Getting sick or injured is very common when travelling. Going through any health issues solo can be particularly hard with noone to help or comfort you. We’ve put together some tips for solo travellers to help you reduce the risks of illness & injury. Read on to get ready for your solo adventure!
Know the risks before you travel
Knowing which illnesses are prevalent in your destination should be travel 101. Is there a risk of malaria, rabies, typhoid? A travel consultation with a Nomad travel nurse before your trip will ensure you know the facts and are safe from easily preventable illness & injury. We recommend having a consultation 6-8 weeks before you travel in case you need some time to complete recommended vaccinations.
This one is essential but especially important when travelling in remote areas. If you’re in dire straights a good insurance can even helicopter you out and fly you to a hospital for treatment.
Maintain Top Travel Hygiene
It may be tempting to liberate yourself of social expectations by walking barefoot and skipping showers on your first big solo trip but there’s a reason people like to keep themselves squeaky clean! When travelling in new places, you need to make sure you’re on top of you washing & cleansing routines as you won’t be used to the local germs and will be exposing yourself to new bacteria. When travelling solo, you should even more precautions to not get sick – without a buddy to bring you hydration & medicine, getting ill for a few days will be especially miserable alone.
Be smart with street food
A medical professional will probably advise you not to eat the street food in many places but we know that many travellers won’t able to resist some of tasty looking snacks they encounter. Just remember to only eat foods that are served hot, freshly cooked and sold from popular and clean looking vendors. Avoid anything that may have been sitting out for a while or is raw/uncooked as these could be harbouring all kinds of germs.
Keep Sanitiser at hand
Every traveller should have a bottle of hand sanitiser with them at all times. Street food vendors and public loos don’t often have hand washing facilities and you want to make sure you’re hands are clean before you tuck in to that delicious looking snack. Keep topped up with sanitiser to help you stay clean between washes.
Meat, Fish & Seafood
Some travellers opt to not eat animal products at all when travelling. If you do, ensure everything is cooked thoroughly and is piping hot before eating as it will increase the likelihood of bacteria being killed off. Spoiled seafood can be incredibly toxic even when thoroughly cooked so if you choose to eat it only do so if you’re 100% sure its fresh and served by a responsible and professional eatery.
Don’t stray far from health care
Especially when travelling solo, you need to make sure that if you do get sick you aren’t far from high standard medical treatment. Whenever you reach a new destination, take a little time to research the nearest medical facilities, and have a plan in place if you’ll be heading off the beaten track.
Solo Traveller First Aid
For the times when you aren’t able to get to a reputable hospital or pharmacy you should definitely be prepared with a well stocked first aid kit like the Ultimate Medical Kit. You’ll be fully prepared for all the common accidents & injuries sustained by travellers, plus you’ll have a reliable supply of basic medicines.
Many countries don’t have the usual products you can find the UK, especially outside of big cities. If you have a preference or need for a particular sanitary product, stock up before you go. Take extra care to stay clean during your period so you don’t expose yourself to infection in potentially unsanitary facilities.
Many places have their own super-strong spirits (rice wine, moonshine etc.) that are crazily cheap and readily available. Tempting as they may be, these often aren’t regulated meaning they can (and often do) have lethal levels of methanol & other harmful substances in them. A quick search for ‘rice wine deaths’ will put you off if you don’t believe us!