At a party the other day my sister in law said I might cancel my trip to Mexico, I don’t want to get sick. I said why stay home you might get even sicker! Something like 400 kids called out sick at my son’s school the other day between stomach bugs and fall colds. I say get me away! Mexico sounds great.
I know the flu and water concerns may make people leery of travel. I say get over it. That is my personal opinion. I’m not a doctor, but this is the advice I can offer from my personal experience. A conscientious traveler, who prepares and takes minor precautions, will have a great trip. I can honestly say, in my 20 years in the travel business, I have never gotten sick because of the environment I am in. Tequila, well that may be another story. But I do understand the concerns, I was worried taking my son away last year and packed all sorts of over the counter medications, but we honestly never needed any.
Keep in mind, your body is used to your own environment and any change it may have – be it Florida, Europe, California or Mexico may make your system a little different. But here are some steps you can take ahead of time to have a worry free trip:
- Keep your immune system in check. Prior to travel make sure you are eating right, taking vitamins, drinking lots of water and getting enough sleep. Don’t start your vacation with a worn out body.
- Pack hand sanitizer. I always pack a small FAA approved bottle in my carry on and a larger one in my suitcase. Don’t go crazy using it, but you’ll have it if need be.
- Pack some antibacterial wipes. Again, a small packet for the plane and a larger one for the room.
- When flying, make sure you are properly hydrated.
- Upon arrival on the plane, wipe down the armrests, headphones and the tray table with your antibacterial wipes.
- Upon arrival at your room, do the same and wipe down any hard surface including the night table, sink, vanity and phone.
- Wash your hands as often as you can, including before and after any meal or contact with other people. Use hand sanitizer if that is not permissible.
- Keep your hands away from your face, unless eating of course.
- Don’t use the airplane blanket or pillow (if they even have them). I carry on a sweatshirt or small jacket when I travel, which I can wear or use as a blanket if needed.
- Don’t use the bedspread or quilt in the hotel. Ask for an extra sheet or new blanket (something washed frequently) if you need it.
- The sun is your friend. Vitamin D stimulates the body. I am not saying run out without sunscreen, but being in the sun especially helps you adjust to time changes.
- Most resorts in Mexico & The Caribbean have purified water in the hotels and bottled water as well. So the ice in your strawberry daiquiri should be just fine. It’s excessive amounts of strawberries (or alcohol) that are more likely to give you a problem than the ice itself.
- The food in resort is most of the time quite spectacular. Always pay attention to what you eat. If something does not agree with you at home, it’s not going to agree with you on vacation. If you have never eaten sushi, trying it on vacation for the first time might not be a great idea. If you grab a yogurt off the buffet and it is warm – don’t eat it! Go back and grab a cold one.
- Finally, always be prepared. For peace of mind, bring some over the counter medicine from home. If you are still worried, check with your doctor before you travel.
Like I said I am not a doctor, and these are my personal opinions, but the bottom line is a little common sense goes a long way on vacation.