8 tips to make the most of your spring break in the sun

Laurent is just back from a week down south, red as a lobster, with a touch of tourista and a pounding headache.

Don't make the same mistakes as Laurent. Follow these 8 tips to make your trip a memorable one. 

BEFORE

1. Medical check

Now that you've chosen your destination, protect yourself from potentially dangerous diseases by finding out which vaccines are required or recommended. 

South and sun go hand in hand. Ask your pharmacist if any of the medication you're taking could cause a skin reaction to make sure you have additional protection. Keep your prescription medication in your carry-on and pack extras in your checked luggage. 

Note: All of your medications must have the original prescription label. 

2. Travel

Motion sickness is never fun but you can lessen its effects by: 

  • Getting a good night's sleep on the eve of your departure 
  • Eating solid food 
  • Avoiding white wine, coffee and soft drinks 
  • Selecting a seat in the middle of the aircraft 

Note: There are several products that you can buy without a prescription to help ease the symptoms of motion sickness, even for kids.  

3. Peace of mind

Comprehensive travel insurance can protect you in an emergency (healthcare, cancellation and baggage coverage) to avoid expenses that can add up fast. 

Note: Finding out about the terms and conditions and any exclusions can prevent any surprises. 

DURING

4. Heat

Going from -20°C to +25°C is a shock to your system. Give your body time to adapt to the change. Why not do what the locals do? There's a reason activities slow down between noon and 3:00 p.m.! 

Note: Try to drink up to 2 litres of water or fruit juice every day. You can drink up to 6 litres a day if you're very active or perspire a lot. But be careful with alcohol because of its dehydrating effects. 

5. Sun

Light-coloured cotton or linen clothing will keep you cool. Don't forget to cover your head too! A wide-brimmed hat provides sun protection and good quality sunglasses will filter out UV rays. 

Note: Sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more offers good protection to exposed skin.

6. Sun and surf

Although a deserted beach with no one in sight might sound idyllic, be careful and ask questions! Swimming might not be allowed. It's hard to resist the temptation to walk or play barefoot on the beach. Stick to the wet sand where it's easier to walk and there's less risk of injury, burns or infection. 

Note: Fresh water in lakes or ponds can harbour parasites that borough into skin. Be careful! 

7. Tourista

Everyone's nightmare! Even if the local water is drinkable, bottled spring water is always your best choice. Ideally, bottles should be opened in front of you skip the ice in your drinks. When it comes to food, salad bars and anything raw washed with untreated water should be avoided. 

Note: Peel fruits and vegetables and avoid those you can't, such as grapes and berries.

8. Act fast

In the event of illness or injury, contact the travel assistance service offered by your travel insurance. 

Note: Desjardins members are eligible for our free exclusive Travel Assistance service. Get advice and assistance 24/7, before and during your trip, outside your province of residence or abroad. Family members travelling with you--your spouse and children--enjoy the same benefits. 

Safe travels! 

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