Travel can pose various risks to health, depending on the characteristics of both the traveller and the travel. Travellers may encounter sudden and significant changes in altitude, humidity, microbes, and temperature, which can result in ill-health. In addition, serious health risks may arise in areas where accommodation is of poor quality, hygiene and sanitation are inadequate, medical services are not well developed and clean water is unavailable.
Plan for Healthy Travel
- Schedule enough sleep before and during travel. Adults typically need 7-8 hours of sleep each night. School-age children and teens need at least 9 hours. Younger children need 10-12 hours and newborns 16-18 hours of sleep a day.
- Drive while rested.
- Help your body adjust to a new time zone. Get lots of sunlight and exercise, eat meals at local times, drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine.
- Learn about your destination. Research local living conditions, laws and customs, health risks and how to minimize them, and what vaccinations you’ll need.
- Consider food options. Look for restaurants with freshly cooked, hot foods and clean utensils. Avoid risky foods, like raw or undercooked meat and seafood, unpeeled or raw fruits and vegetables, and drinks with ice.
- Pack your medicines. Make sure to pack enough medicine, sunscreen and any other health products you might need.