• Tips for Feeling Your Best on Long Flights

    Tips for Feeling Your Best on Long Flights

    travel vaccinations in Phoenix
    Tips for Feeling Your Best on Long Flights

    The hotels are booked, the day trips are planned, and your bags are packed for your long-awaited trip to an exotic location on the other side of the world. Now, you are just one or two long-haul flights away from your dream vacation, but the prospect of sitting in a cramped space with over a hundred strangers for the next 9 hours is definitely not your idea of a good time. Here are some go-to tips to help you survive your long flights and hit the ground running when you get to your destination.

    Comfort is everything

    While there is not much you can do about the cramped seating (unless you are flying first class, in which case you are the envy of every other person on the plane!), comfortable clothing can make all the difference. Wear your yoga pants if you wish, but anything that moves easily and doesn’t wrinkle works best. Slip-on shoes are a must, and compression socks can help you avoid swollen feet or ankles and prevent leg pain. If you get cold easily, slip a scarf or hoodie into your carry-on for extra warmth.

    Drink lots of water

    Even though you are sitting around for hours on end, planes are strangely dehydrating. Make sure to drink plenty of water before your flight and continue the practice throughout your journey. If you are awake on the plane, you should be drinking water. Bring your own water bottle, and ask the flight attendants to fill it up whenever possible.

    Get moving

    International flights do have some great entertainment, but watching 4 movies in a row without leaving your seat can really do a number on your joints. Get up and stretch your legs every hour or so. If you follow the advice from the previous tip, your bladder will help remind you. If the movie is just too engrossing, you can do some stretches in your seat. Torso twists, arm stretches, and head rolls will help alleviate the stiffness.

    Limit your alcohol and caffeine intake

    Not only are stiff drinks and coffee dehydrating (everything seems to come back to drinking water), but they can disrupt your ability to sleep. This is particularly important if you are trying to get a jump on jet lag by acclimating to the time zone of your destination during your flight. Your body may say that it’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon, but if it’s midnight where you’re going, catching some shut-eye can help you adjust to the new time much quicker.

    Pack the essentials

    It’s amazing how simply brushing your teeth and combing your hair can make you feel human again during a long flight. Other essentials that can help minimize the cabin craziness: ear plugs and a sleeping mask to help you sleep, a healthy snack, hand lotion, hand sanitizer, something to read, and a tablet or smartphone loaded with music or other entertainment to while away the hours.

    The staff at Travel Vaccines & Wellness Solutions wants you to feel your best even after a dozen hours on a plane! For more helpful tips on making the most of your long-haul flight, contact us today!

  • How to Stay Healthy When Traveling in Europe

    How to Stay Healthy When Traveling in Europe

    Foreign Travel Immunizations serving Phoenix

    How to Stay Healthy When Traveling in Europe

    You have been planning your European vacation forever. Now that it’s finally here, you want to make the most of it, so here are some helpful tips to ensure that you stay healthy enough to enjoy every minute.

    Use good judgement when eating out

    Whether you are climbing the Eiffel Tower or walking the streets of Prague, keep your energy up by eating the right balance of foods. Try to avoid too many carbs and pack a lot of protein into the day’s largest meal. Avoid sketchy-looking restaurants and always make sure your meat is well cooked, unless you are eating sushi.

    Pass the hand sanitizer

    Packing hand sanitizer with at least 50% alcohol content is the best way to protect you from all of those foreign cold and flu germs. Use a generous portion of hand sanitizer whenever you come in contact with a germy surface, but especially after using the restroom and traveling on the Underground/Metro/train or other forms of public transportation.

    No Tylenol here

    All of that walking around can leave you feeling stiff or achy, but don’t panic when you can’t find Tylenol or other over-the-counter pain relievers at your local pharmacy. Europeans are more familiar with “paracetamol” for aches and pains. If you are traveling with kids and they get a high fever, Calpol can help bring it down. When checking your temperature, remember that Europe works in Celsius, not Fahrenheit. Tip : Normal body temp is 37° C.

    Bring water with you

    Water fountains are extremely rare in Europe, even in museums and near tourist attractions. All of that walking sure can make you thirsty, so fill up a water bottle or pick up some bottled water at a local shop so you can stay hydrated on your excursions.

    Do your business before leaving the hotel

    Public restrooms are few and far between in many European countries. When you can find one, rarely are they free. Even the restrooms at Kings Cross Station in London make you pay for a trip to the loo, so don’t take for granted that the pub you are meeting friends at will have a restroom you can use. You can find small kiosks on many European streets, but best to play it safe by taking care of things before you start exploring.

    Eat yogurt

    When traveling abroad, you are bound to encounter a lot of foods that you have never seen before, which may come as a shock to your digestive system. Try to limit your intake of rich foods, but if you are a little more adventurous in your culinary choices, just be prepared for your body to rebel a little. The enzymes in yogurt can help you avoid getting the runs, but if the Big D does pays you a visit, just take it easy, drink lots of water, and eat lots of bland foods like bread, rice, bananas, and clear soups.

    Traveling in Europe can be a wonderful experience, so don’t let poor health keep you from the trip of a lifetime. For more helpful tips on staying healthy on your travels, contact the friendly medical team at Travel Vaccines & Wellness Solutions today!

  • Zika: Still a Threat?

    Zika: Still a Threat?

    Zika Virus Symptoms

    End of an emergency, start of long-term containment effort

    It has been over a year since the Zika virus became a household topic of conversation and a full year since the first case of the mosquito-borne disease was reported in the mainland United States. Cases in the U.S. and around the world have steadily decreased and the World Health Organization (WHO) actually declared the international Zika emergency at an end back in November 2016.

    So, is the Zika threat over? According to the WHO, the answer is no.

    As of early January 2017, the WHO had still not changed the global risk assessment of Zika’s continuous spread through certain geographical areas. Southwest Africa recently confirmed two new cases, causing the WHO and local health agencies to take preventative measures. With sixty-nine countries and territories reporting evidence of Zika virus transmission since 2015, Zika remains a global public health threat. The WHO stresses constant vigilance and continued efforts to address the virus which has been linked to a variety of neurological complications and birth defects.

    How can I help?

    The first and most important thing you can do to help stop the spread of Zika is to increase your knowledge about the disease. Here are the basics:

    Transmission

    Zika virus is most commonly transmitted through bites from infected mosquitos, blood transfusions, sexual intercourse with an infected individual, or laboratory exposure. Also, women who are pregnant can pass the disease to their unborn child. Staying away from target areas where the disease is still present is the safest way to avoid contracting and spreading Zika.

    Symptoms

    Zika is usually mild with symptoms lasting several days to a week. Most cases are not severe enough to send someone to the hospital, so many people may not know they have been infected. If you have been in an area affected by Zika, watch out for the following symptoms:

    • Fever
    • Rash
    • Joint pain
    • Conjunctivitis (red eyes)
    • Muscle pain
    • Headache

    Treatment

    While no vaccine currently exists for Zika, health experts are definitely working on it. For now, simply treat the symptoms you have, get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids, and take medicine to reduce your fever and make you more comfortable until the symptoms pass.

    Prevention

    To protect yourself and your loved ones from Zika virus, steer clear of mosquito infested areas or wear insect repellent to prevent mosquito bites. Stay up-to-date on all travel notices and avoid or limit time spent in areas where Zika outbreaks have occurred. Use protection during sex or consider abstaining all together for at least 8 weeks after visiting an area affected by Zika virus.

    Is Zika here to stay?

    Although Zika’s spread has waned, some medical professionals believe that the disease is not going away any time soon. They assume that the virus will behave much like dengue fever, recurring regularly with more cases during the rainy seasons. Others believe that enough people are getting infected right now to achieve sufficient herd immunity within a few years causing Zika to eventually die out.

    Whatever the eventual outcome for Zika virus, Travel Vaccines & Wellness Solutions wants you to be prepared. We are committed to ensuring that you are protected no matter where in the world you roam, so contact our professional medical team if you have questions regarding Zika virus or any other diseases that may affect your travels.