06 APRIL, 2020


You’re probably eager to look forward to your much-awaited and well-deserved travel vacation. Of course, one of the major priorities before and during a vacation is to avoid getting sick while traveling because for sure, you won’t enjoy your vacation if you’re stuck in your hotel room instead of ticking off the items in your itinerary.

However, when the World Health Organization (WHO) announced COVID-19 as pandemic on March 11, 2020, due to its rapid and widespread spread all over the world, everyone was affected. The coronavirus disease (more popularly known as COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) started in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Since then, people have consulted Google to familiarize themselves with coronavirus symptoms and avoid getting sick.

Of course, to prevent the rampant coronavirus transmission, different governments, including the Philippine government have issued enhanced community quarantine (really, a lockdown) which also means travel ban to and from different local and international destinations. While this is a major bummer especially if you’ve been planning your trip for a long time, staying indoors and limiting your contact with people is one of the best ways for coronavirus prevention, so turn that frown upside down. After all, you won’t want to be the one to carry the disease to the place you’re going to visit.

If you’re a travel junkie and itching to travel once the travel ban and enhanced community quarantine are lifted, for sure you’re planning to stay fit and healthy when traveling. Nothing should stop you from enjoying your vacation! Here are 10 travel tips to follow to avoid getting sick while traveling.

1. Wash your hands.

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Undoubtedly, one of the fastest ways you pick up a virus or disease is through your hands especially if you’re fond of touching your face with unclean hands. So make it a habit to wash your hands frequently with soap and water since clean hands will protect you against infection. Make sure that you’d be able to sing two “Happy Birthday” songs while washing your hands. If soap and water are not readily available, have handy mini bottle water of 70% isopropyl alcohol or hand sanitizer with you so you can wash your hands before touching your face, eating, or after using the toilet.

2. Wear a mask if you’re feeling sick.

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If you’re traveling sick, you can transmit your virus to your company if you unintentionally forgot to cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze. To avoid others getting sick when traveling, wear a facemask. Face masks also keep you from getting sick because they prevent droplets of the virus from touching your nose and mouth especially if you’re traveling with strangers inside a plane who might be sick while traveling.

3. Stay hydrated. 

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Drinking lots of water helps remove toxins in your body and boosts your immune system. If you’re traveling abroad, make sure to drink bottled water instead of drinking from the tap to avoid getting sick from unknown water sources. 

4. Get sufficient rest and sleep.

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Rest and sleep are essential for your body to recharge itself and be strong enough to combat any inflammation and infection you may get while you’re on your vacation. Instead of being too excited to tick off all the items in your itinerary in a rush, with careful planning and scheduling, you can get to enjoy them all without pushing your body too much.

5. Clean up regularly. 

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Once you’ve arrived in your hotel, you might be tempted to either hit the sheets or get out already to explore. However, one of the best ways to prevent getting sick when you travel is by cleaning up regularly. Take a shower and change to clean clothes when you get to your hotel so you can get rid of all the dust, dirt, viruses, and bacteria you’ve accumulated in your hair, skin, and clothes during your travel. Separate your dirty clothes in a bin and wash them thoroughly so as to remove all the germs from them.

6. Don’t forget to pack medications and a first-aid kit. 

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One of the travel emergencies any travel junkie may encounter is getting sick during the trip. One way to successfully avoid this type of emergency is by packing medications for your trips such as paracetamol, ibuprofen, anti-diarrhea tablets, and antibacterial ointments. Other first aid things such as disinfectant, bandages, gauze pads, medical tape, and sharp tweezers are helpful if you incur a minor injury along the way.

7. Get vaccinated if necessary.

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If you’re traveling for the first time either abroad or not, obviously aside from the excitement, you have travel fears such as confronting the unknown. Of course, while the unknown is a good place to explore, one of the ways to avoid getting sick is by researching in advance the condition of the place you’re going to visit to know what diseases or viruses are rampant there.

Other countries also require their visitors to get vaccinated against certain diseases such as cholera, hepatitis A and B, malaria, typhoid fever, and others. It’s better safe than sorry so even if you’re traveling within the country, make sure that your vaccines are up to date.

8. Be mindful of what you eat and drink.

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Of course, food is one of the things you must enjoy when you travel. Unfortunately, it is also one of the major causes of why one may get sick. To prevent getting sick, eat food that is fresh, thoroughly cooked, and served hot. Before you eat some street food, try to inspect if it is prepared to clean. If it is possible, why not make it a goal to explore the local market and cook your own food during your vacation.

When ordering drinks and shakes, make sure that they use clean water and ice so that you won’t get sick while traveling.

9. Take your vitamins.

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Aside from your medication, don’t forget to pack your vitamins when you travel. Vitamin C, for example, boosts your immune system and fights against common colds and coughs. Another way to take in vitamins is by eating healthy and munch on fruits and vegetables during your vacation instead of junk foods and fast foods to keep yourself in tip-top shape. Also, if you’re heading in Boracay during your vacation, make sure to get some vitamin D.

10. Sanitize your surroundings and things. 

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To avoid getting sick while flying, take time to sanitize your surroundings and things before and after your travel. To do this, wipe down your airplane armrests and table with sanitizer and or alcohol and wipes. You should also do the same with the hotel telephone receiver and TV remote controls. Moreover, if you can, keep your distance from visibly sick people to prevent them from transmitting their virus to you.

True, traveling is fun and being stuck at home during this enhanced community quarantine is starting to feel like a house arrest. However, as everyone is affected by this health crisis, we should do our part so as to prevent the spread of coronavirus since we don’t know yet when the coronavirus vaccine will be available. The more we do our best to cooperate with the local government arrangements, stay informed about the COVID-19 pandemic, and follow travel advisories, the soon we all can travel again.

If you’re excited to travel once the quarantine and travel ban are over, why not opt for local destinations first such as Boracay? Local travel is relatively short compared to international travel so you can make the most out of your vacation either alone or with family and friends. However, whatever your plans may be, do not forget to follow these 10 tips to avoid getting sick while traveling.