We all want to go away for the perfect holiday but many of us end up ill and wishing we were home. Being prepared will help to reduce your risk of ill health, so here is a list of things to do and check before you go and while you are away.
- European Health Insurance card (EHIC) This card will get you reduced cost health care when travelling in the EU. You can apply for a card on line free.
- Check the expiry date of your EHIC If you already have an EHIC card check the expiry date before you travel. You can renew your card on line.
- Carry your EHIC card safely with you when you are abroad To benefit from your card, if you are unlucky enough to have to use it, you will need to show it. You can’t do that if your card is back in your room.
- Adequate Travel Insurance:
Make sure you are covered for the activities in which you plan to participate.
- Vaccinations up to date:
These sometimes need to be given months before you are due to travel; so if you haven’t done so already see the Practice Nurse at your Doctors’ surgery as soon as possible.
- Medical Supplies up to date:
Ensure you have enough of your routine medications for the duration of your trip, plus a bit extra to allow for delays and check your First Aid Pack before you travel.It is also advisable to take a copy of your prescription with you.
- General Health Advice:
Take the advice given by the Practice Nurse when you visit for your vaccinations. Also use this opportunity to ask questions on general health.
- Eye/Dental check up:
Make sure your routine checks are up to date. Get any necessary work done before leaving.
- Contraceptive Advice:
Available from Intergrated Sexual Health Clinics (ISH) and your Campus Nurse. Remember if you are going to travel and have sex always use a condom/ dental dam as an extra precaution. Don’t put yourself at risk.
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases:
If you have been at risk get checked at the local ISH Clinic before you go. As above always remember to use a condom/dental dam.
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (D.V.T.):
Wear flight socks, don’t sit for too long, get up and move around. Move your feet and ankles when sitting.
- Protect you skin:
Every time the sun touches your skin, exposure to ultraviolet radiation damages cells, accelerates skin ageing and possibly triggers mutations that lead to skin cancer. In the sun: protect your skin with clothing, including a hat, T shirt and UV protective sunglasses. Stay in the shade between 11am and 3pm.Use a sunscreen of at least SPF 15 (SPF 30 for children or people with pale skin) with high UVA protection. Keep babies and young children out of direct sunlight.
- Check country destination for particular advice.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of things to think about. For further information please contact your Practice Nurse who can give you more advice dependant on your individual circumstance.This may mean referral to a Travel Health Clinic for some of the vaccinations required dependant on your planned destination.
Further information and reading at: