I am a full-time traveling registered nurse, fitness enthusiast, and nutrition expert. Every morning I wake up intending to bring awareness of the importance of health and spiritual wellness, especially to the traveling community. At Messy Bun Traveler, we promote travel that allows the traveler to either kick-start, maintain, or enhance a healthy lifestyle. So whether you're someone who travels for business, travels for pleasure, or new to travel and looking for health advice while on the road, this blog is for you!
Privacy & Disclosure
The Messy Bun Traveler is designed to bring you fun stories, destination guides, and healthy travel advice. To help cover the cost of running this site, all posts are sprinkled with hand-selected affiliate links. When you click on one of these links and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only accept affiliate links and paid advertisements from brands I believe in, trust and use personally. Thank you for your continued support!
As a traveling registered nurse and frequent traveler, I tend to get asked questions related to travel health and wellness quite often. Some of these questions are very specific to the individual—and therefore need to be followed up by their private doctor or nurse practitioner.
Some are very common, universal questions that I get asked consistently.
The concept of wellness travel is one of the fastest-growing areas in tourism and vacationing abroad. The idea behind wellness travel is to travel with the intent to promote your overall health and wellbeing.
The goal is to take a trip to help achieve personal growth through health, wellness, and even spirituality—making you check out feeling better than you did when you checked in!
If you’re interested in learning more about wellness travel, check out:
The short answer is no, not really. For most regular health insurance plans, you’ll see only partial or no coverage at all while you are traveling in another country.
Countries that provide “universal health care” for all may assist with minor needs while you’re visiting (like antibiotics & stitching up small injuries), but in any significant emergencies, they will never pay to evacuate you or help you return home.
Because of this reason, it’s so essential to purchase travel insurance before taking your trip overseas.
I understand that no one likes handing over their hard-earned cash for insurance that may or may not be utilized— I’m one of them. But I purchase travel insurance because I would never want to take that chance of something happening and I’m not covered.
The vaccines you need all depend on where you are going and what activities you’re planning to participate in. If you head over to the CDC website, you can use their destination tool to find out what vaccines and medications you should take before your next trip.
You’ll have to schedule an appointment with your doctor, nurse practitioner, or local health clinic at least one month before traveling to make sure the recommended medications or vaccinations are in your system and working before heading to the airport.
It’s also important to differentiate between what is considered “required” and “recommended” vaccines. Required are those vaccines that are essential for your trip, whereas recommended are those that strongly advised and should be considered based on your own risk. Make sure to head over to the CDC website for any further information on travel health!
In a nutshell, the sooner you can adjust to your regular “sleep-awake” schedule, the sooner you’ll minimize the effects of jet lag.
The sooner you can accommodate your schedule to go to sleep at the appropriate local time, the sooner you can start getting up at the proper local time. For example, I often leave hotel curtains open so that we wake up when the sun comes up.
Generally speaking, yes, you can fly while pregnant. But before booking your flight, check on how late in your pregnancy, the airline will let you fly. Most airlines allow you to fly up until 36 weeks gestation before you make your flight attendants nervous—some airlines even have an even earlier cutoff.
There are also some factors to consider when flying pregnant as well. For one, your feet may become swollen on a long flight making blood clots much more likely. Sleep is more difficult in the later stages of pregnancy, so fighting jetlagged may be a bit more difficult as well.
The most important thing to do before booking your flight is to consult with your obstetrician to make sure you’re cleared to fly.
There may be some factors in your pregnancy that may deem you unsafe to fly, regardless of what gestation you’re at. It’s best to consult your OBGYN or certified nurse-midwife who knows the overall status of your health and pregnancy before booking your flight.
Malaria is a serious infection that is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito.
If treated promptly, the fatality rate is very low. However, malaria is a disease not to be taken lightly, and travelers should exercise caution while visiting high-risk areas.
Bite protection and prevention should be your number one priority, making sure you wear loose, comfortable clothing that covers your skin, use mosquito repellent, and, when necessary, use a mosquito net while sleeping.
It is also a good idea to take anti-malaria medication if you’re traveling to an area where malaria is more prevalent. Head to the CDC website to find out if you’ll be going to a high-risk area and if anti-malaria medication is recommended for you.
Another primary form of protecting yourself from malaria is to recognize the signs and symptoms of it. These include flu-like symptoms, fever, muscle aches and pains, chills, or excessive sweating.
If you begin to develop any of these symptoms, seek out medical attention as soon as possible.
This question always takes me back to my time in Laos, when I ate some very questionable street food at a local night market and ended up puking my brains out over the side railing of my hotel balcony the next morning.
Don’t let my gruesome story deter you from trying street food. Generally speaking, street food is actually quite safe in most places, but you still need to be cautious. This goes for eating anything overseas, as even some restaurants in under-developed cities can give you the stomach bug.
While traveling overseas can be both relaxing and rewarding, the physical demands of travel can be quite stressful, even for the fittest of travelers.
For individuals with medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma, etc., it can even be more challenging. With very little planning and preparation, however, you can have both a safe and enjoyable trip. For specific answers on your particular chronic medical condition and traveling, see your healthcare provider.
In most countries, tap water should not be consumed, even in the most developed cities. This also includes swallowing water while showering or brushing your teeth.
Tap water can quickly be disinfected by boiling, chemically treating it with chlorine, or filtering it by using LifeStraw.
Motion sickness happens when the movement your eyes see is different from what your inner ear senses. It can occur on multiple different modes of transportation, including airplanes, cars, boats, etc.
Motion sickness can happen to anybody and can make traveling very unpleasant.
Yes, you can absolutely travel if you have motion sickness; the key is prevention. An excellent prevention option is the use of aromatherapy (such as mint, eucalyptus, or lavender) to help prevent motion sickness.
Other options are ginger candies and medications such as Benadryl or Dramamine, although these meds tend to make you very drowsy.
You should remember that although I am a registered nurse, this is just a list of general informational advice for travelers. It is not a substitute for a personal consultation with your doctor. Your doctor will consider your individual medical history and risk factors, influencing the health advice given.
* We will never share your details with any third party