Essential Ways to Keep Your Health in Check While Backpacking

Backpackers are one of the most resourceful traveler in the world, because they manage to visit plenty of destinations, experience new culture, maximize their daily itinerary, and try loads of tourist attractions without spending a lot of money.


Photo Credit: Stuck in Customs | cc

These travelers however tend to take their health for granted. To save money, they sleep in airports, walk a lot with heavy backpacks on, eat foods they are not familiar with and travel even in bad weather. If they are not careful, they would end up getting sick instead of enjoying their trip.

If you are planning to backpack, you need to take care of your safety and health. You should make time in staying healthy and fit, no matter what country you’re visiting. Here are some ways to keep your health in check when you are backpacking:

Wear cotton or moisture-wicking fabrics

If you are travelling in a hot-weathered country, you will surely sweat a lot. It would help if you wear cotton shirts for extra comfort and sweat absorption. You can also wear moisture-wicking fabrics to keep you dry. It is a breathable fabric which absorbs perspiration into the outer layer of the fabric and let it evaporates fast. Also, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Take vitamins regularly

Prevention is better than cure, so to keep your health in check always drink vitamins. While there may be arguments on whether vitamins has significant health benefit to people, it would still help if you take a few dosages of Vitamins C to avoid colds when travelling. Organic supplements, like Ethical Nutrients are a healthier alternative to synthetic multivitamins. Products like Zinc, Fish Oil, and Ginseng can also improve immune system, relieve stress, and boot energy.

Always bring health kit

Always have a medicine kit packed inside your case of emergency. You will never know when sickness or accidents will happen, so you better be ready. The basics are all you need. It should have: medicine for fever, diarrhea, allergy, and antibiotics. You also need to have povidone-iodine and bandage for wounds. This is most important if you enjoy cycling tours or mountain climbing.

Be cautious of the food you take

Traveler’s diarrhea is one of the most common diseases among backpackers and is commonly caused by bacteria. If you don’t want to stay in your hostel with bad abdominal cramps, nausea, and frequent visit to the restroom, then be cautious of the food you take. Avoid eating foods wherever. You should assess the restaurant’s surrounding to get an idea if their food is clean. Also try on foods your fellow travelers recommend. With water, it is best you buy a bottle on convenience stores instead of drinking tap. Likewise, avoid skipping meals just because you couldn’t find one that suits your appetite.

Do not tire yourself

Your itinerary may be packed with so many travel destinations, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t rest. Travel slowly and rest from time to time. Let your shoulders relax from the heavy backpack you are carrying. Exhausting yourself won’t do you any good, and it won’t make your trip any better.

Visit the hospital if you need to

If your disease seems too much to handle, go to the hospital. Forget about your budget because health should always comes first. You should see a doctor immediately if you:

  • Have bloody diarrhea
  • Have Fever above 40 degree Celsius
  • Are Bitten by an animal
  • Have been in a car accident
  • Have symptoms of influenza, malaria, and or other travel-related diseases

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Photo Credit: Tomás Fano | cc

If your health care provider does not cover international medical bill, contact your country’s consulate to assist you.

It is important that whenever you visit a country, you should check what diseases are common in the area or whether you need a vaccine to travel. You should also plan a flexible itinerary that will leave you time to explore and appreciate the local culture.

Backpacking is fun but make sure you are safe and healthy. The tips above that make your vacation an unforgettable travel experience.

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