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FAQ – Health

Next RTW FAQ-Immunizations »

Any Tips On Eating Well?

Eating healthy when on the road can be challenging at times. When we go on vacations, we’re used to eating and drinking everything in sight. When it’s only for a week, it’s no big deal, but when it’s months or even a year, those habits will catch up with you. You need to approach it as you do at home. Staying in hostels and cooking yourself is a great way to eat healthy, plus you save a lot of money (as at home).

What About Fruits And Vegetables?

As we all know, fruits and vegetables are an important part of any well balanced diet. Unfortunately in some developing regions of the world, you have to be safe. If the water is not safe to drink, then you probably want to stay away from things like lettuce or leafy vegetables. If you eat any fruit or veggie that can’t be peeled, you are running the risk of getting sick.

Do RTWers Often Get Sick?

It’s possible to get sick on the road just as often as you do at home, sometimes a bit more-so since you’ll be taking a lot of public transportation, moving around a lot, and coming into contact with germs and viruses that your immune system may not be accustomed to. Most RTW travelers may get sick here and there, but usually it’s not serious or often. The one thing you have to be ready to deal with is the dreaded Delhi Belly. When eating strange and exotic foods, often off the street, it’s more common to have a bad case of diarrhea than at home. Talk to your doctor before leaving and see if he or she will prescribe you some Cipro to bring with you. It’s a great antibiotic that can help with sicknesses like this.

Read this travel insurance interview to learn more about what you need as far as insurance when going on a RTW trip.

Should I bring prescriptions with me?

If you have something that you take regularly, then yes, absolutely you should bring it with you. It’s also important to bring your actual prescription with you if you are going to need it refilled. Keep in mind that medicines are called different names in different parts of the world, so you should do some research before leaving. However, getting prescriptions and medicine on the road is typically easier than at home (if your home is the US). There are pharmacies everywhere that sell a lot of medicines over the counter that you need a prescription for back home.

Any Tips On Not Getting Sick?

Most of the things you do at home will keep you healthy on the road as well. But there are a few other things that you need to do to take care of yourself. Obviously not drinking water where it is not treated properly is the biggest one, and if the water isn’t safe, then you should be careful with the fruits and vegetables you eat. The safe rule is if you can’t peel it, don’t eat it. Eating street food is one of the best parts of traveling, particularly in places like Southeast Asia, India, and the Middle East. It’s good, it’s fresh, and it’s cheap. Most of the time the food is perfectly safe, but it’s wise to only visit stalls that are crowded with locals and have a high turnover.

Will I Be Able To Exercise On The Road?

You can, but it’s not as easy as at home. There are gyms in plenty of other cities around the world, and it is possible to get a weekly or monthly membership. The main problem is willing yourself to go. Bringing a pair of shoes that doubles as both a walking and running shoe may get you out the door a few times a week for a run, but again, lack of motivation is usually what holds people back.

What About Birth Control And Condoms?

Condoms are easy and cheap to get pretty much anywhere, so there’s really no need to bring a big batch along with you. When it comes to birth control pills, it’s probably a good idea to bring whatever you need with you. They can be difficult to get on the road. Most gynecologists won’t have a problem giving you a year’s worth of birth control prescriptions. Just a note to women travelers on the pill. If you take any malaria meds (or any antibiotic for that matter), it can cause the pill to be ineffective, so take note.

There’s a lot more to the health section than this, and next we’ll cover immunizations, so be sure to read on.

For more in depth information about health, plus a checklist of what you should do when, be sure to read this article.

Next RTW FAQ-Immunizations »

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