You’ve got your passports, flight tickets and reservations sorted, and you’ve got copies of your travel and health insurance for your trip. You’re all set and ready to go – but before you head off for the sun-kissed beaches of some tropical paradise, check that you’ve done everything you need to, to take care of your health when you’re on holiday. Health insurance for travellers is important because it will help you if you fall seriously ill or have an accident when away, but it’s not going to cover every possible eventuality. Do yourself a favour and take steps to prevent and manage all those other possibilities.
Taking your medications with you
If you take prescription meds, it might not occur to you that some of them may be restricted substances. You need to check whether what you take is permitted wherever you’re travelling to, and ask your doctor for advice if there are any restrictions in place on your regular medications. The next thing to do is to make sure you have enough medication to last you not just for the time you’re due to be away, but extra supplies just in case you have delayed flights or weather problems that prevent you getting home on time. Take regular drugs such as blood pressure medications onto the plane in your hand luggage if possible, so you have them to hand if you need them, and they are less likely to get lost. It’s not unheard of for luggage to end up in an entirely different location, which is inconvenient if it’s a suitcase with your clothes in but could be very stressful and difficult to sort out if you’ve left your meds in there as well.
Find out about health advice for your destination
Along with looking for the best places to eat and all the sightseeing attractions, do some research to find out if there are any health advisories in place. For example, in some countries, you may be advised not to drink tap water but to stick to boiled and bottled water. This would also apply to food that has been washed using the local water supply, like salads. There could be certain foods that are commonly eaten at your resort which you are advised to avoid, for example, puffer fish, which is considered a delicacy in Japan but unless prepared with extreme care, can be deadly. You should also be clear on how the local health system operates and how reliable it is, so that should there be a need to seek medical advice you know where to go for the most effective assistance.
Preventing health problems occurring in the first place is the best insurance against suffering from illness and injury when you are away. Use sun cream and keep shaded from extreme temperatures; don’t take risks with your safety; don’t overdo the food or the alcohol, and keep yourself hydrated. Taking these simple steps to look after yourself will help to ensure that you have an enjoyable and healthy trip.