Jamaican-born travel advisor Diedre McLeod has been taking trips to foreign countries from a young age.
Her first solo travel took place after she resigned from her corporate job in Jamaica and moved to France to teach English.
Since then, she’s has lived and worked in other parts of Europe, the Americas, and several Caribbean countries, and has revisited her fave spots for leisure.
With this fervour for travel, McLeod has managed to make a business of her escapades by coaching people who share her wanderlust.
Diedre has since launched her Solo Travel Starter Course for women who want to learn how to travel alone.
“While I’m on road,” she says, “I’m a firm believer of a little goes a long way”. When packing for a trip, I try to think about simple ways to maintain a good level of health.
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These are some of the things that I pack that ensure I cover the “mind-body soul” when it comes to maintaining my health. These are McLeod’s top five recommendations for safer travels…
Medication, supplements, painkillers
Don’t take it for granted that you’re going to source your failsafe meds, supplements, or the painkiller that works best for you when you’re in a different country.
Some things that are sold over the counter in your home country may not be available in the same way at your destination.
If you have chronic illnesses then it may be better to fill a prescription so you have enough medicine that can last for the duration of your travel. Countries have different healthcare systems.
Another thing that I do which is not necessarily something that I pack is I try to find out the emergency numbers for the country or for the destination I’m going to.
Knowing who to call when there’s a health scare or an emergency is often overlooked.
You might think it’s the police but in many regions, (Europe, for example) it might be better to call the firefighters – they are often better at the emergency response in some cases than in other countries.
For women, when it comes to health, we have to think about “that time of the month”, pads vs tampons vs menstrual cups, etc.
In my experience, while pads are usually readily available, tampons can be scarce or expensive (or tourist taxed) in many countries.
Different regions have varying bathroom etiquette, and even toilet paper may not be readily available in restrooms, or bathrooms at home (take, for example, apartments in parts of Cuba that restrict TP usage). I’m not saying you need to pack toilet paper…you can buy it at the store!
However, I always pack my menstrual cup for this reason; I only need to change it every 12 hrs with a little water and soap.
Sleep health is important while you’re travelling and one thing I like to pack is magnesium and melatonin.
This helps me to prevent jet lag, reset my sleep cycle and helps me get a good night’s rest.
This way I’m not chronically fatigued while travelling, which may cause a lot of stress and irritability, and can really ruin your health long term.
Keep it moving
Pack sneakers or comfortable walking shoes. This is the simplest way to stay healthy while you’re on the road.
Just be active and keep some level of exercise going. Go hiking, walk as much as possible, and try to sneak in a quick activity or some movement as often as you can when abroad.
For more info on the Solo Travel Starter Course, visit SoloTravelStarter
Diedre McLeod is a Jamaican travel writer, business strategist, and travel coach; she blogs about her travels at Diedre in Wanderland and often shares travel tips on Instagram @diedreinwanderland.