Healthy winter travels

Lyle Karasiuk

As Saskatchewan residents we love to travel, especially in the winter. Even though it has been a mild winter, many residents have left on or soon will travel away. Whether it is for a few weeks or the entire winter, we all need to be prepared. One beautiful drink at a resort with contaminated water can make a miserable vacation or worse.

Before you leave, visit your family doctor well in advance for any preventative vaccinations. Some vaccinations like tetanus and diphtheria are a must. Many vaccinations may not be easily accessible or require time to become effective so don’t visit your doctor the week before the trip.

Of course, don’t forget your passport, as it is the safest and recognizable form of identification. It is always a good idea to ask your travel agent, tour operator or resort for guidance on safe eating and drinking practices. Off the beaten path on a personal excursion might cause great illness if you don’t take proper precautions. Contact public health at 306-765-6500 for more information about vaccinations and specific, if any, country requirements.

Do you have the right medical coverage? What if you got sick or ill and needed to see a doctor or worse had to stay in a hospital? Most insurance agents can help you find the right coverage for your needs.

Don’t assume your existing plan covers you for extend stays outside of Canada! Some plans cover only a specific period and additional or extended stay coverage is required. In Canada, we take it for granted that a trip to a doctor is covered by our provincial health plan. Not so in the United States or other vacation spots. If you do have a special medical condition that requires medication, make sure you’ve got a enough supply in a properly labeled container for your trip. Don’t assume you can “pick some up” while at your vacation destination.

If the medication is essential don’t pack it with your checked luggage should it become lost or delayed at your destination.

Along with your bathing suit and flip flops don’t forget to pack along some sun screen, mosquito repellant, a wide brimmed hat and proper clothing for all types of weather. It’s a good idea to ensure that friends and family know how to reach you in case of an emergency.

Of course, don’t forget to safe guard your home with family and friends or even a private security service but do check with your insurance agent any obligations you have on your home insurance policy.

Travel Tips:

• Watch what you eat and drink; make hot food is served hot and cold food cold especially from buffet where the temperature can vary, or food is left out for extended periods.

• Wash your hands frequently and consider hand sanitizers when possible.

• Anti-diarrhea medication

• Antihistamine

• Anti-motion sickness medication

• A generic pain medication such as ibuprofen

• A list of important phone numbers

• Spare contact lens or prescription eye glasses

The Government of Canada has some additional resources for travelers such as countries to avoid and other helpful travel information. You can visit their web site at www.travel.gc.ca.

On behalf of the staff and management of Parkland Ambulance Care, we want to wish you all safe travels. We want to also take the time to thank you and the Prince Albert Daily Herald for giving us the opportunity to be part of your read every other week in 2019. Happy New Year Everyone! May 2020 be a great New Year for us all – best wishes to each of you!