Day 25

Baby White-faced Capuchin Monkey fell out of a tree in Costa Rica...he should have had health insurance

Baby White-faced Capuchin Monkey fell out of a tree in Costa Rica…he should have had health insurance

Day 25 of Bootsnall’s “Plan your RTW trip in 30 days” is about how to stay healthy while on the road.  At some point, you’ll be getting sick.  Hopefully, it’ll just be a touch of traveler’s tummy and you’ll be on your way, but in case that it’s more than that, you should definitely have some good travel health insurance.  If it isn’t quite that serious, remember that your home country is not the only country that has pharmacies and health care.

With that in mind, don’t stress about bringing everything in your medicine cabinet.  Some bandaids, a tube of bacitracin, a few ibuprofen, an antibiotic like cipro, and a couple tums should take care of most of your problems.  You don’t need to take huge bottles, just a couple doses worth because unless you’re going to be trekking through remote areas for weeks on end, you’ll be able to get to a store to get what you need.

Some people will tell you to stay away from street food as the hygiene may be questionable, but as long as you follow some common sense, street food can be some of the best food of your whole trip.  Look for a busy stall with lots of locals.  High turnover means the food probably won’t have time to go bad.  Locals means the stall has a good reputation.  Look for food that is being cooked and handled properly.  Be careful about eating food that hasn’t been peeled, cooked or boiled, though there are many times I haven’t followed this rule and been just fine.  Check for warnings about the tap water, and if you’re in doubt, drink bottled.  Don’t forget about ice!  My parents came to visit me in Costa Rica.  I told them over and over again not to drink the water.  The one time my dad had ice in his coke, even though I told him to ask for another coke with no ice, he got traveler’s tummy and was out for 2 days. If he had listened to me, he wouldn’t have missed out on one of my favorite places in Costa Rica, Monteverde. You can bet he listened to me for the rest of the trip!

To be honest though, no matter how careful you are, if you travel for any length of time, you’re going to get sick.  Best just to hole up somewhere for a few days if you can and stick it out.

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