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Travel Check List

Think about the health implications of travelling abroad. With a little careful forward planning you can be properly prepared, worry-free, and ready to enjoy your time away! Here are a few essential items for your pre-travel checklist:

Travel Health Insurance

Remember to obtain a good travel health insurance policy that will pay for the cost of any medical treatment you might need abroad. If travelling within Europe get an E111 from your post office, remembering to get it stamped and signed - this will allow you to obtain free emergency treatment within the agreed countries. BUT please note, this will not cover the costs of emergency repatriation and on-going treatment in your chosen destination.

Good Sun Sense

If you are travelling to a sunny destination remember the importance of good protection from the sun. A good sun cream is essential and should be applied every few hours and after swimming. An egg-cup amount is usually enough to cover the whole body. Try to stay out of the sun between 11:00 and 15:00 o'clock, when the sun is hottest. Any changes to skin moles should be reported to your doctor on return.

Malaria and Bite Prevention

If you are travelling to a malarial destination, see our travel nurse in plenty of time to discuss malaria prevention. Bite protection is always recommended; some destinations might also recommend anti-malarial medication along with bite prevention. Not getting bitten by mosquitoes is the best way to prevent malaria and in certain locations it is essential to use repellents and/or nets.

Vaccination Advice

Whatever your travel destination, make sure that all ‘routine vaccinations’, such as tetanus and polio, are up to date before you leave. Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccinations will also be advised for travel to most countries. If you need further vaccinations for your trip, or if you are uncertain about the requirements, see our doctor or travel nurse as soon as possible.

Preventing Traveller's Diarrhoea (by watching what you eat and drink)

At some destinations it is important to be careful with food and water. As a general rule, avoid foods that are not cooked, boiled or peeled. Also avoid buffet food that has been sitting out for hours. Drink only bottled drinks or boiled water.

Travelling with Existing Medical Conditions

If you have an existing medical condition or need medication, obtain adequate supplies for your trip. Take enough medication for the entire trip ... and a little bit more. If you need to carry needles or other drugs that could cause a problem at customs, get your doctor to write a letter explaining their use. Always carry medication in your hand luggage when travelling (in case your bags get lost) and keep a copy of your repeat prescription in case you need more medication while you are away.

Sexual Health

Sexual health is important when travelling. If you anticipate casual sex while you are away; be prepared, taking a supply of condoms from a recognised brand. Your doctor or local GUM clinic should immediately investigate any unusual itching, rash or discharge on return.

Last Thoughts

Finally, remember that safety regulations abroad might not always be to the same standards as they are at home. It may be appropriate to take a sterile Medical Pack. Always check the fire exits and balconies at your chosen destination, and make sure to check rental cars and sports equipment before using them. It is important to remain vigilant and not put you or your family and friends in a position that could compromise safety.