10 Typical Travel Issues and How to Solve Them

Finally leaving for vacation, you begin to feel unwell. It’s Sod’s Law. But don’t worry, it won’t make your journey miserable. The following list of 10 typical travel issues to watch out for includes everything from illness to sunburn and the best ways to avoid them.

travel issues-jetlag

Being unready

You should research the necessary vaccinations before traveling abroad. For the majority of Europe and North America, you’ll be alright, but you should first consult your doctor before traveling to Asia, Africa, and South and Central America. Some travel vaccinations, such as those for hepatitis A and typhoid, are available on the NHS for no cost. In either case, it makes sense to spend some time doing some research beforehand rather than risk getting Japanese Encephalitis while you’re out and about.

How can I determine which travel vaccinations I might need?

  • Take a brief glance at the NHS Fit for Travel website to find out which vaccinations are advised for the places you intend to travel.
  • Schedule a consultation at least 6 to 8 weeks prior to your trip, and ensure that all of your current immunizations are current.
  • Make sure you consume the entire dose of any travel-related medications or immunizations. Some also need a booster a few weeks or months later.

A jet lag

Anyone who has flown for eight hours to advance their time by three hours will attest to the fact that jet lag is extremely real (for reference, an eight-hour journey from London to New York City). It’s effectively time travel, and although it seems magical, it interferes with your eating and sleeping schedules. Anytime you cross more than two time zones in a single trip, you’ll suffer from jet lag, which frequently causes symptoms like fatigue, hunger, and even irritability.

How do I prevent jet lag?

  • Make sure you’re as well-rested as you can be before boarding a long-distance flight.
  • Midway through the plane ride, switch your watch to the time of your destination to get used to the new time zone.
  • As soon as you land, try to acclimate to the new time zone as quickly as you can by eating and sleeping at the proper times. Generally speaking, adjusting takes one day for every hour of time zone travel.
  • Maintain your home time zone if you will just be gone for two to three days. Just remember to keep your watch set to GMT.
  • Since it’s simpler for us to stay up late than to push ourselves to go to sleep, it’s ideal to go across the world from east to west if at all possible.
  • Rough long-haul travel is a common cause of jet lag.

Travel sickness

It might appear unexpectedly and take a while to go away, which makes motion sickness a cunning condition. It happens when messages from your inner ear to your brain conflict with what you are perceiving. Any form of transportation—including automobiles, boats, trains, planes, and coaches—could make you queasy (seasickness is particularly common). Some people may only experience it when using a specific mode of transportation, while for others, just the thought of traveling anywhere turns them green. There are a few techniques to reduce the symptoms and make traveling more enjoyable, even though you can’t totally avoid it.

How can I prevent motion sickness?

-In order to reduce motion, your first piece of advice is to sit up front in a car, in the middle of a boat, or above the wings of an airplane.

  • Try to fix your gaze on a stationary object, such as the horizon.
  • If you can, get some fresh air by opening a car window or standing on a ship’s deck. Simply turn on the air vent above your seat instead of attempting to open the window on a plane, as the cool air on your face can also be soothing.
  • If taken in advance, typically at least 30 minutes before departure, anti-motion sickness medications can be helpful. Others vouch for natural cures like ginger or wristbands that fight motion sickness.

Insect attacks

You may be in the Scottish Highlands or a tropical rainforest and still get a bothersome insect bite (or ten). Even though they are uncomfortable and itchy, most bites are harmless and will go away on their own, but it is possible to develop an allergy or become ill. Despite the rarity of diseases like malaria from mosquitoes or Lyme disease from ticks, you should still take the proper precautions to reduce your risk.

How can I avoid getting bitten by insects?

  • Keep strong-smelling items like soap, shampoo, and deodorants off of your body as these may attract insects.
  • Spray insect repellent on skin that is exposed. The most efficient repellents are those that contain 50% DEET (diethyltoluamide).
  • When you’re outside, cover your skin by donning long sleeves and pants, especially in the early evening when they’re most active.
  • If you’ve been stung, wash the area and remove the stinger or tick if it’s still embedded in the skin. Be careful not to scratch.
  • If you’re traveling to a region where malaria is prevalent, receive antimalarial medication from your doctor and make sure you finish the course.

Sunburn

Brits have a bad reputation for getting sunburned after we leave the UK for warmer climates. So avoid being the moron by the pool who is lobster-red. Instead, heed our (and your mother’s) advice and reapply sunscreen, staying out of the sun’s direct rays between the hours of 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. While the majority of sunburns are mild and go away in a few days, severe sunburns can cause blistering and, in rare instances, heatstroke.

How can I alleviate my sunburn?

  • As soon as you detect your skin turning red, get out of the sun. Either go inside or find a shady spot to relax.
  • Apply aftersun lotion or aloe vera after rinsing painful skin with cool water and a sponge.
  • Keep out of the sun until the redness has subsided, and avoid wearing tight-fitting clothing over your sunburn.

How do I stop becoming sunburned?

-Wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 for UVB protection, and make sure your brand has at least a four-star UVA rating. Make sure your sunscreen is still effective by checking the expiration date.

  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours after swimming, towel drying, or if you have been perspiring, even if the product claims to be waterproof.
  • If at all feasible, don long sleeves, long pants, a hat with a wide brim, and sunglasses.

Heatstroke and heat exhaustion

Even the most ardent sun worshipers among us occasionally experience heat exhaustion. The initial signs of heat exhaustion include feeling hot and thirsty, but more severe cases also include headaches, dizziness, nausea, and a high body temperature. Children can also become floppy and sleepy. It may be an indication of heatstroke, which is far more serious and necessitates medical assistance if you are unable to cool down within 30 minutes.

What can I do to relax?

  • Move into a cool area and avoid being in the sun.
  • Drink plenty of water to help rehydrate.
  • Lay down with your feet slightly raised if you are experiencing clumsiness or vertigo.
  • Spray yourself with cold water or sponge yourself with it to cool down your skin (the most effective places are around the neck and armpits). Try to place yourself next to the wind or a fan.

Mountain sickness

While mountain climbing while on vacation is not for everyone, it is important to understand altitude sickness for those who do. You won’t be surprised to learn that altitude sickness is not even conceivable in the UK because you need to be 3,000 meters above sea level in order to experience it (our tallest mountain, Ben Nevis, is a baby at 1,345m). Although not everyone gets altitude sickness, those who do will experience headaches, dizziness, nausea, and fatigue owing to the thinner air. There are certain precautionary measures you can take because this form of sickness develops when you fly too high, too rapidly.

How can altitude sickness be avoided?

  • Steer clear of direct high-altitude zones when flying.
    — Before climbing above 3,000m, spend two to three days acclimatizing to the altitude. Then, aim to limit your daily ascents to no more than 300–500 meters.
  • Consume a diet that is high in calories but low on water.
  • Acetazolamide, a drug for altitude sickness, is available, but it’s also a good idea to bring along anti-vomiting pills and paracetamol for headaches.
  • Before attempting to climb higher, if you’re having trouble, return to lower ground.

Contaminated food

Most of us will have a holiday memory that includes food poisoning, even though it’s unpleasant and unlikely to appear in the photo album any time soon. Bacteria can cause food sickness if you consume them (usually campylobacter, salmonella, or E. coli). They may get into your food for a variety of reasons, including inadequate cooking or reheating improper storage, or prolonged exposure to heat. You definitely don’t need us to tell you the specific signs of food poisoning, but let’s just say that you’ll be in danger on both ends. There are ways to prevent food poisoning, but if you get it, you’ll just have to wait it out.

How can food poisoning be avoided?

  • Prior to handling food, properly wash your hands with soap and water (and after touching animals or going to the loo).
  • Consume hot meals immediately and stay away from food that has been kept warm.
  • When dining out or purchasing street food, look for high ratings for hygiene.
  • Be cautious while eating fish and shellfish because raw seafood can seriously harm you.

Diarrhea caused by travel

Traveler’s diarrhea can be caused by parasites like giardia and viruses like norovirus, but it can also be caused by the same bacteria that cause food poisoning (looking at you, E. coli and salmonella). Diarrhea, specifically having three or more loose bowel movements in a 24-hour period, is one of the symptoms. Although over-the-counter medication can assist with the symptoms, it often lasts for three to five days before going away on its own.

How do I prevent it?

  • The main factor is hygiene; always wash your hands completely with soap and water after using the restroom and before handling food. When there aren’t any nearby washing facilities, alcohol-based hand gels with antibacterial and sanitizing properties are a good substitute.
    -General hygiene, however, also depends on regional sanitation and food hygiene standards.
  • Unless you can peel or shell the food yourself, stay away from raw foods. Also avoid salads, as they may have been washed in polluted water.
    The best course of action is to rehydrate as much as you can and wait for the symptoms to go away on their own.

Stinging jellyfish

A white sand beach and a deep blue sea may appear to be a paradise. However, there may be underwater life present. While there are many purported cures for jellyfish stings, it is preferable to leave the vinegar in the bottle and soak the sting in seawater. Jellyfish stings can be extremely painful and unpleasant. To lessen the likelihood of being stung, some locations will have stinger suits available, but it’s also important to use common sense: read the beach warning signs, keep an eye out for jellyfish, and wear water shoes so you don’t step on anything as you’re walking into the beach.

How should I respond if I am stung?

  • If a lifeguard or first responder is on duty, seek their assistance.
  • Use seawater to rinse the affected region (not fresh water, vinegar, or wee).
  • Use tweezers (or something similar) to remove any spines from the sting; do not use your bare hands.
  • After that, bathe the sting for 30 minutes in very warm water. If you can’t do that, wear hot clothes or flannels instead.
  • Avoid trying to cover or close the wound, apply ice, or use a cold pack.
  • If the sting causes you to have trouble breathing, vomit, have serious bleeding, or lose consciousness, get further medical help.

Being Disconnected (BONUS)

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Stay connected with BNESIM eSIM while you explore unusual travel destinations.  Check here to see data plans for each country. 

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