When you’re gearing up for a trip abroad, your thoughts might turn to sun, fun and adventure, but there are some practical issues you’ll need to pay attention to as well – and your health should be front and centre of your thoughts. Holidays are the perfect excuse to let your hair down, but if you’re not careful, you could put your wellbeing in harm’s way. To ensure you don’t fall into this trap, here are three things you should put on your travel health checklist.
- A trip to a travel clinic
Depending on where you’re jetting off to, you might need to get certain vaccinations or courses of tablets to protect you against serious diseases found elsewhere in the world. You could be exposed to anything from typhoid, rabies and yellow fever to hepatitis or malaria. Give yourself plenty of time to do your research and if you think you might need jabs or medicines, aim to visit a travel clinic well before you’re due to depart. This is because certain preventative treatments need to be taken over a period of time. For example, a hepatitis B vaccine is given in three injections over a period of four weeks.
- Plenty of sun protection
Many of us love basking in the sunshine and topping up our tans, but if you overexpose yourself to the solar rays, you could end up regretting it. As well as potentially leaving with you with nasty sunburn, overexposure can increase your risk of getting skin cancer further down the line. So, when you’re packing your suitcase, make sure you include plenty of sunscreen with a suitable SPF, and take sunglasses, clothing and hats that will allow you to cover up when the sun’s at its strongest. Read up on sun protection tips too so that you know how to look after yourself when you’re abroad.
- Suitable insurance
Insurance may not be the most exciting subject in the world, and you might be hoping to keep your costs to a minimum by forgoing financial protection. However, when it comes to your health, it’s really not worth taking the risk. Without suitable cover, you could end up facing sizable bills if you unexpectedly become ill or injure yourself. If you’re travelling to somewhere in Europe and you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), you will be entitled to the same level of state medical treatment as individuals who live in the countries you visit. However, bear in mind that this may mean you have to cover some of your expenses if that’s how the local system operates. Also, the EHIC doesn’t cover repatriation.
Regardless of where you’re heading to, it’s worth investing in insurance that will mean that, should you need medical attention, you’ll be able to access it without difficulty and without incurring hefty costs.
By putting these three essentials on your travel health checklist, you can save yourself from potentially serious problems while you’re on holiday.