Holidays are all about making memories and experiences. Don’t let your experience be an illness or injury that can ruin your holiday. Follow these travel tips to stay healthy while abroad and make the most of your holiday.
- Check the smartraveller website: this website has all the information you need on travel warnings including political, environmental and health risks for your particular destination as well as travel tips and vaccination requirements for your destination.
- Consult your GP before booking travel if you are pregnant or have pre existing medical conditions which could pose a risk while travelling (eg heart conditions, cancer).
- Check the immunisation requirements for the country/countries that you are travelling to. Some Asian, African and South American countries require Hepatitis A/B vaccinations plus Typhoid and Cholera and a round of anti Malaria medication.. Vaccinations generally need to be taken 6-8 weeks prior to travel in order to be effective.
- Take out travel insurance for yourself and your family, so that in the unfortunate event that you require medical treatment abroad, your travel insurance covers it and you don’t bring a hefty overseas medical bill back home as a souvenir. Remember that travel insurance generally does not cover pre-existing conditions.
- Ensure you carry a sufficient supply plus prescriptions for any medication that you are taking. This includes prescription medication, travel sickness tablets, antibiotic, contact lenses, insulin, ventilators for asthmatics, high blood pressure medication, painkillers etc. As a precautionary measure-also pack: bandages and antiseptic cream, aeroguard, sunscreen, hydralyte sachets, immodium, cold & flu tablets, paracetamol, tissues and antacid.
- When travelling on long haul flights, ensure that you drink lots of water, get up and do leg exercises/walk up and down the aisles frequently, eat lightly and healthily and try to get plenty of rest the day before the flight and on the flight.
- Drink bottled or boiled water and avoid salads, raw fish, rare or under cooked meat, iced beverages and fruit that may have been washed in tap water in Asian, South American and African countries. Eat food that has been fully cooked and in restaurants where there is high turnover.
- Ensure you apply sunscreen, wear a hat and carry plenty of bottled water when travelling in hot countries. Avoid extensive sun exposure in the middle of the day to avoid heat stroke or dehydration. Try to book tours in air conditioned coaches in extra hot countries. If you do happen to get sunburned, apply aloe vera oil to your burnt skin.
- At night, avoid going off the beaten track and into deserted areas alone. Do not accept drinks from “friendly” strangers. Do not pet any stray animals such as dogs or monkeys.
- Wear lightweight long pants and a light long sleeved shirt to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes in Malaria and Dengue Fever prevalent areas.
- Ensure you pack plenty of warm/waterproof clothing when travelling in Winter, particularly to North America and Europe. Thermals are a great idea as they are lightweight and warm.
- If you are prone to travel sickness, take travel sickness tablets at least 30 minutes before departure. My favourite brand is Kwells-for someone who is as prone to motion sickness as I am, I felt fine even in the most treacherous of boat trips to Rotnest Island and the Great Barrier Reef. Plus, unlike other travel sickness brands such as travelcalm, they do not have any side effects such as drowsiness, so I did not miss out on anything!
- Be careful where you swim as tainted water can also cause illness. Additionally, in areas such as tropical North Queensland, only swim in netted areas particularly during the Summer to avoid being stung by a Stinger, shark or crocodile attacks! Consider wearing a Stinger suit if you choose to go outside of these areas.
- Avoid contact with wild animals; as these can spread disease such as Rabies, Avian Flu & Swine Flu.
Now you are all set! Have a safe and healthy trip!