Your first aid kit

I was fortunate, in my entire time travelling, I only had to use a couple bandages and some antiseptic. However, it is crucial to have a well-organized medical kit in case of an emergency. Remember, when you’re travelling, the majority of the cities and towns have some kind of basic medical centres to help you out. While local food is delicious, and street vendors offer a wonderful selection of affordable local food, make sure that it hasn’t been sitting in the sun all day. Get things fresh off the grill whenever possible and check to be sure meat has been cooked thoroughly. Trust your instincts. If it looks questionable, don’t eat it. It’s better to go hungry for a few hours than to suffer from food poisoning in places with less than stellar toilet facilities.

The most important tool in the game of staying healthy while travelling is common sense. Although it is fun to see how the rest of the world lives, I personally have no desire to sample exotic diseases. Stay as clean as possible and listen to the advice of your travel nurse. They will give you guidelines on how to stay healthy. If you feel yourself getting sick or run down, take a few days to relax in your home away from home. Speaking of toilets, be prepared for anything! Your handy guidebook should detail the proper technique of using a squat, versus a flush toilet.

Always have some toilet paper and some hand disinfectant in your backpack because there is no guarantee that you’ll find any when nature calls. On the same note, always make sure you have some local currency with you as, in many countries you have to pay a few cents here and there to use the facilities. I learned this the hard way after having a rather desperate and hurried argument with one “toilet guard” in Poland.