like this do not act as a suitable barrier between your feet and the ground. With any shoes that you buy before your trip, make sure you wear them in at home before you fly – breaking them in ‘on the job’, as it were, is never a good idea! Pack plenty of breathable socks and a good selection of plasters to see you through your time away. A combination of fabric ones and blister ones tend to do the trick. Additionally, always make sure you give your feet time to breathe, even if you are in a camping situation – they will thank you for it in the long run!

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Colds and sore throats

It is very easy to pick up a lot of minor airborne illnesses while you are traveling. While they may not pose a risk to your long-term health, these types of ailments can be very inconvenient, as they can impact your ability to go about your daily business as you would. Flu-like symptoms can cause you to feel exceptionally run-down, which is not ideal when you have a busy sightseeing itinerary ahead of you! Unfortunately, catching these types of diseases can sometimes be inevitable, simply because you may find yourself in unsanitary environments surrounded by lots of people. The best thing to do is to make sure you have a strong immune system before and during your trip, which will minimize the chance of any of these symptoms taking a hold on you. Try your best to get enough sleep – earplugs and an eye mask are a God-send for when you are staying in tents or hostels. Even though it may be hard to find healthy food while you are traveling (especially if you are dealing with an unfamiliar cuisine), try and eat various fruits and vegetables if you can, just to keep your mineral content up. If all that fails, you can rely on one thing and one thing only: vitamin supplements, which you can either swallow like a normal pill or crush up into water and drink in the morning.

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