We are off to Sri Lanka tonight. It’s all very exciting as it’s a new destination for our family. Which has meant I’ve actually had to do an element of planning when it comes to staying healthy on our trip.
- Check what vaccinations you need in advance. The Center for Disease Control & Prevention has a comprehensive website detailing what you need per country/area.
- Put together a decent medical kit. Whilst you can usually buy at your destination, it’s always good to have the basics covered from plasters, rehydrating salts and antiseptic cream to Panadol and Immodium. Here’s a list of what’s in mine.
- Check you have health insurance. If you don’t, buy it.
- Pack healthy snacks in your suitcase. Cereal bars, dried fruit etc are a great go-to for arriving late in to a destination with exhausted, hungry kids.
- Pack healthy snacks for the plane – my new favourite is homemade popcorn and trailmix made with whatever healthy bits I need to use up in the cupboard.
- Whilst there isn’t a huge amount you can do to avoid getting sick before your trip, you can always drink lots of water and eat healthily. Very difficult in the Christmas lead up!
- Pack a decent amount of high factor sunscreen for you and the kids. Here are my tips on buying sunscreen for kids.
- Prior to your departure, search online for hospitals/recommended doctors for the area you are visiting. In most cases your hotel/villa manager etc will point you in the direction but it’s good to have an idea, particularly if you are pregnant or have an existing medical condition. Or you get a bit drunk on New Year’s Eve in Koh Samui and climb out of a tuk tuk the wrong way.
- Make sure you have all the prescription medication you require. Pack it in your hand luggage!
- Do some advance research on whether you can drink tap water and food hygiene at your destination. The Rough Guides have some awesome tips:
‘If you can’t cook, boil or peel something, don’t eat it (although if you can’t peel something, you can always wash it thoroughly in purified water). Stick to hot food that has been freshly prepared. Avoid salads and anything which looks like it has been sitting uncovered for a while; short eats (see Vegetarian food in Sri Lanka) are particularly likely to be old and to have been poked by many fingers. The busier the establishment, the less probability that the food’s been sitting around all day. Obviously you’ll need to use your discretion: the buffet at a five-star hotel has more chance of being OK than a local café’s tureen of curry, which has been keeping the flies fat since dawn. Finally, remember that refrigerators stop working during power cuts, so unless you’re eating at a place with its own generator, avoid any food (including meat and ice cream) that might have been unfrozen and then refrozen.’Read more: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/asia/sri-lanka/health/#ixzz3MKKvr9Kx