Common Travel Issues

Common travel issues include flight delays or cancellations, lost or delayed luggage, cultural differences, health problems, safety concerns, etc. These issues can cause stress and inconvenience, but can often be resolved with patience, communication, and proper planning. It’s important to have travel insurance and emergency contacts in case of unexpected issues. To make you less stressed while traveling our team at Aafiyat work relentlessly.

Jet lag

Jet lag is the mismatch of the circadian rhythm (24-hour) of a person due to a new time zone. Gradually, your rhythm switches to that of your destination. Symptoms include poor sleep, poor physical/mental performance during the new daytime, fatigue, gastrointestinal disturbance, etc.; sometimes indistinguishable from the symptoms associated with general fatigue of travelling.

The treatment includes following the local people’s sleep-wake timings as much as possible, prefer smaller meals before and after the flight, and use of caffeine and physical activity strategically. Discuss with your physician if the use of hypnotics or melatonin is useful for you.

Jet lag is a mild inconvenience, but people travelling for business or athletics may require prophylactic measures.

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Traveller’s Diarrhoea

This is the most predictable illness for travellers. Poor local hygiene practice is the major contributor to this illness. Poor sanitation, lack of safe water, poor refrigeration techniques, unawareness of handwashing, and poor food handling techniques are common contributing factors.

Symptoms range from mild cramps and urgent stools to severe abdominal pain, fever, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea.

Treatment is predominantly with oral rehydration therapy, antimotility agents, and antibiotics.

Prevention includes careful food and water precautions and possible prophylactic medications available. 

Food poisoning refers to preformed toxins in the food, causing symptoms of vomitting and diarrhea which usually resolve within 12 hours spontaneously.

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Food and Water Precautions

Contaminated food or water pose a frequent risk for travellers to developing nations especially.

  • Raw, uncooked, unpeeled vegetables and fruits may not be washed properly. Always wash with potable water, and it is safest to consume when peeled by the person eating themselves.
  • Undercooked or uncooked meats should be avoided. This included eggs, unpasteurized milk or milk products.
  • Food that has not been adequately stored or refrigerated may be a source of diseases.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before preparing and eating food, before and after changing diapers or using the bathroom, and before and after caring for someone who is ill.
  • If soap and water is unavailable, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
  • Avoid using untreated tap water for preparation of food, drinking, brushing teeth, etc. Always prefer bottled or boiled filtered water for consuming and everyday use.
  • Avoid swimming or wading in freshwater, especially in rural or remote locations where the water could harbour parasitic infestations or other bacterial diseases. Avoid contaminated sewage water as well.

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Motion Sickness

Motion sickness is a physiological phenomenon experienced by some travelling by sea, car, train, or air. They exhibit nausea, vomiting, general discomfort, etc.

To prevent this:

  • Avoid known trigger situations.
  • Optimized positioning within the vehicle to reduce discomfort. For eg. choosing the front seat in the car, sitting over the wing in a flight, etc.
  • Reducing sensory input by closing eyes or looking at the horizon.
  • Maintaining hydration, limiting alcohol intake, avoiding caffeine, smoking and large heavy meals.
  • Certain scents of flavoured lozenges may help reduce symptoms.
  • Over-the-counter medications like antihistamines, or prescription medication can be used for more severe cases.

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Protection against insect exposure

  • Avoid traveling to foci of endemic outbreaks.
  • Minimize risk of exposed areas with full sleeved clothing, full length pants, closed shoes, and hats. Practice tucking in clothing as well.
  • Apply insect repellent to exposed skin and clothing.
  • Inspect yourself, clothing, and luggage for ticks, bedbugs, etc.
  • Prefer accommodations with air conditioning or screens on windows. Use bed nets when available, recommended safe and supervised usage for children and infants as well.
  • Spatial repellents such as sprays and coils may be used with caution to avoid direct inhalation.

Consider immunization and prophylaxis if traveling to endemic areas. Consult us today for details.

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Extreme Temperatures

Strenuous physical activity in a tropical or dessert environment can incur the risk of heat illness. Minor symptoms such as heat cramps, syncope (fainting), heat oedema, or heat rash can be resolved by rest and oral rehydration.

Heat stroke or Heat exhaustion could cause major complications and requires urgent medical attention.

Prevention requires: 

  • Heat acclimatization by doing exercise for increasing amounts of time in preparation for your trip.
  • If travelling to locations known for severe temperatures, you can avoid strenuous activities during the day.
  • Choice of clothing should be loose and light clothing allowing for air circulation.
  • Adequate fluid and electrolyte intake during the day, especially during activities involving heavy sweating.
  • Wear appropriate footwear. Check for blisters and chafing which is common in humid climates and treat with adequate first aid to avoid infections and severe injury. (Especially for diabetic patients)

Planning adventure trips to colder climates or activities spending time in water bodies can cause hypothermia. Be prepared by planning where to take shelter, staying dry, and keeping warm with clothing and building a fire.

  • Travelers should research clothing and equipment – especially gloves, appropriate footwear, etc.
  • Be prepared during water activities with personal flotation devices and knowledge about self rescue.
  • Carry with you first aid kits supplied with gauze and antibiotics to treat blisters and possible frostbite injuries.
  • Keep on hand the knowledge of how to contact emergency medical facilities and possible methods of evacuation in emergency circumstances. Prepare your travel health and evacuation insurance accordingly.

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