Awareness essentially means understanding. In this case, we want you to understand mosquitoes in terms of traveling because even if you’re traveling, you need to be aware of what mosquito-borne diseases you can acquire during your trip.
Mosquitoes definitely don’t differentiate between locals and visitors when choosing their victims. To them, blood is blood. So, in this article, we’ve compiled some useful travel tips you can use before traveling to help protect you from mosquitoes and the illnesses associated with them.
Do your research!
First and foremost, before you travel you really need to do some research about your destination. This is especially true if you’re heading to more exotic places such as Africa, It’s also true if you’re heading to any other place that is significantly different from the environment and climate you live in.
There are quite a few countries that require visitors to be vaccinated to enter. Other countries don’t require anything, so you’ll need to figure out which vaccines to get on your own. No matter what, you need to make sure that you do your research. There are a lot of websites out there to help you, like this page from the CDC.
Start planning about 2 months in advance
Make sure that you give yourself enough time to sort everything out before traveling. This means you should give yourself a minimum of six weeks to plan, but it’s probably best to start planning about two months before your trip.
You should also visit your family doctor to make sure that you’ve done everything that you need to do and are fully prepared and vaccinated. If you’re going to a region affected by malaria, you can even ask for special tablets that will protect you. Even if mosquitoes do bite you, these tablets will stop the disease from taking hold.
Don’t forget to research the food and water
Along with vaccines and general knowledge about the area, you should also research the food and water in the place(s) you’ll be visiting.
One big question that you need to ask yourself is “Is the tap water safe to drink?” When you know the answer to this question, you can make further plans. For example, if the tap water isn’t safe to drink, then you also shouldn’t brush your teeth with that water to avoid any illnesses.
Consider the food in these countries, too. We’re not only talking about what you like or don’t like to eat. You need to consider your allergies and find out which local dishes might contain the items you are allergic to.
You should also find out which foods might not safe to eat for an inexperienced foodie. Your stomach simply won’t be able to handle those and you’ll have to spend part of your trip with a severe stomachache, traveler’s diarrhea, or worse. And, of course, to avoid travel disasters, don’t eat any questionable fruit, vegetables, or even unpasteurized milk products, etc.
Take a mosquito repellent with you or plan to buy it there
Now that your stomach is safe, let’s return to mosquito-related tips. Make sure you either take some mosquito repellent with you or plan to buy it there. Some countries have areas that are heavily infested with mosquitoes. Even if you’ve been bitten by many mosquitoes previously, a large number of mosquito bites can cause an allergic reaction or even illness.
Also, try to stay indoors during dusk and dawn in the areas where there are massive amounts of mosquitoes. Doing so will further lessen your chances of mosquito bites. This, in turn, will help you not get malaria or the West Nile virus, for example.
Choose your clothing carefully
Another good travel tip is to pack long clothing that covers your legs and arms. This clothing should be loose, too. It’s easier for mosquitoes to bite through skintight clothing than loose clothing that only touches your skin in some places.
If there is a mosquito net in your sleeping quarters, use it. It’s there for a reason, not just for decoration.
Consider investing in travel insurance
Finally, sort out your travel insurance before your trip. If anything happens during your vacation, this will ensure that you’re covered and can get the treatment you need at that moment.