Whether you’re a newbie traveler or an expert explorer, you still need to ensure that you’re ready to fight off any sickness to have fun and safe travel. Plus, there will always be a time when you feel like you could be better. Especially if you’re prone to motion sickness or other travel hindrances, check this article out to learn safe travel tips perfect for your trip. Continue reading to know more, plus gay-centered tips to assist you!
Travel Safely For Your Health
The loosening of strict travel bans leads to an increase in people wanting to visit different islands all over the world. Although borders have been more relaxed at the start of 2023 and more people have acclimated to the pandemic, there’s still a possibility of you being affected by the disease. As such, you need to be cautious of your health so you can travel in a safe manner.
Here are some safety measures in mind:
Wash Your Hands Whenever You Can
Your hands are one of the most mobile parts of the body and thus touch many things. Among them are various surfaces with bacteria or remnants of illnesses from other people that can trigger a bad reaction and compromise your safety. To prevent this, wash your hands whenever possible. Clean your hands with soap and water for at least two Happy Birthday songs or 20 seconds.
Tip for gay men: If possible, go to the toilets or other places with a companion, this is to keep safe against homophobic assaults.
Keep Your Hands Off Your Face
If you have the habit of touching your face, it’s time to stop. An excellent piece of advice is to be aware whenever your hands get in contact with your eyes, nose, or mouth, as these are easy access for germs to enter your body. Moreover, touching your face can spread oil in the skin that can clog your pores and lead to an outbreak. You don’t want to deal with pimples when traveling, especially if you’re on vacation, right?
Wear A Mask
It might not look cool or not go with your style, but masks are not only for at the height of the pandemic. Even before COVID-19, masks are used to fight common colds, flu, and other respiratory infections. So, even if you’re visiting a place that has already lifted its mask mandate, it’s still best to keep yours on, particularly if you’re in an enclosed space where the air isn’t freely circulating.
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Carry A Hand Sanitizer, Alcohol, and Wipes
When washing your hands with soap and water is inconvenient, make do with a hand sanitizer or alcohol. Then, wipe down any surface you have direct contact with using wipes, such as hand railings, door handles, counters, etc.
It doesn’t only make your area look presentable and clean, but it also kills germs.
For hand sanitizers, get those with60% to 95% alcohol content
For alcohols, get ethyl alcohol with a 60% to 80% concentration
Practice Deep Breathing
If you’re someone who gets nervous whenever they get on a transportation craft, like a train or a plane, it’s best to make it a habit to do deep breathing. Doing so alleviates stress and anxiety by letting more air into the body to calm your nerves. When your body is relaxed, you can think more clearly and focus on what you need to do while traveling.
A simple deep breathing exercise you can follow is:
- Sit straight
- Inhale through your nose deeply for 7 seconds
- Hold your breath for 4 seconds
- Exhale slowly through your nose for 8 seconds
- Repeat until calm
Tip for gay men: Knowing how to control your breathing will also aid you in case there are individuals who want to start an argument with you because of your orientation.
“Drink water” is an old and effective advice that offers many health benefits. Drinking water keeps the body working and the system running without complications. Water is vital to digestion, nutrient transportation, and maintaining your normal body temperature.
Other advantages of drinking water are as follows:
Energizing the muscles
Controlling calorie intake
Keeping the skin healthy
You can also get water from fruits and vegetables such as melons, peaches, oranges, broccoli, and cucumber.
Moreover, dehydration causes muddled thinking, mood swings, and constipation — everything you don’t want to have while traveling.
Tip for gay men: Men should drink about 3.7 liters a day to stay healthy.
Don’t Eat and Drink Recklessly
It’s excellent advice to drink water constantly, but you must also be aware of what you put in your body when traveling. If you can pack your own food and water, do so. You’ll save money and ensure that what you’re eating isn’t contaminated or tampered with.
If something looks or smells off, don’t eat it. There are still cases of drinks and foods not correctly prepared, undercooked, or raw. Raw poultry or meat can cause food poisoning from salmonella, E.coli. and others.
Additionally, if you’re visiting a foreign country, it may be exciting to taste everything you don’t usually see and be immersed in that country’s culture. However, it’s still important to ask about the ingredients and preparation process of these foreign drinks and foods to avoid getting sick, primarily if you’re not used to the food or have allergies.
Tip for gay men: Be observant of your surroundings as there may be people who would want to prank or mess with your food just because you are openly gay. Don’t let them distract you from having fun on your vacation.
Get Travel Insurance
The pandemic is still affecting many places, local or abroad. So, to minimize your expenses if something unexpected happens during your trip, invest in travel insurance. This type of insurance assists you in case of any future mishaps, such as loss of property, money, medical treatment, etc. Depending on the policy, you’ll have a wide range of possibilities where travel insurance can protect you.
Some instances where you can use travel insurance are:
- Lost of luggage
- Cancellation of the trip abroad
- Medical-related instances such as emergency evaluation, etc.
- Missed transport or delayed departure
Have Enough Sleep
The best way to get ready for a day of travel is to ensure you have the energy to run around and stay alert. If you have less than the recommended hours of sleep, then you’ll be groggy, and you can’t be wary of your surroundings. Additionally, sleep quality will affect your immune system‘s response to viruses and other diseases. You’ll also have more difficulty recovering once you fall sick.
Pack A First-Aid Kit
Although there may be a first-aid kit in the vehicle or craft you’re taking, it’s still best to have one in your bag. The bag doesn’t need to be big. It just needs to have the most common supplies for traveling.
A bag of basic first-aid kit include:
Pain relievers such as ibuprofen
Motion sickness remedies
Anti-diarrhea such as Pepto-Bismol
Scissors, safety pins, tweezers
Plasters, bandaids, gauze
Guarantee that you check the contents’ expiration dates regularly.
Get the Most Updated Vaccination
One of the most important reminders when traveling is to ensure that you’re protected from the COVID-19 virus before you travel. You can get the highest form of protection: the latest vaccination. Remember to get your booster shots, especially if you’re looking at visiting a risky area.
Another great advice is to visit your doctor and medicine professionals before your departure so they can check if you’re fit to travel.
Other Health Protocols You Should Be Aware Of
Is the location you’re traveling to accepting visitors? How sure are you that the Google search answers you searched are correct? Before visiting a country or a destination, ensure that you’ve checked their health protocols first. This is not only because you need to do your business but also to protect yourself and the locals.
For instance, the standard health protocols that are still in progress today are:
- Wearing face masks
- Hand washing
- Physical distancing
Some establishments, like airports or hotels, may ask for a swab test, vaccination card, etc. So, to avoid headaches, aside from your luggage and passport, ensure that you have the correct documents to comply with these countries’ requirements.
Know the Destination Wide Health Program Guidelines
Are you visiting your friends and family? Even if you’ve missed them dearly, it’s still critical to follow the health program guidelines of the site or territory you’re visiting.
The best way to know how these health program guidelines can affect your travel is to reach out to the local government of the place you’re visiting and ask about their security demands and restrictions. You can also ask the citizens of that location to give you an inside perspective of what to expect.
Some general examples of the ongoing health and safety guidelines are:
- Cleaning and disinfecting protocols under new and enhanced mandatory sanitation
- Physical distancing with markets, etc.
- Availability of personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Having a health and safety officer for businesses
- Emergency plans and protocols
Tip for gay men: Be considerate of the level of PDA you allow yourselves to display as some destinations may be more conservative than you expect.
Tourism Businesses That Can Assist Your Travel
If you want to take your trip to the next level while keeping your safety, look for tourism businesses that can make your journey easier. For instance, you can join programs like walking tours, cruises, etc., to have a definite structure of the wheres, whats, and hows of your travel.
Bear in mind that these businesses and establishments are under their countries’ or departments’ review and can only navigate with cooperation to the health and safety program guidelines they must adhere to. Businesses you should partner with on your journey should have approval from their country as proof that they comply with these health standards.
More Tips for Gay Men
It’s best to travel in a group, either with your gay friends or in a tour group.
Look and book gay-friendly stays and tours. Check out the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association for recommendations.
If you’re traveling with kids, ensure to bring their documents like their passports, birth certificates, and adoption papers.