Avoid common travel sicknesses

It should be the best days of the year – but if you’re not careful, you can easily get sick on vacation: Whether it’s a bladder infection,  diarrhea  or an unpleasant sunburn – health problems can also occur when travelling. We introduce you to eight typical travel diseases and complaints and give you tips on how to stay fit and healthy on vacation.

motion sickness

The holiday hasn’t even really started, and the first symptoms are already appearing: It doesn’t matter whether you’re traveling by car, bus, ship or plane – travel sickness can occur when traveling with different means of transport. It becomes noticeable through symptoms such as dizziness, a sinking feeling in the stomach, increased  salivation  and sweating. If you feel nauseous on your way to vacation, you can quickly get your travel sickness under control with the following tips:

  • Car and bus:  Take a break and get some exercise in the fresh air. Breathe as deeply, calmly and evenly as possible. When driving on, concentrate on the road and refrain from secondary activities such as reading. Face the direction of travel and avoid looking out of the side of the car.
  • Ship:  Get out on deck and don’t stay inside the ship. Don’t look at the water, instead fixate on a point on the horizon. Get involved with the movements of the ship and do not brace yourself against it.
  • Airplane:  Reserve a seat at wing level. Avoid looking out the window, rather close your eyes.

Before you travel, you can prevent travel sickness by eating a light, low-fat meal. On  the other hand, you should avoid caffeine  and nicotine before driving. Chewing gum  or sucking on candy can be helpful during the journey  .

risk of thrombosis

There is an increased risk of thrombosis on long flights, but also on longer journeys by car or train. Sitting for a long time slows down the blood flow, the blood thickens due to the usually low fluid intake and accumulates in the legs. Small clots – so-called thrombi – can form as a result. These can become life-threatening if they block important vessels in the heart or lungs.

To  prevent thrombosis , you should make sure you get enough exercise   when travelling  . When driving in the car, stretch your legs from time to time in the fresh air or walk up and down the aisle on an airplane more often.

You can also   reduce your risk of thrombosis while  sitting by  stimulating blood circulation with some foot exercises . On the other hand, avoid crossing your legs.

Also make sure you  drink enough  , although caffeinated drinks and alcohol are not suitable. If you have problems with your vein function, wear  compression stockings during the trip.


When they arrive at their holiday destination, many holidaymakers are particularly looking forward to relaxing in the sun, but especially in the first few days you should not overdo it with sunbathing – otherwise there is a risk of  sunburn . In the long term, sunburn promotes the development of  skin cancer , which is why protective measures are absolutely necessary:

  • In summer, before you go outside, use  sunscreen  with a sufficiently high sun protection factor.
  • Wear long, loose  clothing  and a hat or cap.
  • Avoid the midday sun and take regular  breaks  from sunbathing.
  • Remember that UV radiation can still reach you in the  shade  and on cloudy days.

If you have burned yourself anyway, you should avoid the sun for the next few days and apply an after-sun lotion to the burned areas. Showering with lukewarm water or an aloe vera gel can also help to cool the sunburn. Also, drink enough fluids.


In warm  weather  , not only relaxing in the sun, but also swimming in the pool or in the sea is popular with holidaymakers. But be careful – this summer fun has its pitfalls: If you don’t change your wet clothes after swimming, you risk cystitis.

Bacteria thrive in a warm, humid climate. Wet swimwear  offers them an ideal living space. Since the body cools down over time due to wet swimwear and the immune system is weakened as a result, bacteria can also penetrate the body more easily.

If there is a bladder infection, this is expressed by a frequent  urge to urinate  and a burning sensation when urinating. Then it is important to drink a lot to flush the germs out of the body. Bladder or kidney teas are particularly suitable. If the symptoms do not improve after a few days, you should consult a doctor.

diarrhea and constipation

Gastrointestinal complaints such as diarrhea or  constipation  are among the most common travel diseases. To prevent  diarrhea  , you should pay close attention to what you eat, especially when traveling to southern countries. 

Pathogens lurk particularly frequently in  tap water .  For this reason, do not drink any drinks with ice cubes in endangered areas. Use bottled mineral water to brush your teeth and be sure   to close your mouth tightly when showering . When eating, you should reach for cooked and fried foods, but you should avoid raw foods, ice cream and unpeeled fruit.

While some vacationers can’t get down from the quiet place, others have a complete digestion strike and suffer from  constipation.  The reasons for this are not enough exercise and not drinking enough fluids while driving, as well as changing your diet at the holiday destination.

To prevent constipation, make sure you drink enough. A high-fiber diet  with whole grain products as well as fruit and vegetables is also recommended  . If you are already constipated, you should drink a glass of water on an empty stomach in the morning. This stretches the stomach and stimulates the intestinal muscles. A few prunes can also ensure that digestion gets going again.

blood poisoning

It can happen quickly barefoot on the beach: you step on a sharp-edged shell or a shard of glass and get a cut. Bacteria can enter the body via the wound and  cause inflammation  there . Such an inflammation often remains localized, but the pathogens can also spread throughout the body via the bloodstream and gradually attack the various organs. Then there is  blood poisoning  (sepsis).

If you have cut yourself while on vacation, you should first carefully clean the wound with water and then wipe it out with a sterile compress. If the wound becomes inflamed, a wound healing gel can help fight the inflammation.

If the wound is very deep or the inflammation does not go away, you should consult a doctor. The same applies if symptoms of illness such as fever,  chills  or general exhaustion occur. In some cases of blood poisoning, a red cord running from the wound to the heart can also be seen.

athlete’s foot

Swimming pools, changing rooms and saunas – wherever there are many people, the risk of infection with  athlete’s foot is  particularly high. Even on holiday you are not safe from athlete’s foot, because the danger is also lurking on the floors of the hotel rooms. If you don’t wear shoes here, you run the risk of contracting athlete’s foot.

Typical symptoms of athlete’s foot are  itchy or burning feet.  In addition, skin changes can occur – red spots form, which  form scales  or blisters. So that the unpleasant symptoms disappear as quickly as possible, an antifungal agent should be part of every first-aid kit.

To effectively prevent athlete’s foot, you should always  wear bathing shoes  – both at the pool and in the hotel room. In addition, it is better to avoid disinfection showers – the risk of infection is usually particularly high here. Also, always make sure to dry your feet thoroughly after showering – including between your toes!

Insect bite

Insect bites are not dangerous in our region, but they are always annoying. Depending on which insect has gotten us, the stings are either painful or  very itchy  . In rare cases, insect bites can trigger an allergic reaction. Anyone who is hypersensitive should see a doctor.

To avoid infection, an insect bite  should not be scratched  . It helps to cool the affected area with cold packs or wet washcloths against the swelling and itching.

While an insect bite is usually harmless in our regions, insects can  transmit dangerous diseases  such as malaria,  dengue fever  or sleeping sickness in tropical and subtropical areas. For this reason, you should find out about possible dangers in the holiday country before you start your journey.

If you travel to a risk area, you should protect yourself with long clothing and a mosquito repellent spray, which is best bought locally. At night it is recommended to sleep under a mosquito net.


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