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Healthcare 101: How to Stay Safe and Healthy during Spring Travel

The first day of Spring is March 20, 2016. And for some of us, it just can’t get here fast enough. College students, parents and children of all ages are looking forward to Spring — not just for pretty weather, but for lots of upcoming travel!

Use these tips to ensure you will get the most out of Spring travel. Don’t let your trip be ruined by something you can prevent. Read our tips to stay alert while making memories with family and friends. And remember — if you’re traveling abroad, CareSpot can provide your required immunizations.

Avoid the Spread of Infectious Diseases

Flu season continues throughout the spring months, along with many other infectious diseases. While traveling, you will come into contact with hundreds of other people on planes, cruise ships or beaches — and that means lots of germs too!. To help avoid getting sick, wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Also steer clear of sharing drinks, even if you don’t think the other person is sick. If you do feel like you are coming down with a cold, drink plenty of water or other hydrating fluids (e.g., no alcohol or caffeine). If you still feel sick after two or three days, it might be smart to visit an urgent care center to make sure it’s not developing into an infection.

For those traveling to Central or South America, it is important to protect yourself against Zika virus. Zika virus spreads through mosquito bites and its most common symptoms include fever, rash and conjunctivitis. There is no vaccination for Zika virus, however, when traveling to infected countries, make sure to:

  • Wear long sleeves and long pants
  • Stay in places with windows to keep mosquitoes out
  • Sleep under a net
  • Use EPA-registered insect repellent
  • Apply sunscreen before applying insect repellent

For more information, talk to your healthcare provider.

Take Precautions with Any Alcohol

Spring break is a time when many people let their hair down. However, each year, fun times are derailed by injuries and accidents. Alcohol dramatically increases the risk of injury or even death while swimming, boating, skiing and performing other common vacation activities. For a safe spring travel experience, avoid drinking alcohol. If you do indulge, have only one or two drinks in a safe environment with people you know well.

Protect Yourself from Gastrointestinal Distress

If you’re heading to a more exotic locale, be sure to take basic precautions to avoid spending your vacation in the bathroom. Consult a guidebook or another reputable source about the safety of local drinking water. When in doubt, carry bottled water and use it for everything — even brushing your teeth! If the water is unsafe, steer clear of fresh fruits and vegetables, as these have likely been washed in local tap water which could make you sick. Also be smart when choosing restaurants or eateries. Street vendors may have appetizing and cheap food options, but they might not meet proper health standards when preparing your food.

Check Your Vaccination Status

When traveling abroad, keep in mind that you made need additional vaccines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintain a list of the required and recommended vaccines for every country in the world. Be sure that you get boosters of any routine vaccines, including MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, chickenpox and a yearly flu vaccine. CareSpot can help you get the vaccinations you need to stay safe.

If you do encounter illness or injury during your travel, seek out medical help immediately. CareSpot recently merged with MedPost, offering many additional locations for care across the U.S. while you’re traveling or upon your return.