Falling ill is one of the unexpected surprises that can make bust your budget traveling. While eating well, avoiding illness, and bringing a safety kit with you are all parts of maintaining your health normally; it’s especially important away from home.
Traveling can be stressful, but that pre-flight Cinno-bun isn’t going to give you the nutrients your body needs to fight whatever bug is hiding at your destination, or the swirling stew of sickness on the armrest of your seat. Eating well throughout your travel time will give your body a fighting chance against whatever is waiting for you in the microscopic world.
I would never imply that you should avoid indulging in poolside cocktails, or apre-ski drinks. But limiting your alcoholic beverages, slipping a few green things in between holiday treats, and indulging in local foods will give your immune system a boost. Need fuel for an early morning hike up Songnisan? Filling up on delicious vegetable packed local dishes like Bibimbap will fill you up, give you you the energy you need, and give you nutrients needed to keep going. Eating healthy doesn’t mean you can’t indulge, but eating food similar to what locals eat will keep you a lot healthier than deep fried street fare.
Be prepared before you travel with the appropriate vaccines, and enough hand sanitizer/wipes to wipe any public tray you’re planning to eat off of (like the one on the plane). Parasites are everywhere, and there are a plethora of ways you can get them, making sure your water sources are safe, avoiding extending barefoot outdoor activities, and using appropriate insect protection are all vital parts of evading Montezuma’s revenge. Nothing puts a bigger stink in your vacation than being stuck in the bathroom, or worse! At the hospital. Save a little money now by prepping your carry-on or backpack with sanitizing wipes and making sure you have a water source when you arrive, whether that’s bottled water, or just making sure the tap water is safe to drink.
Being safe prevents unnecessary hospital bills and a potentially wasted vacation. While sliding down a black diamond slope, hiking up the tallest mountain, and making friends with nature all sound like great vacations, be aware before you attempt these of your preparation level (mentally and physically) and the relative local danger. While koala bears might seem like a fun furry animal to make friends with, never try to hug one. There are different dangers with different locations, and being aware of what you are facing can help you stay alive.
Before you go, be prepared (home, clothing, equipment)
Are you ready for an adventure? Good! Did you prep your house before you arrived? Can you safely use the hotel wifi? And are you ready to brave the bugs and sun? Before you leave home, prepare your house by asking a neighbor to pick up your mail, leaving lights on a timer, or waiting to put up vacation photos until you’re back home. When booking your accommodations, depending on how much work or time you want to spend on the internet, making sure you have a source to plug in securely can be very important when traveling abroad.
Calling ahead can save you a lot of hassle, if you only drink bottled water, you’d surprised to hear that Yellowstone doesn’t sell it anywhere in the park (but you can buy a reusable one) or that there are huge bat migrations in Kasanka national park in Africa. Calling ahead is awesome, even if you don’t think you have to, there may be road closures on your way or weather conditions that have rapidly changed. Be prepared!
Pandas are still bears, the bison aren’t trained.
The lions are not trained, even deer will attack you, and yes, a monkey can rip your face off. While exploring it is very necessary to be aware of what animals are in the area and respecting the distance of these wild animals. Even while swimming in the ocean outside of your luxury resort you might pick up a beautiful sea shell only to be surprised by the sharp sting of the killer cone snail. Be conscious of your surroundings and google some quick tips and tricks for animals in the area. Most of all have fun, the smartest thing you can do with any wildlife is to keep a safe distance.
Short Notice Economical Locations
A lot of my advice has demanded in-advance accommodations, but if you want to explore somewhere cheap, and escape at the blink of an eye, you can explore your own neck of the woods, or take advantage of off-season, or under appreciated locations.
Staying Close to Home
If you just want to take a tiny vacation, going camping can be an economical way to escape for a minute. There are a ton of national forests and parks within driving distance, and each one offers its own excitement. In Idaho, we have hot springs galore, and in Canada camping in the Rockies can be considered a rite of passage. Finding those special places near you can give you greater appreciation of the nature around you, give you great day trip ideas, and allow for economical escapes.
There is always an off season somewhere. If you want to get more bang for your buck you can escape into a million romantic places, even Paris has its off season in February (perfect for romantic getaways). There are also a plethora of off the beaten path museums, markets, and cathedrals to explore in Eastern Europe. Places located on the edge of the old Eastern block offer historical locations of interest, and a great deal way to stretch your dollar a little further while avoiding crowds. There is a wide array of choices when looking for off season travel, especially if you like adventure!
If you want to travel on a budget, stay healthy, stay safe, and explore some of the ‘off-the-beaten-path’ locations. It’ll save you money, make your vacation better, and give you stories that no one in your town can replicate.
Mary Grace | March 22, 2016
Mary Grace lives in the beautiful Boise, Idaho. She loves hiking skiing, and everything in between. You can always tweet her @marmygrace, or email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, concerns, or just want to talk about travel!