Behavior and tips

on the road

Proper behavior and travel accessories contribute to safe travel, as do travel vaccinations and malaria prophylaxis. The choice is quite individual according to the type, scope and destination. We will be happy to advise you and support you in the selection process. This page also provides you with important rules of conduct for your health while traveling.

The scope of the first-aid kit is determined by

  • the type of travel: hotel-bath vacation or trekking tour
  • the destination: disease situation, hygiene standard

An individual supplement to the first-aid kit is necessary if there are pre-existing conditions.
We will be happy to put together an individual travel pharmacy for you. For this purpose, you can also use our “Patient Information Travel Pharmacy”.

Important medications must always be carried in your hand luggage

In principle, air travel is very gentle and harmless, so that actually almost everyone is fit to fly without restrictions.

Apart from certain chronic diseases with reduced cardiac and pulmonary performance, only severe acute diseases such as heart attack or stroke impair the ability to fly.
Severe colds can significantly reduce the ability to equalize pressure, which can lead to severe pain or even rupture of the eardrum during takeoff and landing. Nasal drops can do a good job here as a preventive measure.

If you are taking medication such as the contraceptive pill or insulin, the time difference during the flight must be taken into account.

  • Avoid inland waters in the tropics due to risk of schistosomiasis.
  • Sturdy footwear helps avoid venomous animal bites. Check shoes before putting them on!
  • Do not touch road or wild animals. E.g. danger of rabies!
  • Protection from mosquito bites, not only because of the risk of malaria.
  • Safer sex, as HIV and hepatitis are very common in tropical countries.
Especially at the beginning of the vacation, you should be particularly careful when dealing with heat and the unaccustomed strong sunlight. Regular use of sunscreens and, if at all, strictly limited sunbathing should be observed.
Sensitivity to the sun’s rays varies from individual to individual and depends on the skin type. Overall, strong irradiation always means an additional risk of skin cancer as well as premature aging of the skin.

Heat and sun can also cause drowsiness or even unconsciousness. Due to the heavy loss of salt and water through sweating, circulatory disorders are not uncommon. Here it is necessary to immediately seek shade or a cool room, in extreme cases the doctor should be notified immediately.

Gastrointestinal disorders are among the most common illnesses during a stay in warm countries and cannot be safely avoided. It is important to distinguish uncomplicated gastroenteritis (Montezuma’s revenge) from dangerous foodborne diseases such as hepatitis A (infectious jaundice), cholera, typhoid, paratyphoid, amoebic dysentery, or shigella dysentery.

The former lasts about 2 to 5 days. Rarely, more than 5 defecations per day occur. Prolonged, severe diarrhea with blood or mucus and fever are cause for concern. A physician should be consulted.

Preventive medication is not recommended in principle. The best prevention is still adapted behavior.

The basis of any therapy is the supplementation of the salt-water balance in the organism. Due in part to high temperatures, prolonged diarrhea or vomiting can very quickly lead to dangerous dehydration. Signs of this are increasing circulatory disturbances and the onset of impaired consciousness with impaired thinking. Children are particularly at risk.

In principle, one must always expect in the tropics that diseases can be transmitted through food and drink. These include the harmless diarrheal pathogens, but also dangerous germs such as amoebae (dysentery), salmonellae(typhoid), cholera, and especially the hepatitis A viruses (infectious jaundice).

The English slogan “Cook it, boil it, peel it, or forget it” still holds true. Besides uncooked and unpeeled food, especially ice cream or fresh lettuce (fertilization!) should be avoided.

The ice in drinks can also transmit infections.

In the so-called cook kitchens, the danger comes less from the hot food and more from the dishes and drinks.

Especially at the beginning of the vacation you should not eat too much and, despite the temptations of a buffet, choose the food and drinks carefully. The acid barrier of the stomach is the most effective protection against intestinal infections.

Especially in the tropics, alcohol is often enjoyed in excessive quantities. This can also reduce the effectiveness of the malaria prophylaxis taken at the same time.