Being unwell on holiday is certainly not fun; not being able to dive on a diving holiday is torture. Most of us will have been in this situation before, so how do you prevent sickness and keep diving.
Be A Happy Holiday Diver © Mikko Koponen
- Hydration. Dehydration starts the minute the airplane doors close. In itself, dehydration can make you feel awful, but it also contributes to a whole range of maladies and puts you at greater risk of decompression illness. Avoid alcohol, coffee, tea, and soda, and drink plenty of water. Your pee should be straw coloured, if it’s darker, drink more water.
- Air-conditioning. AC can play havoc with your sinus as the air is dry and filters can be dusty too. If you can sleep using a fan and natural air flow, it will be better but if not, use the unit wisely. Use the unit to cool the room as you go to sleep or if there is a timer consider setting it, so it just runs for a few hours. See what works best for you.
- Sleep. If you are traveling long haul, sleep disruption can start from when you leave home, and jetlag can be an issue. Don’t pressure yourself to dive, make sure you are rested first.
- Alcohol. Be conservative if you are diving the next day and make sure you hydrate. No one wants a hungover buddy, so if you fancy a party, take the day off diving and recover in the pool instead.
- Sun. Be prudent in the sun. Over exposure will cause painful burns, dehydrate you and in some cases cause sunstroke. Stay in the shade on dive boats and take a hat and sun cream.
- Food. As with alcohol, there’s a tendency to overindulge but try to maintain a healthy diet. Incorporate lots of fruits and vegetables to ensure proper nutrition. Overly spicy or greasy food can cause digestion issues which you don’t want to strike underwater.
- Ears. Warm and humid environments are infections playgrounds, and you’ll want to keep your ears free from trouble. At the minimum rinse your ears with fresh water when you get out the ocean. If you know you are prone to infection consider a stronger solution for rinsing. There are many commercial remedies available and plenty of recipes to make your own. Find out what works for you. Read our tips for happy ears.
- Vitamins. Some divers find it useful to boost their immune system by taking a multivitamin or vitamin C in the run up to and during their dive holiday. If you are prone to picking up bugs and snivels then consider this as a preventative.
- Seasickness. If you are boat diving and know you are prone to seasickness make sure you are adequately prepared with remedies suitable for you. Avoid tablets that make you drowsy and make sure you are rested, hydrated, not hungover, and do not skip meals.
- Mosquitoes. While mosquito bites are not unique to diving holidays, they are uncomfortable and can get infected easily in the tropics. Mosquitoes can carry malaria and dengue too. Take steps to avoid getting bitten; wear repellent, avoid perfumes, cover up at dusk and use plugin deterrents or burn mosquito coils if permitted.