The Little General Tips for Overseas Travel (Health).

Posted: 24/01/2012 in General Travel Advice
Tags: , , ,


  • Be very wary of water in some countries where water is unchlorinated or has poor sanitation.
    • Avoid salad because if it was washed it will likely have been with local water that is not suitable for drinking.
    • Unless you want a nasty case of the runs don’t add ice to your drinks. Frozen water does not kill bacteria.
    • If buying bottled water ensure the seal is intact as some places will sell old bottles filled with tap water.
    • There are various methods of water treatment such as filters and  iodine tablets.
  • Eat wisely, particularly in third world countries.
    • If it can be cooked, boiled or fried that’s safer but make sure it is cooked thoroughly.
    • Thick skinned fruit that can be peeled is generally safe.
    • Avoid unpasteurised dairy products.
    • Be wary of seafood especially shellfish especially in places like Africa and South-East Asia unless you saw it being caught (and in the ocean not some of the dirty delta’s and rivers).
    • Be wary of food stalls.
  • If on large tours be vigilant with hand washing and use hand sanitisers. One person with a cold or gastro bug can quickly spread through a bus.
  • Be aware that some anti-malarials can increase risk of sunburn. Slip slop slap!
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a risk with flying, more so with a long flight but can occur on the shorter ones too particularly if you are in the higher risk category (taking the oral contraceptive pill, smoker, overweight, age and certain medical conditions). This occurs when a blood clot develops in one of the deep veins in your leg. A risk associated with DVT is that part of the clot breaks off and travels to the arteries in your lungs which can be potentially fatal. The treatment for DVT consists of blood thinning medication that needs to be monitored closely with regular blood tests. This can be very complicated when overseas and more so if it was to be a long holiday. Prevention is better than cure!
    • Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol! Long flights plus alcohol will dehydrate you and this increases your risk of developing DVT.
    • Try and walk around the plane every one to two hours and in-between those times do leg exercises. This will encourage circulation in your legs.
    • Compression stockings are very useful for encouraging circulation and can be purchased at pharmacies.
  • If travelling in countries known for malaria, avoid perfumes, use insect repellent and sleep under mosquito nets.
  • Don’t touch local stray animals. They may have rabies which, if you are bitten, requires immediate medical attention.
  1. John Sutherland says:

    Fish in Asia especially … in addition to yr wise comments, only choose/order fish that will be thoroughly cooked evenly thru and never, never eat raw. Even then, check the internal temp of the cooked fish and refuse if not fully cooked thru. Reason? Parasites. Of animal orgin … and eventually consummed by fish (get the picture), these parisites are difficult, almost impossible to kill in the human body. They devour the flesh/body organs … seriously. When you personally know someone who has been infected with such parasite, then you may not even want to eat fish outside of Aust! J.. was one such person and it wrecked her quality of life (and her body). She seemed to spend more time in hospital than out and 18 specialist and years later … one Specialist recognised the cause. J.. is not the first Oz traveller to become a victim of this life threatening parasite.

  2. mels33 says:

    Good point! Never ever eat raw, just not worth the risk. Thanks JS 🙂

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