How to Stay Healthy During Winter Travel
There's nothing quite like a winter wonderland – snuggling under an umbrella, getting wet by the rain, sensing the air grow fresh once the rain ceases, feeling like a kid again as we jump right in the middle of puddles, experiencing our eyes grow wide as the first drops of snow fall, laughing out loud as we attempt to build a snow person, as we attempt to ski….
Winter travel is especially unique for those us who grew up under a warm sun. We've seen people admire our clear skies and kept fantasizing about the wild shapes of clouds only winter knows how to paint.
And now, at last, it's our turn. We've bought our tickets and we're all prepared to walk inside our very own fairytale winter weather.
Unfortunately, as winter newbies, we're just as likely to get sick as we are to have fun.
Following are a few tips to help us experience more fun and less illness, so we can treasure even more moments of winter.
Take Your Medications with You
If you have a chronic illness or allergies, or you know certain medications work great for you when you have the flu, take them with you.
If you're traveling far away, they might not be available. Some countries use similar medications with different names, and you don't want to put yourself in the position of facing a blank stare when you ask a professional pharmacist for your very common medication.
Moreover, it's recommended to bring your reliable medications even if you travel within your own country. This way, you're covered even if it's a holiday or a weekend or if the store runs out of what you need or the pharmacists go on strike. Your precious, expensive travel time is not the best moment to be left without your medical care.
If you're contemplating whether to take your meds or not, chances are you don't use many of them or don't use them regularly. That means they won't take up much space, so you might as well include them to keep Murphy away.
Get Health Insurance
The shortest, simplest visit to a doctor can leave you paying high amounts of dollars while traveling.
Ensuring you're covered allows you to go traveling without concerns. It also lets you get to a doctor with less contemplation and without the need to write out pros and cons charts – so you can heal quickly and continue having fun.
As a fellow winter fan, you know that getting wet in the rain is one of winter's most fun perks. Unfortunately, it's also a quick way to get sick.
Fortunately, these days you can get practically anything waterproofed – boots, pants, coats… even your camera!
In fact, if you enjoy photographing as you travel, getting a waterproofed camera could take care of your emotional health. You do not want to return home only to discover the 1,000 photos you took on your winter trip of a lifetime were destroyed due to the exciting rain.
Imitate an Onion
Imitation is the highest form of flattery. While you might not admire an onion in your summer-filled day to day, you'll likely think it's quite the genius when you start winter traveling.
Cold areas are well prepared for winter. Yes, it's wonderfully freezing outside, yet inside, many people tend to turn on the heating so much, they sometimes end up wearing short sleeves.
While constantly switching from cold to heat might worry you – it sounds like a recipe for getting sick – chances are you'll look for the option to warm up a little from time to time. It takes time for the body to truly adjust to the cold and be able to spend long hours outside. Until then, it's OK to seek out some inside heat every once in a while.
Therefore, follow the onion's lead and dress in layers that you can peel off and then put back on, depending on the temperature.
Cover All Your Body
Wearing thermal clothes is highly recommended to protect your body from the cold, yet it's certainly not enough to keep you from freezing. Go to a store that specializes in winter clothing – extreme winter clothing if you're traveling to a particularly cold place – and buy pants, shirts and coats that can truly protect you.
This type of clothes can be expensive, yet it can save you the need of wearing five or more layers. Of course, if you're only traveling for a few days to a semi-cold place, perhaps walking around in 5 layers is worth it.
In this case, go shopping when it's winter where you live, because it'll be easier for you to find appropriate clothes. If you live in a warm area, it could get challenging to find winter clothes during summer – even if you're traveling to the opposite hemisphere.
That said, pants, shirts and coats are not enough. You need to make sure your shoes and socks are useful for extra cold climates.
Also remember to you buy a hat and a scarf to protect your ears, mouth and nose from intense winds. Shocking, but these three little components can actually make a difference between enjoying the outdoors and running back inside.
Lastly, you'll need gloves. Since you've got a waterproofed camera, we know you're worried about pressing those tiny buttons with those big, warm gloves. Get the gloves anyway.
Just do what top winter athletes and photographers do: Wear the big gloves when experiencing your winter wonderland, and leave only your secret, lighter gloves-below-gloves when it's time to document the fact that yes, you did it – you finally made it to your very own winter wonderland!
How do you prepare for winter travel? Or, if you live in a cold area, what tips would you give travelers who come from warm areas?
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