How to Stay Healthy During Summer Travel

By on June 17, 2016

By Dr. Ehsan Ali−

Summertime means great weather, lots of sunshine, longer days and for many people, vacation time. When thinking about summer and health, many people falsely believe that less people have medical or health ailments during the summer. People generally correlate cold weather with health conditions such as the flu, cough, colds and pneumonia. The reality is, that during the summer people are prone to several other health ailments. Below you’ll find basic advice on how to stay healthy and prevent sickness when traveling this summer season.

With summer comes vacation time and that means traveling. Many people will fly to their vacation destinations and people don’t realize how unclean airports and planes can be. People can be exposed to viruses and bacteria from all parts of the world. This puts one at risk for catching airborne infections from other travelers. I highly recommend taking a high dose vitamin C (at least 1000 mg per day), which will help boost the immune system while traveling, especially on planes. With a stronger immune system, your body will be able to fight off infections better, therefore saving you from several days of being out of commission.

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Another common condition seen with travel is dehydration. People forget to realize how important proper hydration is. Especially in the summer with warm weather, more humidity, and also more than likely more activity from being out and about, people are prone to becoming more dehydrated. Dehydration can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, muscle aches, muscle cramps, low blood pressure, dizziness, headaches, and when severe enough, heat exhaustion and heat strokes.

It is very common to see people over the age of 60, who will pass out from dehydration, which can result in them falling hard to the ground, which can lead to broken bones and very commonly, fractured hips. All as a result of not drinking enough water. At the very minimum on an average day, one should consume at least 8 glasses of water or non carbonated fluids. On warmer days and with more activity, it is important to increase your fluid intake up to 10 glasses of water per day.

Travelers Diarrhea is also very prevalent and this isn’t limited to just traveling to a third world country. Staying at a hotel and accidentally eating or drinking from a glass or utensils not properly cleaned, or from eating contaminated food from your favorite food truck, street vendor, or even high end restaurant.

Many common situations can result in diarrhea. I often recommend patients to travel with antibiotics to be prepared for such a conditions. If you develop severe diarrhea while traveling, I tell patients to go ahead and start these proper antibiotics. Talking to your doctor prior to traveling to see what antibiotic to have on hand is a good idea and something I recommend to my clients.

Other basic suggestions:

  • Make sure to get all appropriate vaccines such as: tetanus, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C. Prophylactically taking anti malaria medicine when traveling to endemic regions. Pneumonia vaccines for appropriate patients.
  • Proper hygiene such as frequent hand washing! Hand sterilizers are also great to carry. Make sure to always sterilize or wash your hands prior to eating.
  • Sunscreen! Apply generously to sun exposed areas if out in the sun for prolonged periods. 
  • Mosquito repellant when traveling to areas with mosquito problems. Several serious infections are spread from mosquito bites and simple measures such as applying repellant will help prevent these infections.

Talk to your doctor prior to travel to make sure you are prepared for your journey and most importantly, have fun!

Dr. Ehsan AliDr. Ehsan Ali, also known as The Beverly Hills Concierge Doctor, is board certified in Internal & Geriatric Medicine and is quickly taking Hollywood’s elite by storm. Dr. Ali is a Doctor on Demand offering 24/7 house calls for his patients. Clients include Lana Del Rey, Liam Hemsworth, Olivia Holt, Rob Dydrek, Avril Lavigne, Gareth Emery and more. A few of Dr. Ali’s services include vitamin Shots, vitamin IV drip therapy, Botox, Juvederm, cosmetic medicine, primary medical care, vaccines and more.  

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How to Stay Healthy During Summer Travel