Common Travel Illnesses and Ways to Avoid Them

Traveling is definitely a lot of fun, but has to be done with some precautions. After all, who wants to fall ill during a vacation to an exotic location planned since long! While you are planning a distant holiday, sickness and medical emergencies are things you would want to keep at bay. Although it is not quite possible to avoid health issues completely, you can still manage to keep some aside and cure the other few with ease. While some of the health issues are related to high altitudes, others may be related to waters, depths and other environmental factors. Let us take a look at some common travel illnesses and go through the ways to treat or ward them off.

Travel Diarrhoea

This is amongst the most common sicknesses experienced by travellers throughout the globe. People visiting destinations with spicy food habits and hot climatic conditions are generally prone to such a risk. To avoid travel diarrhoea, you must avoid food items that are uncooked and raw in general. Fruits like banana, oranges and seasonal ones come handy during travelling safely, without risking the stomach. Drink lots of water, but make sure that it is bottled, sealed and branded.

Common Flu

It is quite easy to catch common flu while you are traveling. The easiest way to skip catching flu while traveling is taking good care of hygiene and cleanliness. You should wash hands whenever possible as crowded buses and planes can transfer these viruses easily. Always carry a hand sanitizer with you as you might not find a clean washbasin with a medicated hand wash at every place. Also carry medicines prescribed by a known physician, for times when an emergency may arise.

Altitude Sickness

As the name clearly suggests, altitude sickness is caused due to high elevations. It is similar to a terrible hangover, and is a common occurrence during hiking, trekking and mountain activities. The reason behind the sickness is the decreased density of oxygen at high altitudes. You can also take a prescribed medicine containing Acetazolamide, a day before commencing any high altitude journey. In addition, avoid the consumption of alcohol and drink plenty of water.

Motion Sickness

Motion sickness is a common occurrence during all the three ways of travel – air, road and water. As explained by the name, the problem is caused due to the continuous motion, where all the senses except your eyes detect it. This results in a nauseating feeling, causing dizziness, vomiting and headache. Avoid using the back seat while travelling in a car, if it happens to you very often. You can also ask the local physician or medical store owner for proper prescriptions related to the problem.


It is fun to laze under the sun, but the joy comes with a price too – sunburn. A painful and itchy sunburn can easily spoil your trip, but can be kept aside with a few simple precautions. For a sunny, skin-friendly travel, keep yourself geared up with a high-quality sunscreen and lip balm. Make sure the product is equal to or greater than SPF 30, along with broad spectrum or UVA and UVB properties. Still, if sunburn occurs, apply ice packs or wet cloth on the affected area, and drink lots of water.

By taking a few general precautions and the aforementioned measures, you can make your trip safe and fun, without any medical emergencies.


  1. I am an ardent traveler and travels a lot throughout the year. Travel illness goes worse because you have no one else to nurse you around. In this situation, it is necessary to carry the right medicines with you as a part of pre-planning. Not only this, one must be eating from a hygienic place and eat in time. This will eliminate the possibilities of many of the diseases which can spoil your trip otherwise.

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