How do you stay healthy while travelling in the Caribbean? It’s not always a joy, as sometimes you have to experience the sour to appreciate the sweet. Striking that balance between the “new and exciting” and the “risky and unwise” is sometimes difficult, and every now and then, we all fall off the bar.
Staying healthy is an important part of making sure that your vacation is a fun, carefree experience. Here at Extreme Cabarete, we have a few guidelines for staying healthy. Follow these health tips, and you’re sure minimize your down time.
- Drink more water than you think necessary since we‘re right on the beach, close the equator, and the air and ocean are very salty. If you’re kiting all the time, hiking around or even just sunning yourself in the Caribbean sun, your body will be using that extra water to counterbalance all the heat and salt in the air and subsequently in your system.
- Wear sunscreen: this one seems obvious, but I feel compelled to mention it. If you’ve ever gotten a bad burn, you know it can stop you from doing a lot… it can keep you up at night, it can prevent you from being able to sit on the toilet comfortably, and worst of all it causes wrinkles ;)
- Watch what you eat. When you’re on vacation, it’s nice to let loose and reward yourself with some treat foods, but make sure you’re still getting all the nutrients that you need. Don’t replace your healthy 4pm veggie snack with deep fried tostonis and beer every day. Maybe try having tostonis and vegetables to ensure that you’re still getting all those vitamins and minerals that your body needs to conquer that active and exciting vacation you’re needing so badly.
- Use bottled water for drinking, brushing your teeth, washing fruit and veggies, and making tea or coffee.
- When you eat out in cabarete, think twice about eating the small side salads that come with your meals. The lettuce is often washed in tap water.
- Take it easy on the alcohol. It dehydrates you and the hangovers here can be oh so painfull.
- If you do happen to fall ill, there are a few basic steps that you can take to ensure a speedy, inexpensive recovery:
SCENARIO A: FOOD POISONING
- Get it all out. You’ll feel better if you do. Get someone to rub your back. Call your mum if you need to – even just to hear her voice.
- As soon as you can manage, go to the lab at Ocean One Plaza. They speak English and offer urine, stool and blood tests of every variety. Most are around $5. The results will be given to you the next day. It’s pretty easy to see the POSITIVO beside the relevant test .
- Once you get your results, take them to the Servimed urgent care clinic in Cabarete to see a doctor.
- If you need to go to a pharmacy, there is one in the Ocean Dream Plaza, close to Gordito’s. They are open Sundays and can fill prescriptions. If you need a 24 hour pharmacy we recommend one in Sosua.
SCENARIO B: CUTS, BURNS, GASHES
Living an active lifestyle in Cabarete can be pretty extreme. Reef surfing in the morning, moto riding in the evenings, and kiting in the afternoons can bring on various minor accidents. If you get burned by a moto tail pipe – aptly coined the Dominican Tattoo – make sure you follow these treatment steps immediately to ensure proper healing:
- Cool the burn using ice-cold water. Use filtered water with ice cubes in it. For the correct temperature, make sure the ice has just melted in the water. Pour over the burn for 15 to 30 minutes or until it stops burning.
- Clean the burn with iodine, neo sporin, or tea tree oil.
- Dress with chunks of fresh aloe vera (we have tons growing on the Extreme property) and wrap with gauze. Hint: for a natural remedy, coat the strips of aloe vera with local honey as an antiseptic.
- Repeat steps 1-4 twice daily for 1 to 2 weeks, depending on the severity of the burn. After a week or two you can stop doing step one.
For cuts and gashes, follow a similar pattern, but without the ice water. The important thing to remember is to keep the area clean and covered to protect it from the salty air and the potential of contracting a staff infection.
If you think the cut or burn may be getting infected, go to the Servimed clinic in town, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics or an anti bacterial soap, both of which will help to combat the infection.
Remember, this is your vacation, and staying healthy is an essential part. We are always happy to answer any questions, or help you find any resources!