Cruise with Good Health: How to Stay Healthy on Your Next Cruise
There’s no better way to see multiple places in one fell swoop than aboard a cruise ship. You can catch up on your cha-cha lessons, see a couple of shows, and relax by the pool with a few exotic shore excursion mixed in for good measure. So much more comfortable than cramped cars and plane cabins, right? You would think with all of the opportunities for fresh air and good food that staying fit and healthy on a cruise would be a piece of cake, but there are potential health concerns that might threaten to spoil your trip. Here are some good tips for staying healthy while you are traveling on the high seas.
Different parts of the world are subject to different diseases, so even if you are caught up on all of your childhood vaccines, it may be time for a booster shot. Some immunizations need to be given in multiple doses spaced out over weeks or even months, so check with your doctor or a healthcare clinic like Travel Vaccines and Wellness Solutions in advance to ensure that you are protected.
Arrive at port a few days in advance
It’s no secret that fatigue can compromise our immune systems. If you are traveling to a different time zone to board your cruise ship, try to arrive at port a day or two in advance so you can acclimate to the time change. Some tricks to help overcome jet lag include:
- Not napping on your first day
- Staying up until a reasonable bedtime
- Spending lots of time outside
- Choosing a medical remedy, like melatonin, to help your body adjust
Wash your hands
The absolute best way to avoid Norovirus or other illnesses on a cruise ship is to thoroughly wash your hands every chance you get. Also, avoid shaking hands by opting for a much healthier (and fun!) fist bump, and take advantage of the hand sanitizers that are strategically placed all over the ship.
Pace yourself at the buffet
Multi-course meals jam-packed with rich foods and lots of alcohol are kind of a cruise ship staple. It’s easy to overeat or drink too much, which can wreak havoc on your digestive system. By wisely choosing what you eat or drink on board, you can avoid feeling bloated or nauseous during your onshore excursions. Try limiting yourself to one buffet plate or eating a light lunch, stop eating when you’re full, and watch your alcohol intake.
Drink lots of bottled water
Staying hydrated is key, especially if you’re spending a lot of time in the sun. Bring a reusable water bottle with you on the ship and fill up whenever you can. When you’re off the boat, it’s best to drink bottled water since it’s not always safe to drink local water in some countries. This also extends to ice, fruit where you’d eat the skin, and uncooked vegetables, so it might be best just to bring your own snacks and drinks from the ship to be safe.
Don’t forget to wear sunscreen and have a great time! For more information, contact our healthcare experts in Tucson today!
Pregnant and Traveling: What You Need to Know
Traveling while pregnant can present a lot of unique challenges, but it is generally safe as long as there are no known concerns. The ideal time to travel during your pregnancy is the second trimester. By this point, you have most likely passed the morning sickness phase of the first trimester and have not yet reached the fatigued state of the third trimester. Chances are that you may not find your favorite brand of ice cream when the craving hits, but with a little advance planning, everything else should fall into place. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when you are planning your pre-baby vacation.
Check in with your doctor
This tip may seem obvious, but you should always discuss any travel plans with your doctor before buying the plane tickets. Your doctor knows your history and can assess your pregnancy to determine any risk factors you may face during your travels. Most doctors advise against travel after 32 weeks, because you may end up delivering in a strange place with an unfamiliar doctor. However, there are many scenarios where traveling after eight months is permitted. It may be a good idea to keep a copy of your prenatal records and/or relevant ultrasounds with you, and make sure to bring along your obstetrician’s number should you need it.
Consider buying travel insurance
Pregnancies can be unpredictable, especially when it comes to determining the exact date your little one will make their grand entrance. Studies show that less than 5% of babies are born on their due date, so you may want to consider buying trip insurance to ensure that you are covered if you have to cancel for any reason.
Research any potential risks you may face at your desired destination
One of the main concerns regarding international travel while pregnant is that you may be exposing yourself and your baby to disease. Currently, there are many parts of the world where the Zika virus is endemic, causing a great deal of risk for your unborn child. Take the necessary precautions to avoid any exposure to Zika, or change your destination all together if Zika is prevalent in your destination area. There are also other diseases that are rare in the U.S. but common in other countries. Talk to your doctor about any immunizations or medications you may need to protect yourself from danger
Make the best of your plane trip by:
- Getting up to walk around every hour
- Dressing comfortably
- Bringing your own snacks
- Requesting an aisle seat for easy bathroom access
Tips for eating in foreign countries:
- Drink plenty of bottled water
- Make sure the milk is pasteurized
- Avoid fresh fruits and vegetables unless they have been cooked or can be peeled
- Make sure all meat is cooked completely
- Bring your prenatal vitamins and favorite snacks with you
If you are planning on traveling to an exotic location, contact the CDC or the knowledgeable team at Travel Vaccines and Wellness Solutions to ensure that you have all of the safety information you need to have a safe and relaxing trip.