Summer break is already here and there’s no better time to get away and enjoy a well-deserved vacation. The possibilities are endless: you can go hiking in the mountains, relax on a beach in the Caribbean, or just take a short trip to the nearest city. However, among all the anecdotes you can gather from a memorable trip, falling ill and having to interrupt your vacation is one you should avoid.
If you’re planning a trip, then this post is for you. Today, we’ll share with you some of our best vacation safety tips, so you can enjoy everything the summer has to offer.
- Protecting yourself from the sun
- Identifying illnesses and allergies
- Protecting yourself from COVID-19
Ready? Let’s dive in.
If you don’t take the proper precautions, the sun can harm your skin and eyes. No matter where you are, whether on a tropical beach or a snowy mountain.
Here are some tips to prevent sunburn and heat exhaustion:
- Wear sunglasses
- Stay in the shade during peak sun hours
- Stay hydrated
- Wear sunscreen
Let’s take a closer look.
The American Optometric Association recommends wearing sunglasses whenever you are outside in the sun. Proper protection requires the following minimum requirements:
- Sunglasses must screen out 75% to 90% of visible light
- Sunglasses must block at least 99% of UV-A and UV-B sun radiation
The affordable and trendy sunglasses you get at clothing stores are unlikely to meet these standards. If protecting your eyes is a top priority, we recommend you get your sunglasses at an optician or an outdoor store.
Stay in the Shade During Peak Sun Hours
We recommend you stay in the shade (or indoors) during peak sun hours. Sun hours will vary depending on where in the world you are and what season you’re in. But generally, during summer, those hours extend from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sometimes, when the sun is at its highest point (around noon) it can be hard to find some shade, so don’t forget to wear a hat!
First and foremost, make sure you sip water throughout the day to prevent dehydration. Besides, you should also avoid alcohol. A cold beer may feel refreshing. But in fact, it’ll only dehydrate you more.
To check that your hydration levels are fine, you could:
- Take a look at the color of your urine next time you go to the bathroom, the lighter the better.
- Do the nail blanch test: Press on any of your fingernails and see how fast it returns to its normal color. If it takes more than 2 seconds, you may be dehydrated.
The best sunscreens protect against UV-A and UV-B sun radiation. The SPF should be at least 30, and you should apply it 15-30 minutes before sun exposure. Additionally, you should reapply a light layer every two hours, and after swimming or any other physical activity.
There are several ingredients that may be particularly effective against sun damage and burns, including:
- titanium dioxide
Identify Allergies & Illnesses
Besides the fact that travelers can get sick during their holidays, seasonal allergies are common with warm weather. This is why it’s vital to understand the difference between allergies, the flu, and other illnesses to seek the proper medical care.
In general, allergies cause mild to moderate discomfort. For example, spending time outdoors when the pollen count is high or being around a cat could trigger an allergy.
Common symptoms include:
- Feeling tired or fatigued
- Having a runny nose or experiencing nasal congestion
- A stinging or itching sensation in the eyes
- Sinus pressure headache
- Post-nasal drip with or without a sore throat
Allergies can show up at any stage of life. If you suspect you’re experiencing an allergy, you should see a doctor to get tested. If you turn out to be allergic, you could begin taking medications and avoiding specific allergens.
Nevertheless, many of these symptoms can also appear in a patient with COVID-19. The greatest difference can be noticed in symptoms like fever or loss of taste or smell.
How to Protect Yourself from COVID-19 in 2022
Although it feels like COVID-19 is slowly going away and life is almost back to normal, catching the virus can still disrupt your vacation. In fact, COVID cases worldwide are increasing due to Omicron strains BA.4 and BA.5. These strains evade antibody immunity effectively and are spreading almost three times faster than previous variants.
In addition to feeling unwell, depending on the country you’re visiting, you may be required to quarantine. With that in mind, we recommend you take some basic preventive measures.
Make sure you:
- Stay away from crowds, especially in indoor spaces
- Sanitize your hands frequently
- Wear a face mask in crowded areas
Staying away from crowds is one of the best ways to prevent catching COVID. Yet, when it comes to public transportation this will depend on the vehicles’ ventilation system and how busy they are.
In some countries, wearing a mask remains mandatory in public transportation and certain facilities. Therefore, you should always be aware of local restrictions.
Many people consider summer to be their favorite season. And this summer is quite different from last year’s. At last, the COVID-19 virus seems to be at bay, but it may be a while until it becomes a memory. Getting tested is key to making COVID a thing of the past.
Want to get tested before your next trip? No matter where you are, or what type of test you need, find testing locations in your area on our international directory