You’ve packed your bikini and your passport is ready to go. This holiday has been a long time coming – so the last thing you want is to be ill while you’re away.
According to the 2016 ABTA Holiday Habits Report, 86% of us took a holiday last year. However, over-indulgence, late nights and not being vigilant in your food choices can all contribute to ruining a long-awaited trip.
With this in mind, we’ve compiled our top tips to ensure you stay in tip-top condition.
Remember your EHIC
If you become ill while on holiday, the European Health Insurance Card enables members of EEA countries and Switzerland to receive medical treatment in another member state free of charge or at a reduced cost.
It is completely free to apply for and covers treatment that is medically necessary while abroad. However, there are plenty of rogue sites out there so beware – these will often charge you to apply. Go to the official site here.
Beware of blood clots
The chances of getting a blood clot dramatically increase on a long haul flight when you are seated for a long time.
Wearing loose comfortable clothing and a pair of flight socks will help – they might not be the most attractive thing in your wardrobe but they work! According to the NHS, these can significantly reduce the risk as they apply gentle pressure to the ankle to help blood flow. However, it is essential you check how to wear them correctly as ill-fitting stockings could further increase the risk of DVT.
Make sure you stay well hydrated, avoid alcohol and get up and walk around every hour. Regularly flex your ankles while seated and keep your legs uncrossed. Long haul flight magazines will often have exercises in them Click here for more information about DVT.
Embrace the new
You may just want to fly and flop, but holidays are the perfect time to incorporate some exercise into your day. It is also a good way to stave off jet lag by improving your circulation and releasing happy hormones. How about an ocean-side yoga class,a dawn beach run or a salsa class? Holidays ar all about escapism and stepping away from the norm – touche fencing anyone?!
Avoid food poisoning
Buffet style restaurants in all-inclusive hotels and on cruise ships can sometimes lead to outbreaks of food poisoning, so be vigilant with your choices.
Drink bottled water and avoid ice cubes, make sure your food is piping hot, avoid salads as they may have been washed in tap water and don’t touch food that has been kept warm. Only eat meat that has been well cooked and avoid shellfish.
Has food poisoning ruined your holiday? You might be entitled to compensation. Click here to receive a call back from one of our friendly advisers who will talk through your options.
Natural sun screen
We all know the dangers of exposing our skin to the sun. As well as wearing a high factor sunscreen, some studies suggest that selenium (found in products like brazil nuts) can help prevent sun damage to the skin cells. Beta-carotene, found in red and orange fruit and veg may also help.
Beware of heatstroke
You are most susceptible to sunstroke when you first arrive on holiday. To avoid this holiday horror, make sure you wear a hat, drink plenty of water and wear sunscreen. Symptoms include headaches, nausea, vomiting and dizziness. If you are with someone who is suffering from heatstroke, make sure they lie down in a cool place with their legs slightly raised, expose as much of their skin as possible and cool down their skin with a sponge. Check their breathing and pulse are ok and stay with them. According to the NHS, they should start cooling down and feeling better within half an hour.
Keep hand sanitizer handy in case water and soap aren’t available when you are out and about. However, they only target bacteria and not viruses so should therefore not be a replacement for hand washing with warm water and soap.
Beat the jet lag
Our circadian rhythms are thrown out when we fly between time zones, meaning are bodies get confused when our usual 24 hour pattern is disrupted. Jet lag can cause exhaustion, bowel problems, indigestion, appetite loss and concentration and memory problems, and studies have shown it takes a full day to recover. Beat jet lag by eating a meal rich in the amino acid tryptophan (found in foods such as turkey and cottage cheese) This may assist in the production of seratonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain that can help ease you into the land of nod. Adjust your watch as soon as you arrive and get into your new routine.