Another hazard that you might not think about is the risk of sunburn. We’re all guilty of not slapping on the suncream as often as we should and I doubt there is anyone who hasn’t felt that all too familiar sting but it really does pay to keep on top of your SPF protection- sunburn can be so much worse than pink shoulders and a peeling nose. When severe it can cause blisters that run the risk of infection, sun stroke or even just discomfort that no amount of aftersun is going to soothe. I’m well aware of how pale my skin is and how quickly I burn so I never leave the country without factor 50 (and never go below factor 30 in the UK) and try to make a point of regular application- I’ve found setting reminders on my phone can be a real saviour!
Before you travel it’s wise to check up on the laws in the country you’re visiting. Landing a stint behind bars is more common than you’d think and often it’s down to simple ignorance and poor judgement. A few minutes research can save you a LOT of bother (thankfully arrest is one thing I have managed to avoid!)
If you’re tempted by water sports or other extreme activity do spend some time reading reviews of the companies you’re booking with and make sure they are a) qualified and reputable and b) insured. Paragliding was one of the greatest things I’ve done on holiday BUT I wouldn’t have felt at ease getting on to a boat, let alone up in the air with a company I hadn’t researched first.
If you’ve gone away with a group of friends, especially on a alcohol driven break PLEASE be sensible and don’t let anyone in your party wander off alone and be sensible when finding your way back to base. It’s all too easy to get carried away under the influence but it also makes you a very easy and vulnerable target.
One last common cause of illness and upset is food poisoning- the effects of which can last long after your plane has touched down on home turf. It’s so easy to get carried away, especially when food is cheap and the booze is flowing. Some simple things to keep in mind is to avoid buffets as a rule of thumb (especially in hot countries), stick to bottled water and order freshly prepared foods from menus where possible.
This post really is only the tip of the holiday hazard iceberg and I probably have missed many more obvious ones out as I’m mostly going from personal experience…feel free to add to the list in the comments, or regale me with tales of your holiday mishaps…