Travelling across Asia: how to stay healthy during your trip

Travelling across Asia: how to stay healthy during your trip

Thanks to its privileged location in Asia Pacific, Hong Kong is only a few hours away from many Asian countries, allowing its residents to travel across the region on many occasions. As staying healthy while traveling is essential, here are a few tips to protect your health on the road.

Check the recommended vaccinations in your country of destination

The first thing you should do before planning your trip is to take a look at the recommended and required vaccinations for your country of destination. Some vaccinations or medication need to be arranged weeks before your departure so don’t leave it too late.

Hepatitis A and B and Typhoid fever vaccines are usually recommended for all travelers. If you are travelling to rural areas, you might also consider getting vaccinations against yellow fever, rabies, Japanese encephalitis and malaria (tablets).

In addition to browsing the web for health advice, we strongly recommend to speak to a doctor before travelling abroad, especially if it is one of your first trips in Asia.

Bring the right medications

When you are travelling in Asia, keep in mind that you always have to be prepared for the unexpected. In addition to vaccinations, make sure that you bring some essential medication:

  • A first aid kit: In case of incident, you will need some basic health and hygiene equipment (anti-septic spray, bandages…). Always carry your kit with you whether you are hiking, visiting places or even going to the beach.
  • Anti-diarrhea medication: Food poisoning is unfortunately not uncommon in Asian countries. Make sure that it doesn’t ruin your trip by bringing the right medication to help you recover from it.
  • A hand sanitizer: If you can’t wash your hands regularly, use hand sanitizer instead, especially before eating.
  • Mosquito repellent: Mosquitos are everywhere in Asia and they carry several serious diseases such as dengue fever or malaria, so protect yourself carefully. In case of mosquito bites, you can also bring some hydrocortisone cream or tiger balm to reduce the itching.
  • Sun cream: As you will probably spend hours under the sun, make sure that you protect your skin with a high IP protection sun cream and don’t forget to wear a hat. Also think of bringing a good after sun if you get sunburnt.

This list includes the most important medication or items you should bring during your trip, but as every traveler is different, don’t forget to adapt it to your personal needs or requirements. Once again, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor about what you should carry with you to avoid any inconvenience while travelling.

Develop good habits

To begin with, the most important thing during your trip is to stay hydrated. The combined heat and humidity of many Asian countries can make your body dehydrated really fast, so drink a lot more than you are used to. Remember to drink only bottled water and never from the tap. Also pay close attention to the food you eat. Avoid dishes purchased from street vendors, raw meat or fish and unpeeled fruits and vegetables.

In addition, as it may seem pretty obvious, don’t forget to rest during your trip. While travelling to a new country may be really exciting, make sure that you regularly take a break when you feel a little tired and don’t engage in a too intense activity if you are not fully prepared for it.

Finally, as discussed before, protect yourself from mosquito bites (and in the same time from ticks and fleas) by applying regularly some insect repellent. Also try to wear long-sleeved shirts and pants to cover your skin and reduce the risks of being bitten.

…and make sure that you are fully covered abroad!

Before planning any overseas trip, make sure that your health insurance also covers your medical expenses outside Hong Kong. APRIL created the MyHEALTH package which can provide you with a comprehensive medical cover but also with repatriation assistance benefits to allow you to travel with complete peace of mind. contact [dot] hk [at] april [dot] com (Contact us) today to find out more.

For further health advice on specific countries, don’t hesitate to consult the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Date of publication May 17, 2017