Traveling the world is a wonderful adventure, with all the beautiful places to visit, all the buildings to see, all the beaches to get a suntan on, all the new flavors to taste… but it has some downsides as well. Among others, there are a few common conditions that travelers suffer from quite often when leaving their home country. These are not very dangerous but they are certainly inconvenient so you’d better do your best to avoid them, no matter if you check out the top five places to visit in Mexico or the famous landmarks of Paris or Rome.
Jet lag is a common condition among those traveling long distances by air. It is caused by your body’s inability to adapt to the “new reality” at your destination. Your body works according to a familiar schedule of waking up, eating, and going to sleep – and when you arrive in a place several time zones away, your body needs time to adapt, and this can ruin even the first few days of your trip. But you can prevent it.
Scientists have found many ways in which the effects of jet lag can be minimized. For one, you need to start preparing for your long-haul journey by relaxing your daily schedule a few days before you leave – eat at different hours, sleep at various times, and work out at different times to make it easier for you to adapt. Make sure to leave well-rested and don’t force yourself to sleep on the plane – and by all means, avoid alcohol and sleeping pills, they will only make you dehydrated and drowsy. Try to schedule your flight so you arrive before noon, and stay awake until the time to go to bed comes – take a short nap if you need but make sure it is short. And in the evening, get a good night’s sleep.
Our digestive system is used to the germs in our food and water – but it is not familiar with those at your destination. Being exposed to a different microbiota, especially in places where the climate or the sanitary standards differ, will almost invariably cause a short-lived but pretty inconvenient condition commonly referred to as “traveler’s diarrhea” (and the name is very descriptive).
Most cases of traveler’s diarrhea improve after a couple of days but this doesn’t mean you have to live with it. You can prevent it by not drinking tap water and sticking to the bottled variant, not eating anything from street vendors, not eating anything raw, and not taking any ice cubes with your drinks, not even the alcoholic ones.
This one is not a condition that’s the travelers’ own but it happens quite often when you finally hit the beach after being locked up in an office, dressed in a business casual outfit for too long. Sunburn is, once again, a very descriptive name that covers a common condition caused by spending too much time in direct sunlight. There are many methods of avoiding it, from using a sunscreen with a high enough SPF to spending just a limited time sunbathing on the beach, preferably before noon, and relaxing in the shade whenever it’s necessary.