If you travel often enough you are bound to have the odd cut or scrape, or get an upset stomach from eating food or drinking water which you’re not used to. But there are some basic things you can do to take action to regain your health on the road, as well as avoid seeking out, and seeing, a doctor. The top tip is packing a good first aid kit, especially if you are travelling to a destination where medical supplies might be sparse or unsafe. If you are prone to headaches or other aches and pains, pack a general purpose over-the-counter pain reliever such as paracetamol; choose right, and it will also help sprains, bruises, hangovers, and a lineup of other minor problems. If you should develop a mild fever, which means just above 38C, you can take Nurofen to bring it down, but if it creeps up too high and remains for too long don’t ignore and see a doctor. If you develop a cold, do as you would at home; get lots of sleep, drink plenty of clean water, and use symptom relief medications to ease a cough and sore throat, and clear a stuffy nose. Also practice good hygiene, washing your hands after you blow your nose, and discarding used tissues. Motion sickness can be a problem some of the time if not all of the time for some travellers. If this is you, for example you’re taking a ferry ride with rough seas predicted, taking a medication for motion sickness around one hour before you travel will help. These medications can also serve as a mild sleep aid if you’re travelling at night.
If you injure yourself and get a swelling, such as a sprained ankle, use ice and elevate your foot on and off for 48 hours, and take an anti-inflammatory medication. Also reduce any planned activities that could aggravate the injury, such as sightseeing on foot. When it comes to cuts, clean thoroughly with soap to avoid infection and cover with a band aid. Blisters are best prevented where possible, using double socks, blister patches or band aids on any prone areas. If you get a dose of the runs, which can be inevitable while travelling in some countries, be prepared to ride it out as in most cases it will run its course. Simply take it easy for 24 hours, make your diet as bland as possible for a couple of days, and drink plenty of water. If the condition persists for more than a few days and you also have a fever, make sure you see a doctor. And finally, if you become constipated, get plenty of exercise, drink lots of clean water, eat as many fruits and leafy vegetables as you can handle, and consider using a laxative after a few days for relief.