So the one thing that can really screw up a vacation is you getting sick! Yes, your insurance may cover you and all but you will lose valuable time and you could even die! So take care of yourself. Personally I carry my own OTC medication all the time. I know pills that I commonly need and I make sure I pack those. They have many pharmacies in Thailand and the pharmacists usually can understand English. So you can also buy medication there should you fall sick.
1. Travel insurance
First of all, before you travel, make sure you have travel insurance. You never know when you might need it. I usually get my insurance from one of my bank or medical aid company (Discovery). Before you travel, just send them a request for travel insurance and they will email it to you. Easy peas. With my banks (ABSA, Standard bank) the conditions are that I should have paid for my flight tickets with my bank card.
2. Antimalarial tablets
On our trip to Thailand, we took Mefliam. You take 1 tablet a week before departure, 1 tablet for every week you are there and 1 tablet a week for 4 weeks after you return.
Malaria kills, so don’t even compromise, especially if you will be going away from the city to the outskirts of Thailand. We trekked to the hilltribes in Chiang Mai and boy did those mosquitoes bite! Also pack a mosquito repellent.
Most hotels have windows barred with mosquito nets or provide a mosquito net to sleep under.
I’ve heard of some people fainting from heat stroke or getting sunburns. So to be safe stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, wear a hat and shades. As for me, just water is enough. I guess all the years I spent labouring in my family’s fields under the scorching sun toughened me or maybe really blaCk dont crack, lol. I do not get sun burnt or anything like that. With that said, when I went to Thailand. I carried sunscreen by Nivea. I used it only once, when trekking up the mountains in Chiang Mai.
4. Avoid tap water
Whatever you do, do not drink tap water in Thailand! So don’t even order tap water in a restaurant or ask for ice. Don’t even brush your teeth with it! Buy bottled water it’s very cheap. If you really really really want to drink tap water (I don’t know why you would) then use some water purifying tablets or boil the water first.
4. Antidiarrohoeal and stomach ache medication
Getting food poisoning is a high possibility in Thailand. So be careful when buying food. If the place looks unclean and no one is buying there or there are flies or the meat is not well done, keep away. You risk getting food poisoning and it hurts so bad it’s not funny (I lived to tell the tale). When I got food poisoning, I had severe stomach cramps, nausea, a splitting head ache, vomiting and no appetite. Lucky enough I had my fiance to nurse me back to life 🙂 . I took anti diarrhoeal tablets, forced myself to keep drinking water, nibbled on some egg fried rice and took stomach cramp pills. For 4 hours I was in agony, then I managed to fall asleep. I woke up feeling as good as rain the next morning. I just took a rehydration pack to replace my electrolytes, then I was good to go.
5. Motion sickness
Motion sickness is unpleasant. I remember throwing up so bad i thought my intentines would come out and feeling like ripping off my head on a cruise ship in the Bahamas. Horrible!!! So if you suffer from all types of motion sickness, make sure you take the necessary pill/s before departure everytime or wear a motion sickness patch. You just put it behind your ear and its effective for up to 3 days. I suffer only from sea sickness. So when island hopping in Thailand, I would take a pill about 20 minutes before the ferry took off then I was fine.
6. Pain killers
Take a bottle of pain killers. They are multi functional and will keep any pain at bay. Through toothache, stomach cramps, headaches and twisted ankles, Mybulen has had my back.
7. Pack the meds you frequently use
If you usually suffer from headaches then make sure you have enough Grandpa or Panado or whatever you rely on to keep those headaches at bay. When I take very long journeys, I suffer from indigestion so I choose carefully what I eat and carry indigestion pills.
8. In flight exercises
Frankly, I’ve never done any of these exercises. I’ll be too busy eating and sleeping to worry about my legs cramping or my spine hurting. But I have heard that flying can be uncomfortable for some people. On our flight to Abu Dhabi last year, one of the passengers suffered a heart attack 😦 . Here’s some exercises you can do on board to help relax your muscles. Should you feel sick on board, alert the cabin crew immediately.