In the summer months, many people take trips away from home, often to unfamiliar destinations, where they tend to spend more time outdoors. During this busy season, extra vigilance and advance planning can go a long way toward avoiding common summer travel pitfalls.
While each destination has its own set of unique challenges, the tips that follow are applicable to most travel locations.
1. Test the waters
When swimming, remember that the water does not need to be very deep to cause trouble. Cold water can also be extremely dangerous, causing hypothermia even in hot weather. When combined with alcohol consumption and an unfamiliar environment, the dangers mount significantly.
When it comes to consuming liquids, from tap water to ice cubes, be sure to familiarise yourself with the country’s water safety recommendations to avoid illness, and when in doubt, stick to sealed bottled water.
2. Mind the bite
Bites and scratches from animals and insects – including dogs, cats, monkeys, bats and mosquitoes – can cause major issues for travellers, so make sure you’ve had the necessary vaccinations to protect you before you travel.
For travellers with severe allergies, be sure to carry a fresh epinephrine injection provided by your doctor for immediate response to a foreign bite.
3. Manage your medications
When travelling, carry a copy of the prescription written by your doctor and keep all medications in their original containers with labels intact. Note that some medications must be kept within a certain temperature range, so avoid leaving these prescriptions in a hot luggage compartment or car trunk.
4. Take care of your skin
One of the quickest and most damaging injuries affecting travellers is sunburn. Exposed and unprotected skin can burn in as little as 15 minutes. An SPF of 45+ is recommended, as is limiting time spent in direct sunlight, particularly during peak hours (10 am to 3 pm). Re-apply sunscreen often, particularly after enjoying a dip in the pool or ocean.
Many countries are facing rising levels of economic pressure and as a result, there have been some reports of increasing instances of opportunistic street crime targeting foreign travellers. Travellers should be particularly aware of scams at airports or railway stations, attempted over-charging by taxis, pickpockets and attempted theft or manipulation of credit card details.
These health and safety tips were compiled and released by International SOS, the world’s leading medical and security services company.