Tips to stay healthy on your summer vacation
Ahhh, summer. School’s out, backyard grills are fired up and vacation plans are ready to be put into action. As people prepare to depart to destinations near and far, it’s important to think about ways to stay healthy and safe while away from home.
Whether you’re hitting the road and venturing to a state park or taking to the open skies and flying across the country, be prepared and take steps to prioritize your and your family’s health. How? Check out our healthy travel tips below.
3 summer vacation health tips
Dress for the occasion – Check the weather forecast for your destination before you leave and pack appropriate clothing and supplies. Will it be humid and rainy where you’re going or cool and dry? Also think about the activities you’ve planned. The supplies you need for a comfortable hike through the mountains will be very different than what you’d pack for a day playing at the beach. Being unprepared can ruin a fun day and result in unwelcome souvenirs like blisters from those new sandals.
Protect your skin – If you plan to spend time outdoors on your summer vacation, make sure to slather on some sunscreen. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, everyone should wear a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Children and individuals with fair skin may want to opt for an even higher SPF. Wearing a hat and long-sleeved shirt can also help protect your skin from the sun and elements. Additionally, if bugs are an issue where you’re headed, make sure to pack insect repellent with DEET or a natural product containing oil of lemon and eucalyptus.
Stay hydrated – Health experts recommend that the average adult drink 64 ounces of water each day. However, while on vacation, you may need to drink more. This is especially true if it’s hot out or you’re more physically active than normal. Carry a water bottle and do your best to stay hydrated throughout the day. Think you or a travel buddy may be dehydrated? Common signs of mild dehydration include headache and lightheadedness. If you experience these symptoms while traveling, make sure to get out of the sun, rest and drink water or a non-caffeinated beverage with electrolytes.
Summer vacation packing essentials
While traveling, it’s always a good idea to pack some basic health and first-aid items in your purse or suitcase. Tailor items to your specific needs, destination and planned activities. Not sure what you need? The following list is a great place to start.
- Water bottle
- Pain reliever (ibuprofen, acetaminophen) for kids & adults
- Allergy and other medications
- Sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher)
- Bug spray
- First aid kit
- Anti-itch cream
- Medical insurance card
What if you get sick while on vacation?
The only thing worse than getting sick is getting sick when you’re on vacation. What should you do if you’re not feeling well or need medical attention while away from home?
If you do get sick or need medical attention, think about what you need and what venue will get you in and out the fastest. Typically, ERs won’t be your fastest option as they are meant to treat individuals with the most critical cases first. Therefore, if you have a non-emergency, it’s best to locate other care. For example, for things like sprains, minor breaks and stitches—urgent care is often the best option. If you need assistance finding care while away from home, contact your insurance company.
Online healthcare clinics are always open
In many cases, an online clinic may be your best bet. Online clinics like virtuwell.com treat conditions such as allergies, sunburns, UTIs, rashes, insect bites, swimmer’s ear and other conditions and illnesses that have the potential to ruin a vacation but aren’t so serious that you need to be seen in person. With online clinics, there is no waiting room and you can get help 24/7. In just a few clicks, you can get a treatment plan and, if necessary, a prescription sent to a nearby pharmacy—so you can start feeling better fast and get back to enjoying your vacation.