Holiday Illnesses: How Prepared Are You?

Holiday Illnesses: How Prepared Are You?
We couldn’t have ended the year better with better news - Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTL) have been launched and we can now access a number of countries, quarantine-free!

For most of us, travelling must feel like a lifetime ago. It’s been a while since we’ve scoured travel platforms for the cheapest flight available, booked out our vacation leave, packed our luggage, and jet-setted off to the other side of the globe. However, travelling can be an exhausting and challenging experience. Try not to let these common travel blues jeopardise your trip!


Travelling is absolutely a trigger for migraines. It can be induced by your ride on the plane, train, or whatever mode of transport that you’re taking, even the stress from travelling might have contributed to it. Here are some tips and tricks we’ve learnt along the way for a headache-free travel:

  • Stay hydrated! Dehydration is a major cause of migraines, make sure to pack a bottle and drink up, especially if you’re out and about, soaking in the sun, and engaging in vigorous activities.

  • Get enough rest before and during the trip. Plan your schedule ahead and make sure that you are well-rested before you embark on a day full of activities.

  • Stick to a regular, healthy diet. It’s hard to resist gorging on all the local delicacies during your vacation, if you’re a foodie that’s prone to migraines, try to keep your diet in check and make sure that you are not overdoing it on foods that might trigger a migraine (e.g. cheese, alcohol, chocolate, overly salty or sweet food).
Neck / Back Pain

Body aches — a natural rite of passage after any long-haul flights or road trips. It’s hard to avoid this one, but try to keep these in mind to ease the aches:

  • Pack light. Don’t bring more than you can handle, especially if you’re backpacking. 

  • Practice good posture. Keep your shoulder straight and your neck upright. Keep your phone away and bring a neck pillow if you must!

  • Give your body a break! Aches and pains are its way of telling you that you need to take a breather, a pit-stop, or at least a 5-10 minute stretch to relieve the pressure in your neck and back.
Dizziness / Vertigo

Nausea and dizziness is usually triggered by a disturbance of the inner ear, which is likely to happen when you are experiencing constant or sudden jerks (e.g. while travelling in a vehicle, or even on rollercoasters) and/or changes in air pressure (i.e. while the plane takes off or lands).

  • Keep some gum, or candy with you. There are two purposes to this: 1) to prevent dizziness by keeping your blood sugar levels up, and 2) chewing helps to open up the Eustachian tube and equalise the pressure in your ears - this is the “popping” feeling that you get in your ears when it is blocked. 

  • Close your eyes/sleep it off. Closing your eyes will help your body to recalibrate the imbalance between your eyes and ears, take a nap and sleep it off if you have time to spare.
Cough / Sore Throat / Runny Nose

A case of getting hit by the travel bug - quite literally. Travelling puts our immune system at risk due to the exposure to new environments, and being in close proximity to other people. Travelling is also often unpredictable and stressful - and stress further weakens our immune system, making us even more susceptible to falling sick.

  • Be well-prepared. Plan ahead - look into the weather and environmental conditions of the places you’re travelling to and make sure that you are well-equipped (i.e. cold/hot weather appropriate clothing, umbrella, sunscreen)

  • Keep your masks on! Thought you could escape to a country and go mask-free? Think again! We should keep our masks on during our travels, now more than ever, especially when we’re in crowded areas with high traffic. A sure-fire way to burst your holiday bubble is to get infected by the very virus that stopped the world in its tracks.

  • Boost your immunity. You can do this in a number of ways, eat well, sleep well, and start yourself on a regime of vitamins before and during the trip. Don’t forget your Vitamin-Cs!
The last thing you want is for any of these conditions to ruin your long-awaited travel plans. As the saying goes, “It’s better to be prepared than to get ready". Part of being prepared is to make sure that you are also armed with the necessary medications to combat and ease the above-mentioned “travel blues”. Stock up on your necessary prescription medications prior to your trip.

Safe travels to all!

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