Holidays offer the perfect opportunity to relax and unwind, but there are certain practical issues that you can’t afford to ignore even when you’re trying to get away from it all and enjoy a well-earned break. For example, it’s important that you protect your health when you’re abroad. To help ensure you stay safe on your next break, take a look at this holiday health checklist.
Get the right travel vaccinations and medicines
Depending on where you’re travelling to, you might be at risk of contracting a range of potentially serious diseases. This means that before you set off, you’ll need to find out if you need any travel vaccinations or medicines. Health experts recommend seeking medical advice four to six weeks before you set off, especially if you may need vaccinations.
Malaria is one disease to watch out for. Common in tropical countries, it is spread by night-biting female mosquitoes. One form of protection that you might benefit from taking is Doxycycline. This medicine kills the malaria parasite and if offers protection from one to two days after you start your course.
Other diseases that you may need protection from could include dengue, typhoid, yellow fever, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, rabies and meningitis.
Steer clear of food or drink that could be contaminated
Contaminated food and water can also be a major health risk when you’re away on holiday. In fact, travellers’ diarrhoea (TD) is one of the most common illnesses among vacationers. It’s usually caused by foods that have not been thoroughly heated through or those that have been left out at room temperature. To reduce your risk of TD, it’s important to follow safe food and water hygiene practices. Meanwhile, in case you do fall sick, it’s a good idea to have some rehydration medicines with you to speed up your recovery.
Cover up in the sun
One of your main reasons for taking a holiday might be to enjoy some sunshine and top up your tan. However, it’s important to be safe in the sun. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, and the higher the SPF, the better. Make sure the cream is still in date too. Most of these products have a shelf life of two years. You should also try to avoid direct sunlight in the middle of the day between 11am and 3pm if possible. During these times, it’s best to be indoors or under shade.
If you do get sunburnt, you can ease the pain and inflammation with medicines like paracetamol or ibuprofen. It also helps to apply after sun or soothing calamine lotion.
Think about getting health insurance for your trips as well. It can be impossible to predict if and when you’ll need medical assistance abroad and if you lack suitable cover, you could end up facing sizeable bills.
As long as you follow advice like this, you should be able to protect your health on holiday.