There's nothing more miserable than looking forward to a holiday for months, only to lose days or weeks of it to illness or injury. Here are a few tips for making sure you stay hale and hearty during your time away:
- Line up your jabs! As soon as you can, talk to your doctor or healthcare professional about any recommended vaccinations for your destination country. Make sure you get your jabs in good time before your departure date: some vaccinations take a few weeks or even months to give you full protection.
- Some countries require you to produce proof that you've been inoculated against particular diseases (for example, if you're travelling from Brazil to India then you'll need to produce proof that you've been vaccinated against Yellow Fever). Ask your embassy or health care professional before you travel, and carry you immunisation certificate with you in your destination country: the authorities may ask to check it.
- If your holiday plans are the adventurous sort, do double-check with your doctor before you book to take part in trekking, hiking, mountaineering or extreme sports, and make sure that your health and fitness levels are high enough to undertake the activity without danger to yourself or others. TripLocator and our suppliers may be able to offer you some guidance about whether a particular package or travel experience is likely to be “for you”.
- If you're travelling in remote areas, consider bringing your own first-aid kit. Useful contents include bandages, (blister) plasters, tape, tubigrips, antiseptic cream, rehydration salts, Imodium, painkillers and scissors.
- Enjoy the local cuisine...but be a bit gentle with yourself. Even if you feel like a local by Day 2, your stomach may disagree! Eat in places where you're confident about the hygiene (you can always ask other travellers for their recommendations), and give fruit or veg a good wash before you partake. Be especially careful about water - make sure bottled water is still sealed! - and remember that scrummy street food may not always be the most hygienic.
- If you do fall ill abroad, this is where your travel insurance will come into its own. Make sure you're covered for hospital and emergency medical treatment, transport to hospital (ambulances can cost more than you'd think), and repatriation (being sent home) if you need urgent treatment in your own country or if your illness causes you to miss your flight.