One of the great experiences that people look forward to as the holiday season gets nearer is travel. You might be planning to have a perfect getaway to a dream destination for yourself, with your family or with your friends. Travelling is both a wonderful and stressful experience.
It can be a short escape from the stresses of life but if not planned carefully, it can only just add up to your stress. Even the simplest problem can turn your wonderful trip into a nightmare that’s why here are some common travel troubles when traveling for long hours and what to do if they occur so that you’ll be ready for just about anything.
- TRAVEL/MOTION SICKNESS – This is common experience among women and children when traveling by air, land, or sea. It produces an uneasy feeling characterized by nausea, paleness, sweating, and headache, feeling weak and cold, and sometimes, even vomiting. Repeated unusual movements like going over bumps or waves(in case of sea travel), or trying to read a book inside the vehicle sends confusing messages to your brain because of the mixed signals that you get from what your eyes are seeing and what your balance mechanisms perceives, thus, making you feel sick to your stomach. These symptoms typically subside after the journey/ when you leave the vehicle but in case it doesn’t, here are some tips to prevent and treat motion sickness:
- Do not read once you are inside the vehicle (car, bus, train, plane, ship).
- For short trips, avoid eating too much food and drink to prevent vomiting.
- Chose a seat where you least feel motion—sit comfortably.
- Be still as possible—do not do unnecessary things once the vehicle starts moving.
- If possible, on long trips, try to get some fresh air.
- “JET LAG” – More common when people travel to a different time zone, especially when traveling from the west going to the east or vice versa. Our bodies work on a so-called circadian rhythms which determine when we sleep and when we wake. These rhythms are slow to adjust and remain on their original schedule causing our body to feel like it is time to sleep when it’s still actually morning, or making you stay awake when it is already late at night. In short, the “biological clock” of the body becomes out of sync with the new destination time during travel causing fatigue, difficulty sleeping, headache, and irritability. Useful tips:
- Try to adjust your sleeping habits to the time zone a few days before going to your destination.
- Once inside the plane, change the time on your watch to the time zone of your destination.
- Avoid, if possible, sleeping or taking naps while on board.
- Once inside your room, look for possible disturbances to your sleep and remove them (drapes, unwanted objects that may produce unnecessary noise etc.).
- Keep in mind that sunlight helps reset your “biological clock” so try to expose yourself to sunlight whenever possible.
- “Airplane Ear” – Common when there are rapid changes in air pressure like during air travel, or diving which often causes small pockets of air trapped in the sinuses and middle ear to expand, creating discomfort–ear pressure, ear “popping” , temporary pain and hearing loss. Swallowing, yawning, or pinching the nostril while taking a mouthful of air and blowing the nose gently helps ease these mild discomforts as the pressure on the ears and sinuses gradually equalizes with cabin pressure.
- Dehydration– long hours of traveling adding up to the low humidity inside airplanes not to mention if your destination has extreme climates commonly causes dehydration, especially for young children, older adults and people who are pregnant, those with medical conditions like diabetes, with elimination problems etc.,. It is indeed important to listen to your body for signs of dehydration like thirst, dark yellow urine, dry mouth, light-headedness and confusion which can be prevented by these simple tips:
- Drink at least 8-ounce glasses of fluid (but limit your intake with those high in sugar as these cause you to urinate frequently–you wouldn’t want that on long car/plane trips!).
- On very hot weather, you can replace your sports drinks with fruit juices that replace electrolytes in your body. But limit your intake of caffeinated/decaf products like coffee and tea as these are also diuretics, which makes you urinate more.
- Since it is not always safe to drink water just about anywhere, be sure to carry an extra bottle of water at all times!
- Anxiety – travel causes one to experience anxiety, mainly because first, one does not know what may or may not happen during the course of the travel, accompanied by some causes like: fear of flying, fear of accidents, worry of being scrutinized by security personnel on a foreign land, that small tinge of homesickness, horror stories, or any feeling of doubt over any of your upcoming trips. Though anxiety cannot be helped, don’t worry! Here are some tips to lessen, if not totally overcome your travel blues:
- Know where it starts. Know the root cause of your worry and don’t avoid it! Avoiding it just adds up to your fear. You may have second thoughts about your travel because of your fear of something, but remember that in order to experience something worthwhile, you have to face your fear! Don’t be afraid to try something new!
- Prep-all-you-want—IN ADVANCE. There’s no better way to have a perfect vacation if everything is planned ahead of time. It’s better to be ready beforehand than to be under-prepared. Be sure that you have your plan B and C just in case something unexpected comes up.
- Before going somewhere, be sure that you at least know a background of the place, the people—a handy dandy map/tour book sure is useful!
- Have a list of important numbers to call on your destination (local police, hospital, etc.)
- Bring extra money and resources (batteries, flashlight, first aid kits, compass etc.,).
Travelling is all about adventure, it’s about finding something worthwhile in who-knows-where and have the best days of your life, even for just a short while. So, stop worrying, and let yourself enjoy for the time being. Divertirsi!
© 2013, Filipino Nurses. All rights reserved. DISCLAIMER: The accuracy of all articles contained in this website are the responsibility of their respective authors. All articles are for informational purposes only and are NOT intended to replace the advice of a doctor. The owner of this site disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on these information. If you have any health-related questions, please consult your physician. If you feel ill, please seek medical attention immediately.