We’re at the peak of summer, which means one thing for many of us: relaxing trips to the beach. But as carefree as a day or vacation at the beach might be, it’s still important to take extra safety precautions to ensure a fun time throughout your entire stay writes the healthytravelblog.com
Decrease your chances of summer risks that range from water-related injuries to melanoma. Here’s how to protect yourself and your loved ones from danger at the beach:
- Learn How to Swim: Knowing how to swim is the best way to protect yourself and your kids in the water; your chances of drowning are almost five times greater if you don’t know how to swim. While it’s best to learn at an early age, it’s never too late to take swimming classes.
- Wear a Lifejacket if Necessary: Young children and those who don’t know how to swim should always wear a lifejacket when in or around water, especially if they’re on a boat.
- Wear Plenty of Sunscreen: Too much sun exposure is bad for your body, so avoid getting sunburn and skin cancer by applying broad spectrum sunscreen of 15 SPF or higher, or by wearing clothing that covers your skin. Additionally, no sunscreen is water or sweat-proof, and should be applied every two hours.
- Pay Attention to Flags and Signs: Warning signs might inform you of strong rip currents, and flags often indicate designated swimming areas with lifeguards on duty. Be sure to look for these flags and read all beach warnings prior to heading into the water. If you’re not sure what something means, ask a lifeguard.
- Understand Rip Currents: If you’ve ever gone to the beach and mysteriously ended up a lot further away from the shore than you wanted to be, you probably experienced a rip current. These concentrated rivers of water that move offshore can cause people to drift far away from the beach. To get out of a rip current, do not try to swim directly back to shore. Instead, swim parallel to the shore until you can feel the current relax. Then you can swim safely back to the sandy beach. Also, be sure to stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties, since rip currents are very common in these areas.
- Don’t Dive Into Unknown Water: Enter water feet first to avoid serious lifelong injuries that can result from accidentally diving into shallow or rocky waters. Check for depth and any other obstructions in the water that may pose a potential danger to your safety.
- Drink Plenty of Water: The sun can dehydrate your body quickly, so be sure to drink lots of water at the beach. Stay away from caffeine and alcohol, as these can cause further dehydration.
- Swim Near a Lifeguard: Reduce your chances of drowning by swimming during the day where a lifeguard is present.
The healthy thinkers at Purple Parking, a company that provides airport parking services in the UK, have created this visual guide to help you eat healthily at the airport. It’s perfect for frequent fliers who travel for business or pleasure.
Reproduced by kind permission of the healthytravelblog.com
Whether you’re going on vacation or your first voluntourism trip, traveling to a developing country requires a lot of extra preparation. Not only will you need to pack additional items, but you’ll also need to do some research and mentally prepare yourself for your destination—especially if you’ve never been there before writes healthytravelblog.com
While immersing yourself into different cultures and lifestyles can be a truly rewarding experience, it’s still important to follow standard safety practices. Here are some ways to have a great, healthy trip:
Before Your Trip
- Research: In addition to learning more about the local culture, customs and taboos, you’ll also want to look into any recent events or news going on in the area. If there’s any civil unrest, you should know about it beforehand and check to see if your government has posted any travel warnings. Also, if you plan on bringing any type of rechargeable electronics, find out in advance what the voltage and plug configurations are in the area—you might need to purchase an adapter.
- Get Necessary Vaccines/Medications: Many places around the world won’t even let you into the country without proper proof of vaccinations. Find out if the place you’re traveling to requires any, and plan to get them within two months of your trip. In some countries, you may need to bring certain medication(s) to prevent diseases, such as malaria.
- Learn Local Phrases: Your native language may not be spoken in these countries, so be sure to learn some important phrases in advance. You should also bring a translation dictionary, if possible.
- Pack Smart: In addition to your standard luggage items, you may need the following: a luggage lock, flashlight, map, toilet paper, snacks, bed sheet, towel, padlock, mosquito net, multivitamins, bottled water, anti-diarrheal medicine and a first aid kit. Also, also consider leaving valuables, such as a cameras, at home unless they are absolutely necessary.
When You Arrive
- Have a Plan: Tourists visiting underdeveloped countries are often swarmed by locals with offers for hotel rooms or taxi services, especially if they see you looking through guidebooks and pamphlets. Having a game plan in advance helps you appear as though you know what you’re doing. If you need a ride to your hotel from an airport, opt for an airport bus or a taxi with a license and meter.
During Your Trip
- Eat and Drink Cautiously: Water quality may not be up to par with what you have at home. Only drink water from bottles that are sealed, unless you’ve confirmed that the water is safe to drink. Don’t eat fresh produce, such as salads, at local restaurants since they are probably washed in unclean water. Have protein bars on hand as a back up.
- Be Prepared: As a general rule of thumb, avoid giving money to strangers or items to children, such as candy or clothing. If you’d like to donate something, give items directly to the parents, teachers, schools, or community leaders. Also, be ready to practice fair bargaining. Although many taxi drivers and market vendors will be aggressive with their sales tactics, they expect you to negotiate fairly.
- Transportation: Since the transportation infrastructure in most of these countries is often weak, they can be very dangerous. The Association for Safe Internal Road Travel (ASIRT) offers these tips to help you travel safely around your destination.