You spent weeks planning every detail of your trip to ensure optimal sightseeing (or relaxation)! But, flight delays are not the only thing that can throw your plans amiss. Coming down with the flu or another illness while you are on vacation can ruin your trip. Check out these 6 common illnesses you may come across while traveling and how to prevent them:

Common Cold- Traveling may weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to illnesses like the common cold or flu. Take care of yourself on your trip by getting plenty of sleep and staying hydrated as well as getting recommended vaccinations and the flu shot before you travel.

Altitude Sickness- Traveling to areas that are at a high altitude may lead to altitude sickness. Symptoms may come on quickly and are caused by a change in oxygen levels. Symptoms include shortness of breath, headaches, difficulty sleeping, nausea, fatigue, and muscle pain.

Motion Sickness- Motion sickness is often caused by an inner ear disturbance reacting to repeated motion. This can occur on any moving craft, including boats, planes, and cars causing symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, dizziness, and sweating. If you are commonly sick on a moving craft, speak with your doctor about motion sickness medications.

Gastroenteritis- Gastroenteritis may be cause by consuming food or water that has been contaminated with fecal matter. The virus, however, may also be spread through contact with an infected person. You should research the are you are traveling to and follow any travel suggestions or guidelines regarding food and drink for that area, such as drinking bottled water or avoiding unpeeled fresh fruits.

Sunburns- While a sunburn may not be an illness, a severe sunburn may cause symptoms such as fevers, chills, nausea, blisters, headaches, and fatigue. You should always wear sunscreen when you are outside, even if the weather is overcast, as you are still exposed to ultraviolet light from the sun. You can also prevent sunburn by wearing protective clothing and avoiding sun exposure from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Insect Bites- Traveling may expose you to different kinds of insect bites or stings. While mosquitoes may carry viruses, other insects such as spiders and ticks may cause you to become ill during your travels. The best way to prevent insect bites is to wear protective clothing such as long sleeves and pants. You should also discuss any traveler’s warnings with your physician before your trip.


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