Nothing ruins a vacation or business trip like not feeling your best.
Whether it's a long-haul flight that leaves you sleepier than usual or a seven-night cruise that has you queasy, travel is constantly challenging your well-being.
TravelPulse consulted board certified family physician Dr. Mia Finkelston to uncover some of the easiest ways travelers can ensure their health won't negatively impact their next trip.
KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN JETLAG, COMMON COLD
"Jetlag can often make you feel like you are coming down with a cold. The most common signs of a cold will be congestion and possibly a fever," Finkelston told TravelPulse.
"Typically, these two symptoms are not part of the jetlag most people feel."
Jetlag symptoms will typically include disturbed sleep, daytime fatigue, stomach problems and a general ill feeling or mood changes.
BE PROACTIVE WHEN PACKING
You may not need that fever reducer on vacation but it never hurts to be prepared.
"I recommend everyone has a travel bag with medical items so they are always prepared when traveling. Travelers should prepare this ahead of time and then can grab it before a trip," said Finkelston. "Fortunately, many items come in small containers, so travelers can pack a lot and still be TSA friendly."
Finkelston suggests travelers pack pain relievers, bandages, antacid chews, eye drops and ear drops just in case.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
It always helps to do your research when traveling somewhere new.
"If a trip is coming up travelers should know what illnesses may be possible for them to come across, given the location where they are traveling," added Finkelston. "If the patient is healthy, then most illnesses may cause short-lived nuisance side effects, but if the traveler has serious or chronic medical problems, then they should be prepared."
Finkelston uses the example of someone with moderate asthma, pointing out that they should be aware when traveling to an area with a potential air-quality issue.
HYDRATE, REST AND EAT RIGHT
Some simple ways to ensure you don't get sick on your next trip: Drink plenty of fluids, be well-rested and make sure you're consuming foods rich in nutrients.
"When we let our routines change, including changes in sleep habits, eating and drinking and not exercising, we can become more susceptible to germs," Finkelston notes.
"In public places, do your best to keep your hands off your face at all times, as this is how most germs are spread. Do not share containers if hiking or sharing living spaces," she added. "If cruising, be ready in cases of motion sickness; talk to your doctor prior to boarding about options appropriate for you."
For travelers who are constantly on the go, Finkelston recommends registering with LiveHealth Online, a virtual telehealth tool that allows patients to meet with doctors face-to-face anytime anywhere.
(TravelPulse is a leading travel authority on the web, providing consumer travel news and insider tips and advice for an ever-changing travel world. Read more stories at travelpulse.com.)