As spring break approaches, many families are planning beach vacations down south, which is why it’s a great time to remind everyone that there are a few very important things to think about, and plan for, prior to travelling on any vacation, in order to lessen the chances of a ruined vacation.
Many of us have been there, or know others who have – away on a beautiful vacation when illness takes hold and ruins part (or all) of what was supposed to be a a week in paradise ( and sometimes persists when back at home).
The thing is that while so many of us think about travel insurance ( medical, cancellation, etc), not everyone realizes that there are certain preventative measures that ought to be taken depending on where your travel destination is.
A few years ago we were planning a cruise and my paediatrician informed me that there were certain vaccinations that we should be taking. I had no idea and felt like I should have known.
The thing is, I wasn’t alone then, and would not be alone today.
A new survey reveals that the majority of Quebeckers interested in or planning a trip to popular destinations such as Mexico and the Caribbean are doing very little before they travel to protect their vacation bliss – the positive mind, body and soul rewards of a time away to recharge.
The ‘Protect Your Vacation Bliss’ survey, commissioned by GlaxoSmithKline Inc., found that the majority of travellers (63%) say they travel to relax and relieve stress with half (49%) expecting to come back with the lasting reward and benefit of feeling rejuvenated and well rested, while half of Quebeckers (52%) expect to feel energized and inspired from the travel experience.
However, more than a third (41%) surveyed said returning home with a serious health problem would be the biggest let down, bursting their vacation bliss bubble. And while the survey found that Quebeckers think it is important to arrange travel health and medical insurance (46%) to protect themselves in case of health issues during their vacation, none who took part in the survey reported taking preventive health steps when preparing for a getaway; instead most do internet research (67%), or buy items such as scuba gear, a swimsuit or running shoes (33%) before leaving on a trip.
The thing is that while we dream of tropical vacations, the potential health risks for common upset stomach and traveller’s diarrhea to more serious concerns such as viral Hepatitis, exist in any tropical environment – including at luxury resorts.
Quebec travel expert and blogger Marie-Julie Gagnon offers her top health travel planning tips:
1. Be Informed: To ensure that you protect your vacation bliss before you travel, get informed about the potential health risks of your destination in the sun.
2. Think Prevention: Once you understand the potential health risks of travelling down South, make sure you are up to date with your travel vaccinations.
3. Stock-up: Purchase over-the-counter remedies for digestive issues, nausea, travellers’ diarrhea – and sunscreen – as these can be expensive or difficult to find at resorts and locally in foreign destinations. Make sure you have adequate medications (and bring along your prescription note) if you or your family take these routinely.
Sound like good advice to me
I will add that in doing your research, Health Canada is a reliable resource. Visit www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/travel-voyage/index-eng.php for more information. Also, remember to ask your own medical practitioner(s).
On that note, I leave you to dream about, research and plan for your next tropical vacation…but in doing so, remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of bliss 😉