Medical Advice

Medical Advice to consider before you travel

  • Apply for a European Health Insurance Card for you and your spouse/partner and any children up to the age of 16. This will allow you to obtain free or discounted healthcare whilst visiting countries within the EU. You can apply for your card by visiting www.ehic.org.uk
  • Visit your travel clinic, doctor or practice nurse at least 6-10 weeks before you leave to check the vaccination requirements of your destination. If you are travelling for more than a month, see them earlier than this.
  • Check with your airline their policy for transporting liquids used for medical purposes e.g. insulin.
  • It's worth buying a good first aid kit from your local chemist.
  • Purchase any additional medication that you might need such as travel sickness and diarrhoea tablets.
  • If you need regular medication, take enough with you to last your holiday. You should also take an extra supply which should be packed separately in-case you lose your first supply.
  • Check with your airline the restrictions of travelling with medication - each airline is different.
  • It's worth carrying with you a prescription or note from your doctor if you rely on larger amounts of medication.
  • Make sure that you purchase the appropriate insect repellent for your destination as some countries will be more prone to insects such as mosquitoes than the UK. Some sun creams and after sun lotions now contains repellent.
  • Purchase plenty of sun cream with the appropriate factor level for your skin-type and age. Take more than you think you'll need as you can always bring it home with you.
  • The Foreign Commonwealth Office is running an ongoing campaign called 'Know before you go' which will provide help and advice when preparing for a trip abroad. Visit www.fco.gov.uk/travel for further information.

Medical advice to consider during your journey

  • Flying can cause dehydration so drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol when travelling.
  • Reduce the stress that can be associated with travelling by listening carefully to safety advice given to you.
  • Carry any medication you need in your hand luggage.
  • Speak to your doctor about reducing the risk of DVT (deep vein thrombosis), particularly if you have been identified as at risk and are taking a long-haul flight.

Medical advice to consider when you arrive at your destination

  • Find out the local emergency number and the address of the nearest hospital when you arrive. Your tour company representative, local guide or accommodation manager should know.
  • Drink plenty of water in hot climates. Check that the tap water is safe to drink. To be sure, drink bottled water and avoid ice in your drinks.
  • Find out the local emergency number and the address of the nearest hospital when you arrive. Your tour company representative, local guide or accommodation manager should know.
  • Do all that you can to avoid insect bites - they can lead to many tropical diseases, some of which can be life threatening.
  • Check the depths of swimming pools and the sea, and only dive if in if you're sure the water is deep enough.
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure and in hot climates seek shade between 11am and 3pm.
  • Wear sunscreen with the appropriate level of protection for your skin type. Refer to www.cancerresearchuk.org/sunsmart for advice.
  • Cover up with clothing and don't forget to wear a hat that protects your face, neck and ears.
  • Keep babies and children out of the sun if possible. Protect them with SPF 30+, shade and clothing.