6 Things to Consider When Planning and Enjoying a Cruise Trip

Planning a Cruise to relax and see the world? Don’t spoil your vacation with an unexpected illness. Follow our tips for a safe and healthy trip abroad!

1. Bring a hand sanitizer and wash your hands.

The most effective way to avoid getting Norovirus or other illnesses, is to thoroughly wash your hands. After using the washroom, before/after eating, and when returning to the ship after a day in port. Hand sanitizers are a good idea, but remember that using a hand sanitizer is not a replacement for basic hand-washing.

2. Pack sunscreen & repellent.

Plan on enjoying some water sports or simply lounging by the poolside? Don’t get burned. You can easily get burned just by walking the streets of Europe in the summer so pack that sunscreen. If you are traveling to where mosquitoes are a problem, apply the mosquito repellent 30 minutes after applying sunscreen. Dengue fever, a mosquito-borne disease occurring in tropical and subtropical areas, is present in most places that cruise ships travel to (with the exception of the Mediterranean and Baltic cruises). Dengue fever as well as other diseases will be discussed in detail (based on your itinerary) when you visit the VCH Travel Clinic for your assessment appointment and same-day vaccinations.

3. Get vaccinated.

Of course the VCH Travel Clinic would remind you to get your routine and travel-specific vaccines up to date. We just waited until #3 this time. Here’s how to get started.

4. Drink the water.

Stay hydrated = stay healthy. You can buy beverages ashore. But by bringing a reusable water bottle and filling it up in the ship’s restaurant, you can save some money. A sports drink like Gatorade, which contains electrolytes is also a good way to prevent dehydration — especially if you plan on being active in the sun. Alcohol can also dehydrate you, so if you plan to spend plenty of time at the bar, make sure you swap your beer for a glass of water every so often.

5. Don’t drink the (local) water.

In certain destination, the local water may not be safe to drink. Check ahead of time — if you are doing a travel consult with one our our doctors, they will be sure to go over these precautions with you. If you are traveling to destinations that do not have safe drinking water, you would have to find bottled (sealed) water and/or boil your water prior to drinking.

6. Fight jet lag.

Consider arriving early to give yourself an extra day or two to rest. Compression socks are another way to help with long periods of sitting/traveling. They aid in reducing swelling and leg fatigue. Dr. Segal makes these and with some funky designs too.


If you are traveling, contact us at 604-736-9244 (before 5pm daily) to book your appointment. We are fully staffed to get your assessment, prescriptions, and vaccinations covered all in one visit.

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