Do you need special vaccinations for a trip to Mexico? What to do in case of illness? What about medical care at the other end of the world? What needs to be considered when it comes to drinking water? The travel diarrhea even has a name in Mexico … it’s called Montezuma’s Revenge (“La revancha de Moctezuma“).
5 Health tips for your trip to Mexico
Mexico Health: Medical Care
Mexico’s medical care is very good – maybe with exceptions in remote rural areas. In larger cities it is even excellent. Check with your insurance in advance about a travel health insurance.
Vaccinations for Mexico
You should check with the department for tropical deseases at your local hospital on necessary vaccinations before you travel to Mexico. Your vaccination protection against diphtheria, tetanus and poliomyelitis anyway should always be up-to-date even at home. For Central America, vaccination against hepatitis A and typhoid fever might probably be recommended if you are living in a country with cooler climate.
Insect bites in Mexico
In the summer months, there is a risk of transmission of dengue fever by insect bites. Therefore you might want to bring some biodegradable protection against mosquito bites on your vacation. Check with your Tropical Institute before you travel.
Drinking Water in Mexico
In tropical countries, you should NEVER drink tap water that has not been boiled before, even if it is consumed safely by the local population. The water is also often disinfected with pharmaceutical products, but chemical residues are not neutralized during this process. You might want to stick to bottled mineral water, even for cleaning your teeth. Fruits should always be peeled before eating.
However, since contact with normal water via washed salad and ice cubes is difficult to avoid, bringing medication for travel diarrhea is highly recommended. Ask your doctor at home to recommend a suitable medication before travelling!
Also take care with refreshing drinks made from natural fruits and ice cream prepared with water. Bottled commercial drinks might not be that delicious, but at least they are completely safe in terms of the water used.
In touristic areas of Mexico people are aware of this problem, and in established restaurants often disinfected water is used to prepare food and drinks. In rural areas and buying from street hawkers, you might want to be a little more careful.
Sunscreen for Mexico
Please do not forget to get yourself enough waterproof biodegradable sunscreen with a high sun protection factor, high-quality sunglasses and a sun hat before you travel. You should really use that stuff, and try to stick to shady places, especially during your first vacation days.
The more often your skin has been damaged by sunburns, the higher the risk of developing skin cancer. Therefore, you should take the first sunbathes in the shady areas and match the length of sunbathes to your skin type.
Ideally apply your sunscreen 20-30 minutes of BEFORE your sunbath. Repeated applications will NOT extend the endurance of your sunscreen. You should not go out into the sun between 11 am and 3 pm – better enjoy a great siesta! After the application of sunscreen you should also wait until it has been absorbed by your skin before you get into the water.
You should also refrain from makeup, perfume or deodorant in the sun – these products can cause ugly skin pigment changes when exposed to sunlight. And well… of course you should drink lots of water!
Do you want to know more for your trip to Mexico? Just check this post about Safety in your vacation.
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