By Venice Kichura,
Before taking off for that trip of a lifetime overseas, be sure you take all the necessary steps to ensure a healthy vacation. Note these tips if traveling to Israel. As a trip to Israel and the Holy Lands is a trip of a lifetime, you want to be sure you’ve taken all precautions to avoid illness while you’re there.
Before Your Trip:
Visit your doctor—If you have any kind of disease, such as diabetes, heart condition, or other physical problems, go for a checkup to make sure you can travel. Besides getting a thorough exam, ask your doctor for specific ways you can avoid sickness, as well as make sure you have all your medications necessary for the trip. Fortunately, you don’t have to get shots for malaria and yellow fever, as if you were going to other countries (such as Africa). However, there is a chance your doctor may give you shots for typhoid and hepatitis.
Pack bug repellent—As you’ll probably run into mosquitoes,be sure to pack bug repellent.
Get in shape—-If you’re going with a tour, chances are you’ll be doing a lot of walking. What’s more, as the terrain in Israel is rugged, be prepared to walk up steps and hills on rough ground for seeing many of the sites. Thus, you need to be prepared by starting a regular fitness routine months before you leave. Of course, it’s ideal if you have a home treadmill or gym membership. But if not, you can also prepare by walking daily, including steps and using weights. The more in shape you are for the trip, the healthier you’ll be and less likely to get sick when you’re there.
Invest in travel insurance—Of course you hope for the best, but it’s always a good idea to buy travel insurance just in case of emergencies, such as last-minute illness.
- Center for Disease Control—Visit the Center for Disease Control website where you can find health tips, as well as security safety measures that pertain to the area you’ll be touring. Also listed will be items you’ll need to bring.
- US Department of State website—-Check for any updates about security warnings. Actually, the Holy Land tours are exceptionally safe. Most of the conflict is around the Gaza Strip and doesn’t come at all close to the guided tours. And, if there’s any hint of trouble, all tours are immediately cancelled.
En Route Flying to Israel:
While flying there, take any aides that will keep you well. For example, if you’re prone to sinus headaches while flying, take decongestants, sinus headache medicines, and chewing gum, as well as avoid caffeine. Also, it’s good to go a day ahead of your tour so you can be more rested, making up for jet lag.
Staying Healthy In Israel:
- Don’t drink tap water—Bring along bottled water as you can easily get sick from drinking tap water. Also avoid unpasteurized milk. Bring an anti-diarrhea medication just in case….
- Wash hands often—-Also, sanitize with alcohol. Before eating any fruits and/or vegetables, wash thoroughly.
- Avoid poultry farms—-Besides staying clear of chicken farms, also don’t go near any birds.
Clothing to Wear:
If going in warmer months, be sure to wear sun scream. Bring a hat and enough bottled water to keep you hydrated. Women should bring along scarves when visiting mosques. Also, check beforehand for any cultural rules regarding proper clothing, such as body coverings for women.
Most importantly, don’t let a fear of sickness hinder your trip. If you do all you can to ensure good health, as well as take safety precautions, you can enjoy that trip of a lifetime, feeling good and staying healthy while you’re there.