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Coronavirus Update Ireland

Coronavirus Update Ireland

Coronavirus Update Ireland 2

This blog will aim to serve as a source of information for Covid-19 or Coronavirus. This blog will be updated as often as required.

The focus of this blog will be medical opinion and medical advice only. Only authoritative sources will be used. Read on below for the latest Coronavirus Update Ireland.

Update: 12th April 2021

In December, the Irish government announced that Ireland would enter Level 5 restrictions to reduce the spread of coronavirus and in particular, the new variants of the virus. Level 5 restrictions remain in place but, as of the 12th April, the following easing of restrictions have been introduced.

  • From the 12th April, all students will return to schools, both primary and secondary, for the first time since December.
  • People from two households can meet up outdoors for social and recreational purposes but this does not include meeting up in private gardens, in order to avoid situations arising where people would gather indoors.
  • People can now travel within their county or within 20km of their home if crossing county boundaries
  • Building work on residential projects can also recommence, as well as construction on childcare and early learning facilities.
  • Parents are asked to continue to be vigilant for the remainder of the Easter break and following the return to school. In particular, parents are requested to avoid playdates or sleepovers so that we can continue to keep case numbers as low as possible and continue with the next phase of the reopening of schools

Under the new, eased, Level 5 restrictions, people are urged to stay local where possible and stay vigilant to minimise the risk of spreading COVID-19 to your friends, families and communities.

As of Sunday (11 April), there have been 1,058,394 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered in Ireland:

  • 745,363 people have received their first dose
  • 313,031 people have received their second dose

It remains in place that only essential retail will remain open under Level 5 restrictions. Click and collect from non-essential retail outlets will no longer be permitted after existing orders are fulfilled. Click and deliver will continue.

Non-essential international travel is a breach to Level 5 rules, the government has agreed to introduce a number of measures aimed at reducing the risk it poses, including increases in the penalties for those who break the restrictions as well as an increase in Garda checkpoints to enforce this.

Thank you for reading our blog Coronavirus Update in Ireland. For more information on coronavirus please visit www.tmb.ie. To find out more about the COVID-19 restrictions in Ireland please visit www.gov.ie. You can download the COVID Tracker app here.

Travel after Coronavirus

Travel after Coronavirus

travel after coronavirus

As Ireland and countries all over the world battle the third wave of Coronavirus, travel has been stopped in its tracks. Airlines are grounded, hotels are closed, and cruise ships are docked. When will travel start again? What will travel look like post Covid? Many experts are advising it could be as far away as September 2021 before we start to see holidaymakers jetting off for some Autumn sun. However, when travel does begin again, it will be very different to what we were used to before the COVID-19 pandemic. Read on below to find out what industry experts are predicting travel after coronavirus will look like…

Rapid COVID-19 Testing in Airports

Many countries, Ireland included, have implemented regulations which require arriving travellers to provide a negative PCR test result up to 72 hours before arrival.

PCR testing can be costly for passengers and many travel and medical experts predict that they may be replaced with Rapid Antigen Tests as they have been in some countries across the world, including the Canary Islands  when travelling from a green or orange region as per the EU traffic light system.

travel after coronavirus

Compulsory Masks When Flying

At the moment, most airlines require passengers and crew to wear a face mask or face covering  in order to travel. It is expected that this will continue until vaccination roll out has been widespread across the globe.

What will travel look like after Coronavirus?

Seat Sales to Encourage Travel

In the past, post SARS, 9/11 and the 2008 crash, all airlines introduced big sales to encourage bookings. Covid-19 is obviously a very different situation, but headline grabbing sales will stimulate demand. At the moment, many of the flights that are running are priced at a huge discount.

Check out this Business Traveller interview with Richard Tams, Tailwind Advisory where he says “the promotions are going to be a combination of garnering people’s interest in flying again and capturing people’s imaginations for foreign parts and warmer climates.travel after coronavirus

Gradual Opening of Routes and Destinations

Unfortunately, there is no switch which will turn every route back on and open every destination back up. This will be a gradual process which will be done in stages. It is expected that long haul routes will start at two to three times per week initially – daily frequencies will not happen for a long time.

travel after coronavirus

Staycations and Short Haul

As restrictions eased in Summer 2020, staycations became a huge trend in Ireland, with people rediscovering the beauty of our country. This trend is expected to continue once restrictions are lifted during 2021.

For holidaymakers that are confident enough to travel by plane, short haul destinations will be very popular. This trend is very evident in parts of Asia, where citizens are slowly returning to normal and starting to travel again.

Immunity Certificates

Once vaccinated, travellers may be required to present immunity certificates at the airport. During the pandemic, the Tropical Medical Bureau Group, TMB (IE), Nomad Travel (UK), in association with pharmaceutical and vaccine partners, propose that guidelines in regard to an immunity certificate for COVID-19 must be developed urgently to allow policy makers and public health bodies provide a globally accepted certification of immunity.

travel after coronavirus

Cleanliness and Hygiene

Hotels, airlines, airports and cruise ships will all need to address their previous cleaning and hygiene protocols and ask themselves “are we doing enough?”. Many countries, such as Portugal, have developed a stamp which certifies businesses who are following appropriate cleaning and hygiene practices.

All areas that travellers interact with will need to continue to be cleaned to the highest standard to ensure the confidence and comfort of passengers and guests. You can expect to continue seeing hand sanitiser everywhere you go.

Life will slowly return to normal, albeit a new normal, and people will start to travel again. What we do now determines how soon this new normal will arrive. So, stay home, stay safe, wear your mask and wash your hands! Are you currently working from home? Read our blog on ‘how to stay healthy at home’ here.

 

How to stay healthy while working from home

How to stay healthy while working from home

how-to-stay-healthy-while-working-from-home

With most of the country now working from home, more and more people are wondering how to stay healthy during this stressful time. Yes, you can exercise every day and try to eat right, but there are also several other things you should pay attention to in order to keep yourself safe and well while you work from home. We spoke to our resident Doctors and Nurses at TMB who shared the following tips with us.

Comply with Government Advice and Warnings

The government has said that you should ‘stay home as much as possible’. They have also said that gatherings of 4 or more people are now banned, unless they are from the same household. You should only leave home for essential travel such as grocery shopping – and even that should be as little as possible. Avoid public transport where possible.

Wash your hands

This message has not changed. Continue to wash your hands on a regular basis with soap and water, or with an alcohol-based solution. This will definitely help to kill viruses that may be on your hands.

Clean Packaging

Clean any vegetable packaging, or other plastic packaging, with an antibacterial wipe (plastic) before opening. Always wash your hands after handling loose fruit and vegetables, or anything else that other people may have handled, at the supermarket.

Stay Hydrated

When working from home it is very important to stay hydrated. Keep a pint glass on your desk and continue to refill it– aim to drink at least 4 pints throughout the day. Staying hydrated will keep you alert, keep joints lubricated, regulate your body temperate and assist in removing waste. This is one of our top tips for how to stay healthy when working at home.

Nutrition – Don’t Overeat

When working at home it can be so easy to snack your way through the day! Try and fill the house with healthy snacks such as nuts or fruit. Prep your lunch the night before. Get into a routine with your meals. Eat regularly throughout the day.

Take a lunch break

This one is important. Try and get away from your desk and get some fresh air. Eat your lunch in the back garden. Read a book. Listen to a podcast. Whatever you do, just be sure to take a break.

Mind your Mental Health

Whether it’s yoga, sudoku, crosswords, reading or listening to an audiobook, keeping your brain active and not completely focused on COVID-19 news is very important. The HSE has several resources here on minding your mental health.

Ticks

If you are taking advantage of the good weather and working in the garden, then one thing to be aware of is ticks. Wearing long slacks tucked into your trousers will help in warding off unwanted ticks. Checking your body for ticks after a day in the garden is also advised.

Wear SPF 

If you are eating lunch in the garden or tending to the flower beds it is important that you protect yourself against the harmful rays of the sun. Make sure that you apply sunscreen and wear a hat where possible.

For more travel health tips and advice call your local TMB clinic and book in to speak with one of our qualified professionals. 

To book an appointment for vaccinations and see a list of our base and associate clinics, please contact Tropical Medical Bureau on 00-353-1-2715-200 or visit our website www.tmb.ie

 

Coronavirus Facts and Myths

Coronavirus Facts and Myths

coronavirus facts and myths

The coronavirus, Covid-19, was first recognised in December 2019 in China and now has been reported in over 219 countries and territories throughout the world. As Ireland faces it’s third wave of the virus, social media continues to overflow with advice regarding Covid-19, and the facts which we should be trusting are often diluted by the mass of misinformation and doing the rounds. Because of this, we have decided to put together this blog of Coronavirus facts and myths.

So, let’s try to dispel some of the more common myths which are circulating and see can we get a bit of perspective to the situation…

Myth – Getting COVID-19 is a death sentence

For most people, COVID-19 infection will cause a mild illness however, it can make other people very sick and can be fatal. This is mainly for the more vulnerable people – those who have an underlying health condition or are in older age. This is why it’s crucial to be more careful around vulnerable individuals, to reduce the risk of them contracting the virus.

Myth – If one person on a plane or in a train has the disease everybody will be infected

In line with government guidelines, face coverings are now mandatory on public transport in Ireland and on many airlines. Wearing a face covering can significantly lower the risk of spreading or contracting the virus by reducing the spread of respiratory droplets. For more information on face coverings and a full list of locations where a face covering is mandatory please visit Gov.ie.

For air travel, many airplanes are fitted with HEPA filters which capture more than 99% of airborne particles and have great ventilation systems consistently refreshing the air in the cabin which can reduce the spread of COVID-19 on board.

Myth – Hand gels are the best means of protecting myself

While good quality, alcohol-based hand-gels are very helpful to reduce the risk of COVID-19, careful washing of your hands, avoiding touching your face and staying away from those with obvious symptoms (flu like illness, coughing, runny eyes, fever etc) is the best way to avoid contracting the virus.

Please Note: hand gels are not effective if your hands are visibly soiled or very dirty.

Myth – If I buy food in the supermarket and then boil or cook it for our meals that should kill any virus that might be lurking

This is true but, the problem may be from you handling the food before it is heated. Take care and wash your own hands regularly after touching anything which could have been contaminated. This is why it’s vital to ensure good hand hygiene by washing your hands thoroughly or using an alcohol-based hand gel after being in a shop, using public transport or after being on an escalator.

Myth – The new coronavirus can be transmitted through goods manufactured in China or any country reporting COVID-19 cases

Experiments have shown that the virus causing COVID-19 can survive on cardboard for up to 24 hours. However, there have been no evidence of COVID-19 transmissions through contaminated packages. It is still recommended that when receiving packages or mail to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub after touching it.

Myth – COVID-19 can be transmitted through mosquito bites

Coronavirus cannot be transmitted through mosquito bites. To date there has been no information nor evidence to suggest that it could be transmitted by mosquitoes. COVID-19 is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.

Myth – Eating garlic can help prevent infection of the new coronavirus

Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence to suggest that eating garlic has protected people from coronavirus Covid-19.

For more information on COVID-19 or to book your COVID-19 PCR test, please visit our website www.tmb.ie

How to Stay Safe from Coronavirus While on Public Transport

How to Stay Safe from Coronavirus While on Public Transport

how to stay safe from coronavirus on public transport

As Ireland faces it’s third wave of COVID-19 it is vital we continue to protect ourselves and vulnerable members of our society by working to reduce the spread of the virus in Ireland. Read on to learn some tips on how to stay safe from coronavirus while on public transport…

Wear Face Coverings

In line with Government guidance, wearing a face mask or face covering is mandatory on public transport. It is also being encouraged to use face coverings in other situations where it is difficult to maintain social distance, like while waiting at the bus stop or on the train platform. Wearing a face mask may help prevent people who don’t know they have COVID-19 by reducing the spread of respiratory droplets, increasing protection for other passengers on public transport as well as staff.

For more information on face coverings please see Gov.ie Guidance on safe use of face coverings.

Maintain Good Hand Hygiene

One of the most effective ways to stay safe from coronavirus while on public transport is by maintaining good hand hygiene. Using an alcohol-based hand rub regularly while on-the-go is a great way to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19. It is also advised to touch as few surfaces as possible and to avoid touching your face with your hands. If you are coughing or sneezing, be sure to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. Throw the used tissue away into a closed bin and sanitise your hands. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your flexed (bent) elbow and sanitise your hands.

Social Distancing

At times it may be difficult to maintain the recommended social distance of 2 metres from others while on public transport. If you cannot keep this distance, it is encouraged to maintain a 1 metre distance where possible, in particular at entrances, exits, at bus stops, platforms or outside of stations. When on public transport, it is also recommended to travel side by side or behind other people rather than facing them to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Prepare for your Trip

Preparation is key to staying safe from coronavirus on public transport. By planning trips correctly, passengers can significantly reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19, this includes ensuring you have everything required to travel; face covering; alcohol-based hand gel; and avoiding peak travel times where possible. You can also use Google Maps to estimates busyness on public transport. This feature allows users to see how crowded a certain bus or train line tends to be at particular times. This is a great way for public transport users to avoid crowds or find an alternative, safer route or different travel time.

More details on Google Maps’ safety features can be found here.

For more COVID-19 travel health tips and advice please visit our website www.tmb.ie.

Government 5-day Quarantine Clearance Requirements

Government 5-day Quarantine Clearance Requirements

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Amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic, Ireland, along with other EU Member States, adopted the EU ‘Traffic Light’ approach to travel within the European Union, European Economic Area and United Kingdom. This system came into effect from the 13th October 2020 and allows greater freedom for short-haul travel from Ireland, while minimising the risk of spreading COVID-19.

The implementation of this system now allows individuals travelling from certain regions to avoid the previous 14-day self-isolation period by providing confirmation of a negative COVID-19 PCR test, 5 days after arriving in Ireland. This must be at the individual’s own expense, assuming the person has no symptoms a private covid test is required so as not to put a strain on HSE resources.

Read on to find out more about the new Government 5-day quarantine clearance requirements…

The EU ‘Traffic Light’ system is based on a combined indicator map which is updated weekly by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). This map categorises regions as either green, orange, red or grey depending on their COVID-19 rates of infection. Restrictions when travelling to and from regions within the map depends on the categorisation of the region.

Source: CitizensInformation.ie

Source: CitizensInformation.ie

Under this system, individuals travelling from a ‘green’ region do not have to restrict movements on arrival in Ireland. Individuals travelling from an ‘orange’ region do not have to restrict movement if they can show a negative PCR test in the 3 days before arriving to Ireland.

Individuals arriving in Ireland from an ‘orange’, ‘red’ or ‘grey’ region can stop restricting movements by getting a negative PCR test 5 days or more after arrival in Ireland. Please note, individuals must restrict their movements until they receive the PCR test result.

On the 8th December 2020, TMB launched a Drive Through COVID-19 testing facility at Leopardstown Racecourse, Dublin. In association with Plusvital Laboratory, TMB are providing an express RT-PCR screening service with a guaranteed result and Covid-19 travel clearance certification available within 24 hours. TMB’s drive through PCR test is priced at €120 per person, certification included. This drive through testing facility is designed to provide a quick, convenient, and safe way for those planning flights or those returning to Ireland to allow them to benefit from the newly introduced Government 5-day quarantine clearance requirements.

Thank you for reading our blog Government 5-day quarantine clearance requirements. Book your drive through PCR test appointment or an in-clinic PCR test today with Tropical Medical Bureau.

Current International Travel Restrictions (COVID-19)

Current International Travel Restrictions (COVID-19)

ethan-mcarthur-8KLLgqHMAv4-unsplashAs borders continue reopen and countries welcome visitors once again, international travel restrictions have been put in place worldwide to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

If you are planning to travel abroad, take a look at our list of the current international travel restrictions related to COVID-19. Listed alphabetically, this comprehensive catalogue outlines the current international travel restrictions for individuals travelling from Ireland.

Please note, these restrictions vary country-to-country and are subject to change at short notice. Individuals are urged to check with the Department of Foreign Affairs and their travel provider for the most accurate and up to date information.

Country Requirements Details
Abu Dhabi 48 hours From 27 August, the Abu Dhabi government announced that entry to the emirate will be granted to those able to demonstrate receipt of a negative PCR Covid-19 test result within the previous 48 hours. A negative DPI laser test result received within 48 hours is acceptable if accompanied by a prior negative PCR test result received within 6 days.
Austria 72 hours Travellers need 1 x PCR test no older than 72 hours from flight. They also need their specific country certificate form completed. Must show medical certificate with micro-biological test no more than 4 days old. Coronavirus tests are available for €190 on arrival at Vienna Airport. If you wish to be tested at the airport, you must book an appointment in advance.
Azerbaijan 48 hours Entry to Azerbaijan requires a negative COVID-19 test certificate issued within 48 hours of your flight. You will need a paper copy or print out to show on arrival. A further test may be required on arrival to Azerbaijan
Bangladesh 72 hours On arrival in Bangladesh, all foreign nationals are required to produce a medical certificate issued within 72 hours of travel indicating the passenger is COVID-19 negative.
Barbados 72 hours Ireland has shifted to the ‘high risk’ category level relative to entry into Barbados, which has led to a change in entry requirements effective 1st October 2020 and will remain in place over the next two weeks.

 

All travellers must have a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival.

After arrival on the Island, visitors will take a second PCR test. Tests can be done free of charge at any Government health care facility or for a fee at private healthcare facilities. There are also mobile services available to make it easy for guests to have options. The test is administered between day 4 to 5 after taking the first test in Ireland or the UK. Test results in Barbados are usually returned overnight without any challenges.

While awaiting the second test, visitors will have restricted movement and remain on the grounds of their hotel, resort or villa.

 

Brazil Entry to Brazil is prohibited except for:

Brazilian nationals and foreign nationals with valid residency visas for Brazil Foreign spouses, children, parents or guardians of a Brazilian national. Other exceptions may apply.

In some cases, you will need to show a Covid-19 negative test result to your airline before boarding a flight to Brazil.

Cambodia 72 hours All foreign nationals arriving in Cambodia will now be subject to a COVID-19 test on arrival (as well as requiring a Covid negative test before flying). You will be required to remain at a government facility until the results are known, which may include an overnight stay.
Cyprus 72 hours As of 28th August 2020, Ireland is in Cyprus’ Category B: this means that tourists are permitted to travel to Cyprus, but they need to provide a negative COVID-19 test result on arrival, obtained within 72 hours before travel.

Cyprus is no longer on Ireland’s Green List, and those arriving in Ireland from Cyprus must restrict their movements for 14 days on their return.

 

Dubai 96 hours before departure for test, 72 hours for certificate The UAE authorities have stated that with effect from 11 August, all citizens, returning residents, transit passengers and tourists have to undertake a COVID-19 PCR test in the country they are currently in and have proof of a negative result before travelling to the UAE.

 

The test must be a PCR swab test. Other test results including antibody tests are not accepted. The test must have been carried out within 96 hours of departure. The test result is required for travellers from all countries arriving at all airports in the UAE.

 

Estonia Citizens and residents of the European Union, the Schengen area, the UK, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican, and individuals with a long-stay visa and their family members if they show no symptoms of COVID-19 are allowed to travel to Estonia.

 

These travellers are not required to self-isolate or show a negative PCR test on arrival.

 

Equatorial Guinea 48 hours You must have proof of a negative coronavirus test taken within 48 hours prior to arrival. If you do not have this, you will be tested in the airport by a doctor at a cost of approximately £200 Diplomatic missions and international organisations must communicate to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation within a reasonable time the list of their personnel and family members, indicating the date of arrival, the flight number and the place of origin.
Ethiopia 72 hours All passengers arriving into the country are subject to mandatory self-isolation or quarantine.

Passengers carrying a negative PCR Covid-19 test certificate dated within the previous 120 hours (5 days) are required to self-isolate at home for 14 days. Only PCR tests will be accepted. You will be tested again upon arrival. You may need to demonstrate you have such a test certificate before boarding your flight.

Finland Travellers arriving to Finland from Andorra, Bulgaria, Ireland, Croatia, Cyprus, Romania, San Marino and the United Kingdom and Monaco are advised by the Finnish Border Guard to only travel to Finland for work related or essential travel.

 

All travellers are required to quarantine for 14 days on arrival to Finland. Please note that in Finland, the quarantine recommendation is valid even if you have been tested for coronavirus and received a negative result.

As per the latest update,  Finland has been removed from Ireland’s Green List and therefore travellers returning from Finland to Ireland must restrict their movements for 14 days.

France Travellers arriving in France from the European Union, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, United Kingdom and Uruguay are no longer required to self-isolate, or to demonstrate their travel is essential.

 

Arrivals by sea and air routes will need to complete a ‘sworn statement’ (déclaration sur l’honneur) form self-certifying they are not suffering from symptoms associated with Covid-19 and have not been in contact with confirmed cases in the preceding fortnight.

 

Germany  72 hours  

As of 24th September, Dublin has been added to Germany’s “High Risk” list.  This means that there are specific restrictions in place for people travelling from Dublin into Germany, and for anyone who was in Dublin (or other High Risk areas) in the 14 days leading up to entry into Germany.

If you are travelling to Germany from Dublin or from any other High Risk area, you will be required to take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival.  Tests are generally available at the airport and are free of charge.  You must then in all cases proceed immediately to your place of residence and remain in quarantine until your test result is communicated to you.  This can take a couple of days. If the test is negative, you will not have to quarantine further, but you may have to take a second test a few days later.

As from the 28th September, Germany is no longer included on Ireland’s green list and individuals returning from Germany to Ireland must restrict their movements on arrival for 14 days.

Greece All passengers arriving into Greece from any country, including Ireland, must complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) online at least 24 hours before entering the country. Failure to complete the PLF is an offence, and you will not be permitted to enter Greece without it.

 

On the basis of the PLF, the Greek authorities will decide if you need to take a COVID-19 test on arrival in Greece. For full information on this process, see here.

 

Should you be selected for a test, you will be expected to limit your movements for 24 hours. After this, you can continue with your activities as normal unless you are informed of a positive test result. If you are selected for a test and test positive, you will be subject to 14 days’ quarantine, for which you may be required by the Greek authorities to move to a designated quarantine facility. This period cannot be shortened if your planned flight departs before the end of your quarantine. Quarantine requirements are not waived on production of a negative COVID-19 test conducted by another facility.

 

Greenland 5 days Upon check-in one must show a maximum 5-day old negative Corona test.

 

Travellers must also show a confirmation of the completed Sumut form, a personal locator form, which advises where you will be visiting and whom you will come in contact with. This form can be downloaded at www.sumut2020.gl.

 

Guyana 48 hours The National COVID-19 Task Force of Guyana have said that anyone entering Guyana must be in possession of a current COVID-19 PCR test laboratory certificate. A HSE test is not sufficient.
Hungary Hungary has restricted the entry to most foreign travellers starting from September 1, except Hungarian nationals, residents, military, diplomatic, humanitarian, transit flights and foreign nationals attending or participating in some sports events.

 

Iceland All visitors entering Iceland must choose to submit to either two screening tests for COVID-19, separated by five days quarantine, until the results of the second test are known OR choose not to undergo border screening and instead quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

 

As from the 28th September, Iceland is no longer included on Ireland’s green list and individuals returning from Iceland to Ireland must restrict their movements on arrival for 14 days.

 

Italy People travelling to Italy from EU member states (except Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Croatia, Malta and Spain), States that form part of the Schengen area, the UK, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican City State

can all enter Italy without having to quarantine unless they have recently stayed in a country other than one of these. For more information, please click here.

 

Iran 48 hours Entry to Iran is permitted for Iranian nationals, residents and holders of some types of visas only.
All passengers arriving into Iran by air must hold a valid health certificate issued by the health authorities of the country of departure. This must contain a COVID-19 molecular test performed by an approved centre of the departure country, carried out within 96 hours of entry into Iran. Non-Iranian nationals will not be permitted entry without such a certificate.
Laos 72 hours The Government of the Lao PDR has suspended the visa on arrival service at all international entry points, and no visas are being issued to people travelling from a country with COVID-19, including Ireland.

 

Latvia As per government advice, anyone arriving from Ireland into Latvia is required to restrict their movements for 14 days.

 

Currently passengers arriving to Latvia from Ireland must self isolate for 10 days on arrival.

As of 16 July, before entering Latvia, all international passengers will have to submit a completed questionnaire to their carrier, indicating the countries that they have visited during the last 14 days, their contact information, and the address chosen for performing two weeks of self-isolation (if applicable), as well as confirming their compliance with the national epidemiological safety measures.

 

Lebanon 96 hours All travellers arriving in Lebanon are required to take a PCR test at a laboratory certified by local authorities within 96 hours prior to travel, and to show the result at check-in before proceeding to immigration. Passengers not having a negative PCR test result within this time frame and in an approved form (paper or email, not SMS) will not be allowed to board planes departing to Lebanon.

Upon arrival at Rafik Hariri International Airport, all passengers will be required to take another PCR test. Certain airlines are covering the cost of this test whilst others may not. Travellers should check with their airline.

Liberia 72 hours Passengers entering Liberia have two options for COVID-19 testing. Government of Liberia strongly encourages travellers to be tested before arrival in Liberia. You can have a COVID-19 PCR test at your point of departure within 72 hours before your arrival in Liberia. If you present a negative PCR test result on arrival in Liberia, you will be allowed entry with symptom monitoring via USSD or mobile app.

 

If you do not do a pre-departure PCR test before your arrival in Liberia, you will be tested on arrival. You will have to do a Rapid Test, and a swab will be collected for PCR test processing. If your Rapid Test result is negative, you will be allowed entry with symptom monitoring via USSD or mobile app.

 

If your Rapid Test result is positive, you will be taken to a government quarantine facility pending your PCR test result. Sample processing could take several days. If your subsequent PCR result is positive you must remain in government quarantine. It is likely you will have to remain in quarantine until you have two consecutive negative PCR results. Quarantine may last 14 days or longer.

 

Lithuania 72 hours As per the latest update (16th September) Ireland has been removed from Lithuania’s safe list and travellers arriving from Ireland must self-isolate for 14 days. Additionally, because Ireland, travellers from Ireland must also have a negative Covid-19 test done no earlier than 72 hours before they arrive in Lithuania or else they may be refused entry.

Additionally, because Ireland has exceeded 25 new Covid-19 cases per population of 100,000 over the previous two weeks, travellers from Ireland must also have a negative PCR test done no earlier than 72 hours before arriving in Lithuania or else they may be refused entry.

 

Passengers arriving from countries not on the safe list are required to submit personal information to the National Public Health Centre (NVSC) by phone +370 5 2124098 or by e-mail info@nvsc.lt.

 

As from the 28th September, Lithuania is no longer included on Ireland’s green list and individuals returning from Lithuania to Ireland must restrict their movements on arrival for 14 days.

Liechtenstein As per the latest update, Liechtenstein is no longer included on Ireland’s green list and individuals returning from Liechtenstein to Ireland must restrict their movements on arrival for 14 days.

Arrivals in Liechtenstein from Ireland must quarantine for 10 days and report their arrival to authorities.

 

Morocco 48 Hours Travellers need 1 x PCR and 1 x Antibody Test no older than 48 hours from flight. They need a medical certificate as well.
Moldova Moldova has restricted the entry to most foreign travellers until at least September 15, except for nationals and their immediate family members; persons having a visa, residency permit; diplomatic, humanitarian and transit flight.

 

Until September 15, Moldova’s border only permits foreigners if they meet one of the following exceptions: immediate family members of Moldovan citizens; persons having a visa, residency permit, or other document issued by Moldovan authorities; persons traveling for “professional interest” in possession of a visa, residency permit, or other document issued by Moldovan authorities; diplomats accredited to Moldova and members of international organizations and their family members; personnel who can provide humanitarian aid; passengers in transit.

 

Malaysia Effective 24 July 2020, all passengers travelling into Malaysia are required to undergo 14-day mandatory quarantine at dedicated quarantine centres upon arrival at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and bear the cost for quarantine as determined by the Malaysian Ministry of Health.
The 14-day quarantine requirement upon arrival at KLIA is also applicable for passengers with domestic connection to Peninsular Malaysia.
Nigeria All new arrivals are expected to self-isolate at one location in the city of their arrival for 14 days where they will be remotely monitored by the Nigerian authorities. At the end of the 14-day period of self-isolation an exit interview will be conducted by Nigerian authorities. If the authorities are satisfied that there are no indications of COVD-19 they will authorise the release of the retained passport.

Anyone that has developed symptoms of coronavirus during their travel will be required to undergo quarantine at a government-monitored hotel.

 

Norway The Norwegian Public Health Institute has confirmed that Irish arrivals into Norway must quarantine for ten days. However, this remains liable to change and we recommend checking the Norwegian Public Health Institute’s page on travel advice before finalising plans.

 

Philippines Some airlines require passengers from the Philippines to present a COVID-19 RT-PCR negative-test certification issued by an accredited testing facility before being permitted. Check with your airline or travel company for the latest information.

 

Poland EU citizens, including citizens of Ireland, can currently enter Poland without restriction. EU citizens entering Poland are no longer required by law to undertake a mandatory 14-day home quarantine.

 

From Monday 28th September, Poland is no longer on Ireland’s green list and therefore on arrival to Ireland from Poland individuals must restrict their movements for 14 days.

Portugal If you are travelling to Portugal from the European Union, Australia, Canada, China, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, United Kingdom or Uruguay, you will be subject to health screening on arrival at mainland airports and ports. Your temperature will be checked and if it is 38ºc or over or you show signs of being unwell, you will be referred to the health authorities at the airport.

 

You may be required to take a COVID-19 test and to self-isolate at your accommodation until the test results are known.

Russia All arrivals must provide a medical certificate confirming they have tested negative for COVID-19 on a Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, or a medical certificate confirming a positive test for COVID-19 IgG antibodies.

 

These documents must be in English or Russian
Foreign nationals without such certificates must have a PCR test within 3 days of arrival. A fee will apply.

Reunion 72 hours Travellers to La Réunion are required to carry out an adapted 14-day quarantine, including an RT-PCR test on the 7th day, if they returned a negative PT-PCR test in the 48-72 hours after their flight.

 

Travellers who did not undergo a RT-PCR test upon departure will be subject to strict 14-day quarantine measures.

Slovakia You may enter Slovakia without restrictions if you have spent all of the previous 14 days in a country listed on the Slovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, including Ireland.

If you have spent any of the previous 14 days in a country not on this list, you must self-isolate on arrival and register with your regional Public Health Authority office, who will contact you after at least 5 days to arrange a free RT-PCR test for COVID-19.

South Korea 14 days All arrivals – regardless of nationality and length of stay – are required to be tested for coronavirus (COVID-19) and to undergo quarantine for 14 days.

 

All individuals regardless of nationality who show coronavirus symptoms on arrival will be tested. Those who test positive will be isolated and treated at a hospital or community treatment centre.

Taiwan 3 days Foreign nationals entering Taiwan must provide a negative COVID-19 test report completed within three working days prior to boarding their entry flight.

The type of test required is a RT-PCR test. The certificate with the test result should be in English.

Thailand 72 hours All non-Thai passengers will be subject to a 14-day quarantine at their own expenses at one of the facilities for Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) that have been approved by the Thai authorities. As there are no commercial flights currently available, you are advised not to book ASQ hotel at this stage.

All non-Thai passengers are also required to have a Fit to Fly health certificate and a medical certificate with a laboratory result indicating that COVID -19 is not detected (COVID test must be by RT-PCR method), both issued within 72 hours before departure.

The Bahamas 10 Days A negative COVID-19 RT PCR (molecular swab) test certificate is required on entry as well as a health visa application for international travel and a health card application for domestic travel. The negative test results must be uploaded when completing the Travel Health Visa Application prior to arrival. The test must not have been taken more than 10 days prior to the date of arrival.

 

 

Thank you for reading out blog Current International Travel Restrictions (COVID-19). Are you travelling abroad? Book your Covid-19 Travel Clearance Certificate with TMB today. 

Packing Tips for Travelling Abroad

Packing Tips for Travelling Abroad

Packing tips for travelling abroad

It can be stressful getting your head around what you need to pack before you travel so we’ve put some packing tips for travelling abroad together to help!

Whether you are travelling abroad or enjoying a staycation this year, it is always helpful to have a rundown of the items that are essential for travelling.

Think about the area you are visiting and what may or may not be available there. Some careful planning and packing before your trip can avoid any wasted time, inconvenience or worse while you’re away. With these packing tips for travelling abroad, you will feel prepared and safe, ready for your next adventure!

Packing Tips – Materials

When travelling the most important materials to carry are your documents. Without your passport, tickets, money, insurance and the appropriate visa for your destination you will not be going anywhere! Make copies of these documents in an online storage file or email in case of emergencies.

One of our most important packing tips – if you require any medication or have medical certs make sure to bring them with you, it can be difficult with a language barrier to get what you need in a hurry, so do not take any chances.

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Clothes

Whether you are staying in Ireland or travelling overseas, always check the climate to get an idea of what kind of clothes to bring. Remember to pack light so you are not lugging a heavy case around. Two essential pieces for every traveller are a lightweight fleece (or something similarly warm and light) and an ultra-lightweight down jacket. Even in the warmest of climates it can get chilly on airplanes, air-conditioned spaces and in the morning and evenings with little sunshine.

In warm climates, it is important to bring sun block to protect your skin against sun damage. You can usually get lotions abroad but we recommend that you keep a small container on you to apply right away to avoid getting burnt.

Hygiene Essentials

In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, maintaining good hygiene, especially when travelling, is crucial to reduce to spread of coronavirus. An alcohol-based hand gel is a great way to maintain good hand hygiene while on-the-go. These sanitising gels are widely available in a handy travel-size, perfect to add to your hand luggage essentials.

Wearing a face covering in public spaces where social distancing is difficult to maintain, such as airports and airplanes, is also a great way to protect yourself and others from the spread of COVID-19. Many airlines have introduced regulations to make wearing face coverings on board mandatory so, please check with your carrier before your flight.

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Electrical products

Travel adaptors are vital, they are inexpensive and last forever so buy a few, not just one! It is always great to have a spare adapter for a friend or to charge multiply devices at a time. If you are travelling with children, bear in mind you will want to charge their DVD players or consoles too.

If you are staying in a hotel, apartments, or Airbnb it is likely that electricals such an iron and hair dryer will be there for you if needed. Think of what is necessary to bring and leave heavy equipment at home.

First Aid kit

Preparing your travel first aid kit is a vital part of your pre-trip planning and packing. A good travel health kit contains enough supplies to prevent illness, handle minor injuries and illnesses, and manage pre-existing medical conditions for the duration of your trip. Having your own personal kit with you can be easier than looking for pharmacies and hoping they will speak English.

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Travel Security

Travelers should always be aware of pick-pocketers. It is important to keep your passport and some cash on you always. Another one of our most important packing tips is that money belts are a fantastic way to keep your valuable belongings safe. Place it under your clothes so it hidden and safe.

A strong padlock is a great investment for security while travelling. This can be used on your suitcase while travelling or for hostel lockers to keep your possessions safe and protected. A label on your luggage with your name and contact number is also a smart way to ensure your items can be returned if lost or stolen.

Travel Health

Contact your nearest TMB clinic and book an appointment for more advice on what you may need to keep your travels safe and healthy.

Camping Tips

Camping Tips

Camping tips

 

Get ready for your outdoor adventure with our camping tips

2020 has been dubbed the year of the staycation, with many people travelling to different parts of the country to relax, unwind and spend quality time with loved ones. This increase in domestic travel has led to many more people going camping all over the country, and it’s no surprise why! Not only is camping excellent value for money, it allows you to bond with your loved ones in a gorgeous natural setting and enjoy the great outdoors that Ireland has to offer.

Never camped before? Don’t be put off by stories of wet tents, sleepless nights and burnt sausages. Check out our top 10 camping tips to ensure you’re ready for action and have an unforgettable time, no matter what the weather!

1. Do a trial run

We can’t stress enough the importance of constructing your tent before you set off. This is the only way to make sure that you can actually put it together and that everything is in working order. You don’t want to have to figure this out when you arrive at the campsite! Pack extra tent pegs in case some break or go missing – better to be safe than sorry!

2. Buy high-quality equipment

Contrary to popular belief, tents can actually be really comfortable if you have the right supplies. Invest in a decent sleeping mat and sleeping bag to ensure you get your much-needed beauty sleep under the stars. It’s worth getting a bigger tent so you have lots of room for your belongings. Remember, a cramped tent equals cranky campers!

3. Be prepared for rain

Even if the sun is shining and a lengthy stretch of good weather is promised, make sure your tent is waterproof. You never know when the heavens might open, especially if you’re in Ireland. It’s worth lining the inside with bin bags or a plastic sheet so your belongings remain dry throughout your stay.

4. Research campsites

Google is your best friend when it comes to finding the perfect campsite to suit your needs. Read reviews from previous holiday-makers to get a feel for the site before you arrive. Are there enough facilities? Is it child-friendly? Can you buy supplies nearby? These are all things to be considered before you book a place.

5. Pitch perfect

Pitching a tent can be awkward enough – don’t do it in the dark! Give yourself plenty of time to unpack the car and get everything set up before the sun sets. Think about the best place to base yourself for your adventure. Ideally you want to be setting up camp on level ground that isn’t too far from facilities. Look out for wasp nests, insect trails, nettles, poison ivy or anything else that could seriously threaten your happiness.

6. Pack appropriate clothes

When it comes to camping attire, it’s all about layers. The Irish weather is known for being unpredictable and the temperature will drop at night. So, make sure you have some comfy socks and a thermal fleece to throw on. Even if you’re just away for one night, bring a change of clothes and a rain jacket. In the unfortunate event that it’s a wash out at least you’ll have some comfortable clothes to drive home in.

7. Leave no trace

Recently in Ireland, an increase in the number of campers has led to a huge rise in littering levels. It is crucial to respect Mother Nature and leave your campsite as you found it. Bring bin bags with you to gather up rubbish and make sure you dispose of these correctly. ‘Leave no trace’ principles are embraced by campsites all around the country. This also involves being mindful of other visitors and wildlife. For more information please visit www.leavenotraceireland.org

8. Consider glamping

Want to experience nature without roughing it? Glamping, or ‘glamourous camping’, could be for you! In recent years, there has been a huge increase in the number of bell tents and micro-lodges popping up around the country. Everything is set up before you arrive which takes the hassle out of your escapade. And you have the pleasure of knowing you’ll get an amazing night’s sleep in a proper bed.

9. Be careful with food

One of the best things about camping has got to be the food! Barbequed sausages, tinned beans, smores – it’s all part and parcel of the adventure. Bring snacks with you that won’t go off, such as crackers and nuts. Only barbeque in the designated area and cook food through thoroughly. You don’t want to spend your whole trip being sick!

10. Get permission

Planning on going rogue and camping in the middle of nowhere? Remember that you need to have the permission of the local council or landowner beforehand. Some people won’t take kindly to you popping up unannounced. And you never know what wild animals or dangers lie nearby.

 

These tips will have you camping like a champ in no time at all. Make the effort and get out into nature before the summer ends – believe us, it’ll be more than worth it!

If you’re heading off on a camping trip, check out TMB’s Travelshop.ie for essential camping items such as insect repellent and sun cream, mobile power banks, eye masks and travel pillows which will make your camping trip even more stress-free.

Visiting Friends and Relatives Overseas

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Travel health advice for visiting friends and relatives overseas

With the coronavirus pandemic still lingering, people all over the world are yearning to reunite with their loved ones, to share stories and create new memories. As borders begin to re-open and the possibility of travel becomes a reality once again, now is the time to start planning your reunion.

In this blog, we’ve listed our top tips to ensure you remain healthy and safe while visiting your friends and family overseas. Read on to find out more…

Visiting friends and relatives overseas

Visiting friends and relatives overseas

Recommended vaccinations

Vaccinations protect the body against illnesses such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, rabies and meningitis. If you are visiting friends and relatives overseas in a country where these illnesses are prevalent, such as Thailand, Brazil or India, make sure that your vaccinations are up to date. Your body only maintains protective antibodies against some common diseases as long as it is exposed to that disease.

Reduce the Risk of COVID-19

Amid the current COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for to follow local regulations and government travel advice while visiting friends and relatives overseas to reduce the risk of spreading or contracting coronavirus. Some recommended ways to stay safe from COVID-19 on your travels include wearing face coverings in public spaces where social distance cannot be maintained and ensuring good hand hygiene. Carrying an alcohol-based hand gel is a great way to reduce the spread of the virus while on-the-go. It’s also important to touching as few surfaces as possible and avoiding touching your face with unclean hands.

When visiting friends and relatives overseas, you should also follow government guidelines on social distancing and face coverings, which can vary country-to-country.

Visiting Friends and Relatives Overseas Face Mask

Travelling with children

Visiting your family with the kids? Extra care is needed to ensure children can enjoy themselves without falling ill. Children who have been brought up in Western Europe have no natural protection against many of the diseases that are present in Asia, South America and Africa.

As part of their National Immunisation Programme, all children born in Ireland since 2008 should be covered against Hepatitis B. It’s worth talking with your GP or calling into a TMB clinic to get advice about the other recommended vaccinations for children. In some cases, the child may be so young that they are unable to receive the recommended vaccinations – it’s best to talk with an expert to get all the information you need and access the situation properly.

Sun exposure and dehydration

The sun’s rays in Africa, Asia and South America tend to be a lot stronger than they are here in Ireland. It’s important to protect your skin from sun damage, which is the biggest contributor to dehydration and increases the risk of skin cancer in the future. Bring high-factor sun cream on your travels and seek the shade during the hours when the sun is at its highest. Protect yourself further with a wide-brimmed hat and high-quality sunglasses.

Post-exposure screening

The incubation period for tropical illnesses can be a lot longer than you’d think. If an individual falls ill a few months after travelling, it could still be from their time abroad. Put your health first and consider a post-exposure medical screening after your travels to rule out potentially fatal illnesses. This peace of mind really is priceless!

Zika is also still a major concern for those planning travel to affected areas. The virus is still prevalent in many parts of the world and, as there is no vaccination against it, it is strongly recommended that you are screened upon your return if you suffer from symptoms including fever, muscular aches and pains, headache and runny eyes. These symptoms are very similar to those for the flu so at this time of year it is important to be extra cautious.

Health risks for expats

Another side of this is family and friends returning home. What many don’t realise is that the personal protection against many diseases gained by living in an area for many years is frequently lost when individuals move to a new region where the disease is not prevalent. Individuals returning home need to think long and hard about the diseases they may no longer be immune to.

For example, if you’re originally from West Africa but have been living in Europe for the last few years, you will not have the same number of antibodies to fight against malaria as those who still live in West Africa, friends and family included. It is recommended that you take regular adequate malaria prophylaxis to protect against this potentially fatal disease.

Travel Health

We hope that you find these tips for visiting friends and relatives overseas useful when you reunite with your loved ones around the world. For more travel health tips and advice call your local TMB travel health clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals.

Top tips for booking a summer holiday

Make the Most of Your Summer Holiday!

Your summer holiday is your main escape of the year, your chance to relax and laze by the pool while your worries melt away. But is there something that you have forgotten that could destroy your dream getaway?

Sun holidays, adventure holidays, exotic holidays – any kind of break is great, but think before you book as some places may seem ideal, but hidden factors could go against you upon arrival.

 

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Generally, a summer holiday is something that is highly anticipated all year and is well-deserved by the time it comes around. Don’t let your annual escape be ruined by forgetting about the finer details. Take everything into account before you go and reap the benefits while you are away.

Beware of rising temperatures

If you are planning on heading to areas renowned for their heat, try to plan your trip at either the beginning or towards the end of the summer to avoid the highest temperatures. Also, while you may be looking to absorb as much sun as possible, be sure to have an appropriate factor on your skin. The tanned look may be in, but the lobster look is out!

 summer holiday

Tips for booking a Summer Holiday – Be prepared

If it is an exotic getaway you are after, be sure to check for any vaccinations that are recommended or required for the area. Don’t let sickness spoil your summer holiday or get stopped at the airport because you don’t have the required vaccinations for your destination. Also, while an adventure holiday can be amazing, just make sure to pack the essentials, i.e. first aid kit, food and water supplies, mobile phone, map etc. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail!

Stay Safe from COVID-19

Amid the current COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for holidaymakers to follow local rules, regulations and travel advice while abroad to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus. Effective ways to stay safe from COVID-19 while on holiday include maintaining good hand hygiene by washing your hands in warm soapy water or using an alcohol-based hand gel regularly, touching as few surfaces as possible and avoiding touching your face with unclean hands. Travellers should also follow individual government social distancing guidelines. Wearing face coverings in public spaces where social distance cannot be maintained is also a good way to reduce the risk of contracting coronavirus. Be sure to stay up to date with regulations on social distancing and face coverings, which can vary country-to-country.

For more information please visit Gov.ie Coronavirus Travel Advice

Stay covered

Travel insurance may seem like an unnecessary added cost for your summer holiday – until a volcanic eruption keeps your plane grounded, leaving you stranded in a foreign land. For a small fee you can ensure you’re covered against most disasters while you’re abroad, including losing your luggage en route – a particular problem if you’re planning on hitting up a few different destinations!

Ensure family fun

If it is a family holiday that you’re planning, be sure to regulate the amount of time your kids spend in the sun. Pick a beach with umbrellas or shaded areas to avoid your little ones getting burnt and even sunstroke. Look for campsites or accommodations that have kids clubs to keep them having fun throughout! Pick up some children’s travel accessories before you go to keep them entertained while on the road!

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If you feel ill while away, Tropical Medical Bureau offers a 24/7 emergency hotline to all existing customers. They also offer a post-exposure check-up service if you are feeling ill upon your return.

For more travel health tips and advice call your local TMB clinic and book in to speak with one of our qualified professionals.

To book an appointment for vaccinations and see a list of our base and associate clinics, please contact Tropical Medical Bureau on 00-353-1-2715-200 or visit our website www.tmb.ie

Safety Tips for Using Public Transport When Travelling

 

Safety Tips for Using Public Transport When Travelling

Safety Tips for Using Public Transport When Travelling

Never leave luggage unattended

It’s a horrible feeling to have luggage stolen or lost while on your holiday, so try to always keep it as close as possible to you and your group. On a crowded train or bus make sure that you always have sight of larger bags.  Keep your smaller personal items, like a purse or laptop bag, on your lap or between your legs. Making sure that you keep an eye or hand on all of your belongings means that it’s less likely to be taken or accidentally left behind.

Keep important documents and money on you at all times

The last thing anyone wants to lose during their travels is a bank card or their passport. Keep the important things close to you at all times! Wearing a waist belt or making sure you bring a purse that zips closed will help you make sure nothing leaves your possession. This way you will be able to enjoy your holiday along with all of your belongings on hand.

Try not to sleep on public transport alone

You may be tired after a long day of travel, but try your best to stay awake.  If the drowsiness is too much and you are with a companion, try to take turns. public transport 2

You don’t know who could be watching you or targeting you while you’re asleep, so try your best to stay alert and aware of your surroundings. Not only will this make you less of a target for pickpockets, but it’ll also help you make sure that you don’t miss your stop.

Stay Safe from COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it is important for travellers to reduce the spread of the virus and while social distancing may be difficult to maintain on public transport, there are some things you can do to reduce the risk of contracting the virus. One of the most effective ways to stay safe from Coronavirus while on public transport is by maintaining good hand hygiene by using an alcohol-based hand rub regularly while on-the-go. It is also advised to touch as few surfaces as possible and to avoid touching your face with your hands. Face coverings are also encouraged and compulsory on public transport in some countries to increase protection for both other passengers and staff.

For more information on face coverings please see Gov.ie Guidance on safe use of face coverings.

Plan your route ahead of time

It’s always best to have an idea of where you’re heading before venturing out. Getting lost in a new place can be stressful, but having a plan can help reduce the chances that you end up somewhere unfamiliar and unplanned. It’s always best to be prepared and know the stops that you’re getting off at.

Google Maps have recently implemented a feature which estimates busyness on public transport allowing users to see how crowded a certain bus or train line tends to be at particular times. This is a great way for public transport users to avoid crowds or find an alternative route or different travel time.

More details on Google Maps’ new safety features can be found here.

Try to blend in

Public transport may not be the best place to show off your fancy new jewellery. Tuck necklaces inside your clothing and turn your ring around so that valuable stones aren’t showing, or keep your nice watches and rings inside your purse so they aren’t visible. public transport 3

Wearing your valuable jewellery on public transport will likely make you a target for pickpockets so if you are going to accessorize, try to stick with simple, inexpensive pieces.

Don’t talk with strangers

Having a light-hearted conversation is alright, but don’t share personal details of where you are staying and what you are doing with strangers on public transportation. The person you may be talking to might be perfectly fine, but those who overhear may not have your best interests in mind. It’s always best to be cautious of how much you’re telling others and what they could do with the information you give them.

We hope you found our public transport safety tips helpful. If you are heading off to an exotic adventure, we strongly advise that you book an appointment at your local TMB clinic and get all of the recommended vaccinations.

Travel health tips for backpacking Europe

Travel health tips for backpacking Europe

Backpacking in Europe

 

Discover some top tips for backpacking Europe and staying healthy overseas

From the promenades of Paris to the boulevards of Budapest, Europe’s stunning natural beauty, epic history and amazing cultural diversity is evident at every turn. It’s easy to see why a European tour is high on the bucket lists of backpackers and luxury travellers alike. You may not be visiting a developing country or venturing into the wild but it’s still important to put your health first on your trip. We’ve compiled some top travel health tips for backpacking Europe to ensure you have the best time possible.

Beware of the sun

The strength of the sun in mainland Europe over the summer months should be taken very seriously. Our delicate Irish skin cannot handle extended exposure to the sun’s harmful rays, which cause sunburn and in turn increase the risk of skin cancer. Make sure you wear sunscreen at all times, even when there is cloud cover, and seek the shade.

Stay hydrated

You don’t want your frolics around France or escapades in Estonia to be impaired as a result of tiredness and dehydration.  Drink plenty of water throughout your stay, particularly when you’re out and about sightseeing. A common cause of sickness for travellers is exposure to contaminated water. In some countries, such as Austria and Croatia, it is safe to drink tap water but in others, like Albania and Belarus, you should always buy bottled water or use purification tablets.

Stay Safe from COVID-19

In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for backpackers to follow local regulations and government travel advice while abroad to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus. Some ways to stay safe from COVID-19 on your travels include, maintaining good hand hygiene and using an alcohol-based hand gel regularly, touching as few surfaces as possible and avoiding touching your face with unclean hands. Travellers should also follow individual government social distancing guidelines. Wearing face coverings in public spaces where social distance cannot be maintained is also a good way to reduce the risk of coronavirus. Travellers should stay up to date with regulations on social distancing and face coverings, which can vary country-to-country.

Vaccinations

It’s important to have standard vaccinations such as tetanus, poliomyelitis, measles and rubella before you embark on any foreign adventure. Nasty illnesses and infections are rife all over the world and you need to make sure you are protected against these. Call into a TMB clinic to discuss your options with a qualified professional. Don’t forget insect repellent to protect against mosquito bites!

Eat nutritiously

Europe’s culinary delights are famous the world over – think hearty Italian pizza, spicy Spanish tapas, rich German meat feasts and zesty Mediterranean vegetable dishes. Sampling local delicacies will definitely be a highlight of your holiday but it’s important to maintain a balanced diet while you’re away. The temptation may be high but don’t resort to always eating foods that are high in fat and sugar. You may start to feel sluggish which will greatly impede your ability to enjoy your getaway. Remember – everything in moderation!

Pack the essentials

No matter how long or short your trip is, always pack a first-aid kit with the essentials – remedies for headaches, swelling, fever, stomach aches, cuts and bruises, blisters and motion sickness. Carry any prescription medication in your hand luggage in case your baggage gets lost and keep a copy of your prescription with you at all times. If you wear glasses or contact lenses it’s also advised that you obtain a copy of your optical prescription.

Practice good dental hygiene

Don’t forget about your teeth! If you’re going away for an extended period make sure you have a full dental check-up beforehand to address any underlying issues. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and replace your toothbrush every couple of months. Floss regularly to remove trapped food and keep your gums healthy.

Get enough sleep

It’s easy to get excited when you touchdown in fabulous Finland or gorgeous Greece and try to pack in as much as possible. Burning the candle at both ends is not advised as it will ultimately wear your body out and reduce your level of enjoyment. If you have an action-packed day checking out the local sights, take it easy that evening with a relaxed meal and early night. Try to get at least eight hours of sleep to make sure you’re in fine form for the adventures that lie ahead.

So there you have it, some top tips for staying healthy and happy on your European travels. Book an appointment with a TMB consultant to get specific advice for the countries you are visiting. A little preparation and common sense go a long way and will ensure you have an absolutely amazing time!

Google Maps have added new safety features to help people get around safely

Google Maps have added new safety features to help people get around safely

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Google Maps is one of the most popular navigation apps for travellers – it’s fast, reliable, and it’s just gotten a whole lot better! As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, getting from A to B has become that bit more complicated. In light of this, Google Maps have released some new safety features to help people get around more safely, whether at home or abroad. These new features provide users with vital information relating to their travels and allow them to get to and from their destination as safely as possible. Read on to learn more…

Alerts on COVID-19 Restrictions

The first of the new safety features added to Google Maps is the COVID-19 restriction alerts. The app will now notify users with COVID-19 restrictions which may affect their journey, whether by car or public transport. These alerts include government mandates impacting travel, for example if there is a requirement to wear a mask on public transport. According to Google, transit alerts are available in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, France, India, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom and the U.S., with more coming soon.

Google Maps have also introduced driving alerts to notify users if their route is affected by COVID-19 restrictions or checkpoints. This feature also notifies a user travelling to a medical facility, reminding them to confirm their eligibility to attend to avoid being turned away. Google have announced that alerts for medical facilities are now available in Indonesia, Israel, the Philippines, South Korea, and the U.S.

Avoid Crowds on Public Transport

In 2019, Google Maps have implemented a new feature estimating busyness on public transport. Driven by user data, these predictions allow people to see how crowded a certain bus or train line tends to be at particular times. As the world begins to re-open, this feature can be extremely useful in avoiding crowds and finding an alternative, safer route, or time. Users can increase the accuracy of Google Maps’ crowdedness feature by contribute their own experiences via the app.

Accessibility and Security

In recent months, Google Maps launched new safety features giving insights into temperature, accessibility and security onboard public transportation. These features are now available globally and provide users with valuable data from past riders as well as the option to submit their own feedback. For wheelchair users, Google Maps have added more detailed accessibility information, including locations of wheelchair accessible doors, seating, stop buttons and more.

Find more information on how to avoid COVID-19 while travelling here.

For more travel health tips and advice call your local TMB clinic and book in to speak with one of our qualified professionals. 

To book an appointment for vaccinations and see a list of our base and associate clinics, please contact Tropical Medical Bureau on 00-353-1-2715-200 or visit our website www.tmb.ie

Coronavirus Treatment: What’s the Latest News?

Coronavirus Treatment: What’s the Latest News?

coronavirus-treatment-update

Since first reports of Coronavirus in late 2019, the virus has spread to many countries around the world and as the pandemic continues, people in Ireland and all over the world continue to ask the question, is there a coronavirus treatment? While there is no confirmed vaccine or treatment for Covid-19 yet, there has been some positive developments in this area, including treatment trials. Read on to find out the latest news and updates on this…

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that they are organising a solidarity trial in numerous countries in which some untested treatments for COVID-19 will be compared to each other to discover whether any are effective in treating the virus. This trial will be run from the WHO Headquarters and is expected to last from March 2020 until March 2021.

The trial is specifically for adults over the age of 18, hospitalised with COVID-19 and admitted to a collaborating hospital. The treatments involved in the study are remdesivir, chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir plus ritonavir, and interferon-beta. As part of the study, some of these treatments will be given as daily pills, and some as daily injections.

Patients who fit the above description and have consented to be part of the study will be randomly allocated to receive either standard care alone or standard care and one of the study drugs. The patients will be followed up for the entire length of their hospital stay. The effectiveness of the drugs will be determined by a number of variables including length of hospital stay and time to first receiving ventilation.

All of the drugs being used in the WHO solidarity trial have been shown to be reasonably safe. These drugs are used routinely to treat other conditions. All participants in the study will receive the usual care for people with COVID-19 in each location as well as the selected medication. While it is possible that one or more of the drugs may reduce the severity of COVID-19, the need for ventilation and the risk of death, as with any medical trial, there are also known side effects to each of the drugs. Find out more about the WHO solidarity trial, its potential risks and rewards here.

Main contacts for the WHO Solidarity Trial

Dr Ana Maria Henao Restrepo, henaorestrepoa@who.int

Dr Vasee Moorthy, moorthyv@who.int

Dr Marie-Pierre Preziosi, preziosim@who.int

Staying Safe and Healthy in Peru

Staying Safe and Healthy in Peru

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The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a lot of uncertainty with regards to travel in recent days and weeks. One of the problems facing a number of people in South America, Peru in particular, is difficulty returning home due to closed borders and cancelled flights. TMB is here to help so, in this blog, we want to help you to stay safe and healthy in Peru.

Safety

The crime rate in Peru, including serious crime and violent crime, is high and therefore it is always necessary to be vigilant. Take particular caution at bus terminals and when taking taxis. To ensure you are staying safe and healthy in Peru, as a rule of thumb you should avoid isolated areas especially after dark. In case of an emergency dial 105 to contact the National Police. Check out our top safety tips for using public transport when travelling here.

Health

Amid the current Covid-19 pandemic, please ensure that you are washing your hands with soap thoroughly, or alcohol gel is helpful when hand-washing facilities are not available. On top of this, it is important to avoid people with flulike symptoms, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth if you’re hands are not clean and practice good general hygiene at all times. As the Covid-19 pandemic is a rapidly changing situation we advise that you check the following websites regularly

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

The World Health Organisation

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre

If you are unwell and develop symptoms of fever, cough, or shortness of breath you should stay at home / in your hotel and avoid public places, university or work, phone your GP or emergency department for medical advice, rather than turning up in person. Make sure that, when you phone, you mention that you have recently travelled AND had exposure. These health services will arrange for you to get medical help.

Please be aware that mosquito-borne infections such as malaria, yellow fever and dengue fever are also found in Peru, although these are rare in temperate regions. There is currently an outbreak of Zika virus in South America and therefore it is essential that Irish Citizens, in particular those with a weakened immune system or pregnant women follow guidelines from the HPSC.

Stay Informed

On 15th March, the Peruvian president declared a state of emergency and announced that Peru would close its borders to curb the spread of Covid-19. Quarantine is immediately being applied and it’s vital that Irish citizens comply with these rules – please see full details here.

Make sure you stay informed of what’s going on around you – ensure you are getting information from credible, reliable sources only, monitor local, national and international media and keep in contact with your hotel or tour operator.  You can download the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Travel Wise App which helps Irish citizens to stay safe and informed while travelling.

On the 22nd March Tanaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister, Simon Coveney, has confirmed that the government is arranging a charter flight to fly Irish citizens out of Peru. This flight will be operated by British Airways and is expected to fly in the middle of this week.

Communication

Often in can be easier to get help staying safe and healthy in Peru locally, for example from your tour operator, hotel or local contacts. However, if you do need assistance, while there is no Irish Embassy in Peru, you can contact the Honorary Consulate in Lima, the Irish Embassy in Mexico or the Irish Embassy in Chile.

For more travel health tips and advice call your local TMB clinic and book in to speak with one of our qualified professionals.

To book an appointment for vaccinations and see a list of our base and associate clinics, please contact Tropical Medical Bureau on 00-353-1-2715-200 or visit our website www.tmb.ie

Does ibuprofen increase your risk of catching Coronavirus?

Does ibuprofen increase your risk of catching Coronavirus?

There are a number of stories circulating online which are stating that if you take ibuprofen it can increase your risk of catching Coronavirus. But it true? We spoke to Dr Kunal Patel, Travel Health Physician at the Tropical Medical Bureau and asked him ‘does ibuprofen increase your risk on catching Coronavirus?’ Here is what he told us.

  • Currently there is NO evidence at this time to support this as this has been based on a proposed hypothesis raised in the Lancet (Respiratory Medicine).
  • There are studies, such as this hypothesis, that suggest ibuprofen use during a respiratory infection can result in worsening of the disease or other complications BUT there is no CLEAR evidence of this.
  • The recently published hypothesis focused on patients with diabetes and hypertension, who currently are considered already vulnerable to COVID-19. These patients take medication that is essential for their conditions. Said medication raises levels of a certain enzyme within the blood. It has been shown that other types of coronavirus, such as SARS can bind to this enzyme. Therefore, the authors hypothesised that diabetes and hypertension treatment with drugs that can increase this enzyme, including ibuprofen, increases the risk of developing severe and fatal COVID-19.
  • The key word to remember is HYPOTHESIS and there is no actual, current research into ibuprofen and the new coronavirus. There is currently NO evidence to suggest that someone who is low risk (not vulnerable) and taking ibuprofen for symptoms of COVID-19 is putting themselves at further risk of complications.
  • It is therefore advised not to compromise your current medication regime, especially if you have diabetes and/or hypertension.

Remember to always use trusted sources when sourcing information about Coronavirus such as WHO, CDC, ECDC or TMB.

Want to read some more facts and myths about coronavirus? Please click here

Why do we need a new flu vaccine every year?

The Flue 5

Why do we need a new flu vaccine every year?

It’s that time of year again. Some of your friends, family members and co-workers are beginning to succumb to the irritating illness we all know too well- the flu. You may ask yourself the question – if I was vaccinated last year, do I need to get the flu vaccination again? The answer is YES! So, why do we need a new flu vaccine every year?

The flu changes each year

One major reason why you need to get vaccinated each year is that the flu changes every year.  Yes, you heard us right! The flu virus is constantly changing.FLu vaccine every year

Though it is commonly referred to simply as ‘the flu’, the actual virus going around each year is always different. It is an ever-changing virus. In response to this, medical professionals need to update the flu vaccine each season, which protects us from the new strains.

Your antibodies grow weaker over time

Flu vaccinations are needed each year to ensure you have continuous protection. Though you may have received a flu vaccine last year, your body’s immune system from previous vaccinations gradually decreases over time. The FLu 4

By the time flu season comes around, your body’s immunity to it is virtuality non-existent. By getting a flu shot each year, you are protecting yourself from new strains, whilst also boosting your continuous protection.

The flu vaccine is the most effective way to prevent illness.

It really is that simple. The CDC estimates that an individual who receives a flu vaccine reduces their risk of contracting the illness by up to 61%!

Immunization is an easy and proactive way to protect yourself from the discomfort. However, if you do catch the flu after immunization, various studies show that the vaccine will still provide you with various benefits.

The vaccinations available to the public typically protect you from three to four different strains of the flu! The antibodies that your body developed from your sickness may only protect you from that one strain- leaving open the possibility of getting sick again.

Getting vaccinated helps protect your loved ones

If you get vaccinated during flu season, you may also be protecting those around you. family-with-flu

This includes others who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like children and senior citizens. By vaccinating yourself, you are less likely to transmit influenza to others. This means you are not only keeping yourself healthy but the ones you care about most!

 

We hope you found our ‘Why do we need a new flu vaccine every year?’ blog helpful!

For more information on the benefits of the flu shot, please visit our website or your local TMB clinic.

How to prevent the flu

How to prevent the flu

It’s that time of the year again! The days are getting shorter, there’s a nip in the air and you may just find yourself struggling to get warm in the evenings. For some, this period marks the beginning of the dreaded flu.
Wondering how to prevent the flu? Follow our expert health advice below on how to prevent the flu this winter!

Clean your hands

how to prevent the flu

This may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people become ill during winter due to bad hygiene.

Our top tip is to regularly wash your hands using warm water and soap.

Hands are a breeding site for germs so keeping them clean is the first step in preventing colds and the flu. It’s also a good idea to bring hand sanitizer in your bag to keep those germs away while you’re on the go!

Keep surfaces clean

how to prevent the flu
Whether it’s your desk in work or your counter top at home, ensure all surfaces are disinfected frequently in order to prevent the spread of the flu virus.

This doesn’t have to be a gruelling job – use disinfectant wipes to quickly get rid of the dirt and grime.

Get the flu vaccination

how to prevent the flu
Our ‘How to prevent the flu this winter’ list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the reliable flu vaccination!

Getting a flu vaccination between September and October each year greatly reduces your risk of catching the flu – especially for the elderly, international travellers and other high-risk categories.

A flu immunisation ensures your body is ready to fight germs, even before you have been exposed to them.

Avoid people with the flu

how to prevent the flu
If your colleague or loved one is ill, try to keep as much distance as possible.

Flu germs are highly contagious and tend to spread like wildfire from the infected.

Get your heart pumping with regular exercise

how to prevent the flu
Jogging around the block, sweating it out in the gym or two-stepping in that community dance class not only works wonders for your physique – it also helps to improve your immunity.

So, get your heart pumping to strengthen your body and defences.

Take in plenty of Vitamin C

how to prevent the flu

Wondering how to prevent the flu? Vitamin C-rich foods, such as citrus fruits, are well-known for protecting against immune system deficiencies.

If you’re struggling to get your recommended daily allowance – take a Vitamin C supplement!

We hope you enjoyed our expert tips on how to prevent the flu this winter!

Want to know more? Check out CDC‘s informational video on flu prevention below:


Worried about getting the flu? Call into your local TMB clinic to find out more about the flu vaccination.

5 best travel mosquito nets

5 best travel mosquito nets

Whether you’re a backpacker, camper or a seasonal traveller, mosquito nets are an essential part to any travel kit. Mosquitos can carry potentially deadly illnesses so in order to enjoy your adventure to the fullest it’s important to protect yourself while they’re most active and you’re at your most vulnerable.

Check out the 5 best travel mosquito nets that will help you sleep safe, sound and protected during your next trip:

Double Box Mosquito Net
€25

5 best travel mosquito nets

The BoxNet is spacious and comfortable with potentially the largest enclosed volume of any net style.

When hung from all four points it allows good air circulation and is therefore cool to sleep under. It’s also possible to hang it from just two points to form a wedge shape.

Because these nets are more time consuming to put up, they’re probably better suited to longer term accommodation.

Double Wedge Mosquito Net
€355 best travel mosquito nets

The MicroNet is designed for compactness and versatility. Using the unique integrated ‘QuickHang System’, the MicroNet can be positioned and hung in a matter of seconds.

The spreader bar ensures that the net hangs away from the body, improving protection and ensuring good airflow.

The nylon skirt protects the mesh when folding the net under a mattress.

Mosquito Cot Net
€20

5 best travel mosquito nets

Made from breathable lightweight fabric, this mosquito net is ideal for use on cots, cribs, prams and pushchairs.

The elasticated edge fits most standard cot designs, while the fine mesh construction allows clear visibility.

Whether at home or abroad, this travel mosquito net protects little ones against harmful stings and bites when sleeping.

Single Box Mosquito Net
€22

best travel mosquito nets

The BoxNet is spacious and comfortable with potentially the largest enclosed volume of any net style – which is why it has earned its place in the 5 best travel mosquito nets!

When hung from all four points it allows good air circulation and is therefore cool to sleep under.

It is also possible to hang it from just two points to form a wedge shape.

Single Wedge Mosquito Net
€25

best travel mosquito nets

Sleeping alone will be a breeze with the single wedge mosquito net. No need to spray yourself with bug spray before bed because the net ensures there will be no bugs around!

Completely secure yourself within the bed by folding the net under a mattress to stay bug-bite free.

So, there you have it – the 5 best travel mosquito nets!

For more travel health tips and advice call into your local TMB clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals.

Zika Virus 2019 – Everything you need to know

Zika Virus 2019

It’s difficult to forget the panic of 2015/2016, when the Zika virus made its debut in South America. This little-known virus was linked to a number of birth defects in thousands of new-born babies whose mothers were infected by the virus whilst pregnant. And just as quick as it reared its head – the Zika virus seemingly disappeared.

But just last month, the World Health Organization updated its guidance for travellers planning to visit areas where Zika is known.

Read on for Tropical Medical Bureau’s advice as well as everything you need to know about the Zika virus 2019.

What is the Zika Virus 2019?

Zika Virus is a disease that is transmitted by mosquitoes, similar in many ways to the Dengue Fever or Chikungunya.

Zika is mostly spread through the bite of Aedes mosquitoes, but it can also spread through sex with an infected person, so couples should talk to their doctors about risks before travelling.

What are the symptoms of Zika Virus?

The incubation period (time from infection to when you first develop the symptoms) is usually 3 to 5 days and typical symptoms include fever, muscular aches and pains, headache and runny eyes – all very similar to flu like symptoms.

However, in many cases only a small number of those infected develop symptoms sufficient enough to cause problems.

Who is at risk?

It is now accepted that there is an association with foetal abnormality, including microcephaly, for women who become pregnant during infection.

Zika Virus 2019

Dr Graham Fry, Medical Director of Tropical Medical Bureau, has said of the connection between the Zika Virus and pregnancy; “It is now recognised that there is a direct link between Zika infection and a number of foetal abnormalities and that the risk continues throughout pregnancy. However the risk is almost certainly higher if the infection occurs during the first trimester.”

How can you prevent against the virus?

There is no vaccine against Zika viral infection, similar to many other mosquito borne diseases. The main protection against the Zika Virus is to avoid travel to at-risk areas and also to avoid mosquito bites by using insect repellents.

The current international advice is that those travelling to potential Zika at-risk regions of the world should avoid conception for between 2 to 3 months after exposure.

Have you travelled and worried about the Zika Virus 2019?

For those who have been in regions of the world where Zika is known to exist it is possible to run antibody tests to see if infection has occurred.  Be sure to get in touch with Tropical Medical Bureau and visit your local clinic for medical advice.

If you are concerned about the Zika Virus 2019 following a trip or before you travel please see travel medical advice from Tropical Medical Bureau on 1850 487674 or visit www.tmb.ie.

How to choose insect repellent

How to choose insect repellent

how to choose insect repellent

Whether you’re young or old, travelling to exotic destinations or just popping out to your back garden – it’s super important to consider the different types of insect repellent. Because, let’s face it, who likes itchy insect bites?

So, don’t let insects put a dampener on your summer and read on to hear all about how to choose insect repellent based on your needs.

DEET

DEET has been used as an effective insect repellent since it was invented in the 1940’s. DEET doesn’t harm insects, rather it just deters them by blocking the neurons and receptors that insects use to locate humans.

The rule is that the higher the DEET concentration in your repellent product the longer your protection.

TMB Extreme is ideal for extreme tropical conditions and family travel. It contains 30% DEET as well as micro-encapsulated DEET which is released slowly over the period of wear – this reduces the amount that needs to be applied to the skin.

One application continues to be effective for up to 12 hours and it can be used on children from age 2+.

Non-DEET

People with sensitive skin or babies under six months, can use non-DEET insect repellent that relies on natural ingredients to deter insects.

However, you need to consider your location and level of activity before choosing a repellent.

TMB Outdoors contains 20% saltidin. This DEET-free insect repellent is an excellent broad spectrum repellent for outdoor enthusiasts, gardeners or anyone spending extended periods outdoors.

Made with micro encapsulated technology, saltidin is released slowly during the period of wear giving longer lasting protection than other repellents on the market.

Cream or lotion?

Choosing an insect repellent goes deeper than the ingredients in the product – the application is also super important.

Although not everyone likes the feeling of cream on a hot day, it’s a good source of protection as you can control where it’s going.

If you don’t like to use product on your skin, try out the Mosqui-Go Electric, a simple tablet form mosquito killer that gets to work the moment you slot it into a plug socket.

But remember – an application directly to your skin is always the most effective.

We hope you enjoyed our top tips on how to choose insect repellent!

For more travel health tips and advice call into your local TMB clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals.

How to stay fit while travelling

How to stay fit while travelling
how to stay fit while travelling

Whether you’re jetting off on your next big adventure or heading away on a business trip, feeling healthy and happy in your own skin has the power to enhance any travel experience!

Read our tips on how to stay fit while travelling to help you feel energized throughout your next journey.

Start as you mean to go on
how to stay fit while travelling

Starting your day with a healthy breakfast is always important!
Breakfast fuels your energy, gets your metabolism pumping and will reduce the chances of you over-eating throughout the day.

Avoid eating out
how to stay fit while travelling

Instead of eating out every day, why not check out the local produce in the food shops?

If you’re wondering how to stay fit while travelling, investing in healthy food is always a great place to start.

It will help you save money and will make it easier to keep your healthy diet on schedule.

Hydration is key
how to stay fit while travelling 3

Keeping hydrated is crucial for your health and well-being so drink plenty of water during your travels.

Water will also help regulate your body temperature if you’re in a hot country

Choose to walk whenever possible
how to stay fit while travelling

Wondering how to stay fit while travelling? Try to get those legs moving and walk as much as you can.

Walking is a great way to burn off a few calories, to keep your metabolism moving and to relax the mind.

Many cities also offer walking tours so you can stay fit whilst learning about the history of your surroundings.

Practice yoga
how to stay fit while travelling

Keep your mind, body and spirit finely tuned with some yoga.

Yoga practice helps circulation problems, improves the quality of your sleep and, of course, is a simple way to stay fit whilst travelling abroad.

Practice your own yoga routine in the morning or see if there’s a local class available on your travels.

Make the most of the sea or the pool
how to stay fit while travelling 6

If your staying in a destination near the sea or the pool, make the most of it!

Whether you want to swim some laps or splash around in the sea – there are so many things you can do in the water to stay fit.

Discover the outdoors with a hike
how to stay fit while travelling 7

There is no better way to take in stunning scenery or fresh air than a hike.

Hiking is a great cardio exercise as well as a great way to discover the outdoors of your chosen destination.

Don’t forget to wear the right footwear and to take a bottle of water along with you to keep you hydrated at all times!

We hope you enjoyed our tips on how to stay fit when travelling.

Thinking of your next adventure? Visit us at one of our TMB clinics and speak to a qualified professional about the different vaccinations you may require.

Top LGBTQ Travel Destinations 2019

Top LGBTQ Travel Destinations 2019

Are you a self-proclaimed wanderluster on the look out for the next up and coming destination complete with a vibrant culture and a thriving LGBTQ community?

Well, look no further because we’ve put together our expert list on the top LGBTQ travel destinations to make your travel planning that little bit easier!

Read on for our list of the top LGBTQ travel destinations 2019:

Berlin

Top gay travel destinations 2019 Berlin

Heaving with rich history, stunning architecture and a great up and coming LGBTQ scene – the city of Berlin easily earns its place on the top LGBTQ travel destinations 2019.

Check out the Brandenburg gate, take in the striking artworks at the East Side Gallery and after a long day of exploring, pop into Möbel Olfe for a craft beer or to Blond for a cocktail and an exhilarating drag queen show.

Cape Town

top lgbtq travel destinations 2019
With a celebrated and vibrant community, Cape Town is always top of the list for anyone on the look out for an exotic LGBTQ adventure.

Once Table Mountain and the Cape of Good Hope have been explored and experienced, why not try out Beefcakes Burger Bar for a drag show?

If you plan on visiting Cape Town in December – try out the Mother City Queer Project, considered one of the ultimate gay costume parties in Africa.

Amsterdam
Top LGBTQ friendly destinations 2019 Amsterdam

With its vibrant culture scene and picturesque streets, the capital of the Netherlands is a truly unique destination.

Home to Europe’s first ever gay bar, Amsterdam boasts some of the most welcoming LGBTQ areas along its famed canals. Picture quirky clubs, renowned drag queens and everything in between.

Copenhagen
Top LGBTQ travel destinations 2019

As the host of WorldPride 2021, Copenhagen is renowned for being a LGBTQ friendly city.

Once you’re finished exploring the Tivoli Gardens and indulging in Danish pastries, head to Warehouse9; a performance space famed for its performance art and activism or make your way to Club Christopher to dance the night away.

Barcelona
Top LGBTQ travel destinations 2019

The spectacular city of Barcelona is renowned for being a city committed to diversity.

Known for its art and architecture, be sure to check out the Casa Milá and snap an Instagram at Park Guell.

Fancy a relaxing day in the sun? Pack your beach bag and make your way to Mar Bella beach!

Rio de Janeiro
Top LGBTQ Travel Destinations 2019

Often referred to as ‘the city of contrasts’, Rio de Janeiro is defined by its breath-taking beauty and its glorious LGBTQ scene.

Explore the colourful streets of Rio, head to a pool party in Barra, top up your tan at the beach of Ipanema or grab a caipirinhas in the flamboyant venue of Le Boy.

Montreal

top lgbtq travel destinations 2019
Home to the famous Cirque de Soleil, the Canadian city of Montreal has a colourful narrative that not only invites, but celebrates the LGBTQ community.

If you’re visiting during the month of October, check out their Black and Blue Festival – an electronic festival that raises both awareness and money for HIV/AIDS.

Another area worth experiencing is the famed ‘Gay Village’ with it’s eccentric bars and after hour clubs.

Tel Aviv

top lgbtq travel destinations 2019
With Israeli governments promoting LGBTQ equality for more than a decade, it should come as no surprise that Irael’s Tel Aviv has gained a reputation for being one of the top LGBTQ destinations.

Take a walking tour and discover more about Tel Aviv’s LGBTQ history, grab a drink in Evita – one of Tel Aviv’s oldest gay bars or go for a swim along Hilton beach.

And there we have it: the top LGBTQ travel destinations 2019!

Looking for more travel advice? Check out our other blog posts or get in contact with your local TMB clinic.

Top Business Travel Gadgets 2019

Top Business Travel Gadgets 2019

top 5 travel gadgets 2019

You’re traipsing through the airport with an abundance of thoughts running through your head regarding your business trip, one of them being – please don’t let my phone battery die before I land!

Sound familiar? Well, if you’ve ever travelled for work – you can probably identify with the above.

Thankfully, there are now so many gadgets to make your next business trip stress-free.

Read on to see our picks of the top business travel gadgets:

Cabin Friendly Adventure bag
€20.00

Top business travel gadgets 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cabin Friendly Adventure bag has tonnes of travel friendly features. It’s perfect for a short business trip and it easily folds away when not in use.

With a clip-on shoulder strap and an outside zip pocket, this cabin bag is a must have on any business travellers list.

Aqua Pure Traveller Water Filter Bottle
€45.00

Top Business Travel Gadgets 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This high-performance water purification system provides you with access to safe drinking water wherever you may be.

Simply fill the bottle and you can safely drink the water immediately!

Dry iPad
€15.00

Top Business Travel Gadgets 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Access your emails and keep on top of your work wherever you may be with the Dry iPad. Offering 100% waterproof protection, this clear pouch assures a seamless response to any touch.

The integrated earphone jack allows you to listen to music and watch your favourite films during your down time.

USB Adaptor
€24.00

Top 5 travel gadgets 2019 universal adaptor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lifesystems Universal Travel Adaptor is for the worldwide business travellers. The plug adaptor system allows you to connect devices to local mains sockets in more than 150 countries.

So, whether you need to connect your phone or your laptop, the Universal Travel Adaptor can charge your electronics when connected to nearly any power supply.

Mobile Power Bank
€27.00

Top Business Travel Gadgets 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You need not worry about your phone battery running low during an important business call with the Mobile Power Bank.

This back-up power source is an easy way to charge your essentials when you’re out and about, making it one of the top business travel gadgets on our list.

We hope you enjoyed our top business travel gadgets blog!

For more travel related advice, be sure to check out our other blog posts or get in contact with your local TMB clinic.

Top Travel Gadgets 2019

Top Travel Gadgets 2019

top 5 travel gadgets 2019Preparing to go on your holidays isn’t always the easiest feat. Passports? Check. Boarding Passes? Check. Stressing about having everything until you eventually get off your flight? Check.

After all the hustle and bustle of getting to your destination, it’s important that you make your time away a complete breeze! Luckily enough, there are plenty of top travel gadgets to help make your travelling life that bit easier.

These are the top travel gadgets 2019 – all of which can be found on Travelshop.ie!

USB Universal Adaptor
€24.00

Top 5 travel gadgets 2019 universal adaptor
The Lifesystems Universal Travel Adaptor is for the worldwide travellers amongst you. This Universal Travel Adapter is fitted with a powerful USB port which will charge devices at 1 amp, as opposed to the more common 0.5 amps. It also has a patented plug adaptor system enabling you to connect two pin or three pin devices to local mains sockets in more than 150 countries.

Go Travel Dry Reader
€11.00

top 5 travel gadgets 2019 dry reader

This 100% waterproof case will protect your beloved e-reader from water, sand and dirt.

Able to fit iPad mini’s and all Kindle models – the Go Travel Dry Reader will ensure to keep your e-reader safe, no matter where you decide to read!

Cable padlock
€13.99

top 5 travel gadgets 2019 cable padlock

There’ll be no need to worry about the safety of your belongings with the cable padlock.

The cable lock has a 90cm retractable steel shackle and hard to crack, four-digit number combination. The shackle is contained in a durable ABS plastic casing.

Share Sounds earphones
€9.00

top 5 travel gadgets 2019 splitter
Want to watch or listen to something with a friend but don’t have a splitter handy? Worry not!

The share sounds earphones make their way onto the list of the top travel gadgets 2019 as, put simply, they are a quality pair of earphones! The integrated splitter ensures you and your friend can listen together on your travels.

USB Shaver
€15.00

top 5 travel gadgets 2019 shaver

This pocket-sized travel shaver makes life easier for any traveller who likes to take care of themselves when travelling but doesn’t fancy packing their whole shaving set!

The shaver is supplied with a spare micro foil guard ensuring its high performance is maintained for an extended period of time before seeking a replacement.

We hope you enjoyed our Top Travel Gadgets 2019 blog. For more travel related advice, be sure to check out our other blog posts.

Is travel good for your health?

Is travel good for your health?

You’ve just arrived home from your trip abroad, the feeling of calm and relaxation is, for lack of a better word – fantastic. Don’t you just wish you could bottle it up and use it whenever needed?
Well, there’s a reason for that post-travel tenderness and it’s not just because of the amount of naps you indulged in. Which makes us wonder, is travel good for your health?

We’re delighted to disclose that it’s been proven that travelling can affect both your physical and mental health in a positive way.
Read on to see Tropical Medical Bureau’s reasons as to why travel is good for your health.

Boost creativity

Is travel good for your health

Exploring the meandering streets of Santorini or the stunning ski slopes of Whistler will have your brain in a tizzy of inspiration.
Whether you’re a creative at heart or you’ve simply always been able to appreciate stunning sites – travel has been proven to have the power to boost your creativity.

Make social connections

Is travel good for your health

Being brave enough to experience a new destination comes hand in hand with finding the courage to, and perhaps needing to, step out of your comfort zone and make new connections.
Whether these connections be fellow travellers or trustworthy locals, putting yourself out there and meeting new people is known to have a positive impact on your mental health, mainly your confidence.

Experience alternative lifestyles and cultures

Is travel good for your health culture

Submerging yourself in the culture of another country is not easy, but it’s worth it. Steering yourself away from your usual Sunday roast does in fact come with some positives!
By embracing the food, the lifestyle and the norms of a certain area, you’ll learn to understand and acknowledge the history. This can enrich your mind in some pretty special ways.

You’ll get moving

Is travel good for your health

You won’t have the luxury of knowing the bus route or having the local taxi man on speed dial. When travelling abroad, you’ll be constantly on the go. Whether that be by foot or by bike, you’ll find yourself moving much more than you would at home – need we explain why this is a positive for your health?

Challenge your brain

Is travel good for your health decision

Decisions are something you’re bound to delve into making during your time away. Whether it be what to eat for breakfast or what island to visit next – your brain will consistently be challenged in more ways than one.
Independence and decision making will come in abundance during your time travelling, your brain will constantly be on the go.

We hope you enjoyed our ‘Is travel good for your health?’ blog.
For more travel related advice, be sure to check out our other blog posts.

How to travel on a budget – The 2019 guide

How to travel on a budget – The 2019 guide

how to travel on a budget

Many people feel as if they need to pick between travelling and keeping their bank account in order, when in fact, you can do both!
You see, it’s not necessary to spend a lot to experience a lot and we’re here to prove it.
Read on to see our top tips on how to travel on a budget – the 2019 guide.

Consider alternative destinations

how to travel on a budget

Many want to experience the beaches of Bali or the sunset of Bora Bora. But, what if we told you that the sand is just as sandy and the sunset is just as magnificent in other, cheaper destinations?
One of the first things to consider when travelling on a budget is your destination. Less expensive doesn’t necessarily mean less beautiful – do your research!

Plan around off-peak times

how to travel on a budget

Look into the most popular times to visit your destination, and then plan to travel just before or after these dates. This is what’s called shoulder season; you’ll still make amazing memories but you won’t have to break the bank to make them.

Treasure experiences, save the expenses

how to travel on a budget

Take advantage of all of the free attractions in your destination. Be it museums, historic sites or a simple beach walk – you don’t need to splash the cash to create experiences.
Be sure to look online for any free events ongoing during your stay; they’re a great way to truly embrace your destinations culture and get chatting to locals!

Public transport is your friend

how to travel on a budget

Would you hail a taxi every day just to get around your local town? Then it’s smart not to get into the habit when you’re away! When travelling on a budget, it’s important to do as the locals do and grab a bus, train, walk or cycle.

Eat in, not out

how to travel on a budget

Head to the local market and pick up some inexpensive local, and authentic, delicacies. By doing this, you’ll spend a percentage of what you would spend in any of the tourist ridden restaurants, and you’ll be able to experience a snippet of the areas true food culture.

Locals know best

how to travel on a budget

Get chatting to the individuals who know your chosen destination inside out – the locals!
Whether you’re looking to treat yourself to an authentic meal in a local restaurant or you want to explore some areas off the beaten track – the locals will be able to point you in the right, and less expensive, direction.

We hope you enjoyed our blog on how to travel on a budget!
For more travel related advice, be sure to check out our blog.

5 ways to save water when travelling

5 ways to save water when travelling

ways to save water when travelling

Water is one of the world’s most important natural resources yet saving water when travelling isn’t always made a priority.

That’s why, this World Water Day 2019, we’re sharing some top ways to save water when travelling so that the next time you take a trip, you’ll be a savvy water saver.

Shower don’t bathe

ways to save water when travelling

It’s unfortunate but true, the bath in hotel rooms really does look more inviting than the one you have at home. But, don’t let it tempt you!

A trip to the bath uses a lot more water than showering. Think about it – water is used to fill the tub as well as to rinse off any excess soap once you’re done. Put simply, shower don’t bathe.

Use hand sanitiser

ways to save water when travelling

Not only does hand sanitiser rid germs and save you from looking for water or soap when you’re on the go, it also helps save water!

So, the next time you’re picking up some last-minute toiletries, opt for some hand sanitiser and feel proud that you’re doing your bit to save water.

Turn off taps properly

ways_to_save_water_when_travelling2

Have you ever heard the faint sound of drops of water coming from a tap? Well, those drops can really add up. Always remember to turn the tap off properly once you’re finished using it.

Carry wet wipes

ways to save water when travelling

If you don’t know the power of wet wipes, we’re more than happy to introduce you!
They’ll keep you clean in destinations or accommodations where there’s limited access to water – and even places where there’s not.

Tonnes of sizes and packages are available so you can wipe yourself down during a trip instead of putting water to waste.

Re-wear your clothes

ways to save water when travelling

One of the most overlooked ways to save water when travelling? Re-wearing your clothes! That’s right, wearing your clothes more than once is a step in the right direction to saving water.
Also, consider investing in some durable clothing which won’t need to be washed as much!

We hope you enjoyed our blog post on our top 5 ways to save water when travelling! For more travel related advice, be sure to check out our blog.

What to do if your luggage is lost abroad

What to do if your luggage is lost abroad

what to do if you lost your luggage abroad

It’s every traveller’s worst nightmare. You’ve been planning this trip for months, you’ve stocked up on fresh toiletries and even some new socks. You’ve arrived at your destination and you’re standing at the carousel for what feels like forever.

The empty carousel passes you by one last time and you come to realise – you’ve lost your luggage abroad.
Suddenly, your dream holiday has gone down the drain and you can’t help but be bothered by the thought of wearing your travelling clothes repeatedly for the next ten days.

But worry not, here’s what to do if your luggage is lost abroad:

Don’t panic

lost luggage

Despite how much you’ll want to, going straight into panic mode won’t bring your luggage back. With that said, you’ll be delighted to know that there is a pretty high chance that your luggage has simply been misplaced. The vast majority of lost baggage thankfully turns up within a few days.

According to the SITA 2017 Baggage Report, for every thousand passengers, 6.94 bags were lost as a result of mishandling in 2017. At a rate of 6.94 bags per 1000 passengers, that’s just a 0.7% chance your luggage is actually lost!

Visit the baggage claim office

lost luggage

Head over to the airport’s baggage claim office and file a report of your lost luggage.

Filing a report lets the airline know about your missing bag, it also allows you to create a paper trail if you’d like to receive a reimbursement for the items you had to purchase as a result of your missing bag – which presumably you’ll want to do!

Before leaving, make sure to get a copy of the report and a follow-up number that you can contact.

Create a list of your items

lost luggage

If your luggage turns out to be lost, some airlines may require you to produce receipts to prove the value of the items that you had in your lost luggage.

Of course, this seems like a daunting task. So to begin, simply create a list of the items that were in your suitcase whilst it’s still fresh in your mind.

Keep in contact with the airline

lost luggage

Take the reins of the situation and give the airline a follow-up call.
Depending on the airline, if your bag is truly lost, they must compensate you for it and your lost items – so make sure to ask, it’s worth a try!

We hope you find these tips for what to do if your luggage is lost abroad useful. For more travel related advice be sure to check out our blog.

How to Overcome Fear of Flying

How to overcome fear of flying

How to overcome fear of flying

You dream of listening to the gentle lulling of the waves on a Thai beach or blowing that bonus on Fifth Avenue in New York. Maybe you’ve always wanted to climb Mt Kilimanjaro or to discover a whole new world under the sea at the Great Barrier Reef. But one thing is holding you back – a fear of flying. This phobia affects thousands of Irish passengers each year and accounts for many sweaty palms, clenched fists and profuse sweating at the boarding gates. Want to know how to overcome fear of flying? Our expert tells all…

Face your fear

Don’t let your fear of flying limit the holidays you take or adventures you have. Yes, it may be a scary thought but it’s important not to let this hold you back from what you want to do. The longer you avoid flying the more daunting the prospect will become. Refusing to fly can affect your personal relationships and even career so be determined not to let it get the better of you. There are lots of things you can do to figure out how to overcome fear of flying. It’s down to each individual to find out what works for them.  Start preparing early, there are tips you can use both before you take off and while in the air.

Know the facts

Do some research to understand exactly what happens on a plane. This will help you to account for any strange noises or turbulence which would otherwise cause you to panic. You may be fed up of hearing that you’re more likely to be injured in a car or on a bike but this is true! Flying is actually the safest mode of transport with a minuscule number of accidents compared to driving.

Take deep breaths

Never underestimate the power of deep breathing. This is the only automatic function of the body that you have control over. It’s a really useful way to reduce anxiety and can help the body to calm down quickly. If you’re in a real state and find yourself hyperventilating, breathe into the sick bag found in front of your seat.

Distract yourself mid-flight

Do what you can to turn the flight experience into something to be enjoyed. How often is it that you get time to yourself to kick back with a good book or watch the latest blockbuster? Bring a book and a tablet with you or avail of the inflight entertainment.How to overcome fear of flying

It’s amazing how quickly the time will pass if you’re focused on something else.

Think about where you’re going

Remember the reason you’re on the plane. This is a great way to overcome fear of flying. Instead of dwelling on morbid thoughts, consider how much fun you’re going to have when you arrive at your destination. Distract yourself with a guidebook or photo of where you’re jetting off to. With a physical image in hand, your mind is much less likely to wander.

Be careful with drinks

Stay away caffeinated drinks as these can result in a hyper state of mind and exacerbate your anxiety. Likewise, dehydration can intensify your fear, as well as jet lag, and cause you to feel even more uncomfortable. Drink plenty of water throughout the flight and move around the cabin to normalise the situation. Alcohol and sleeping tablets won’t do anything to combat your fear in the long run so these are also best avoided.

Follow our top tips and feel your worries slowly float away. Remember that fear of flying is a very common phobia and you are not alone in your anxiety on flight. Try to think rationally about the situation and focus on other things, like where you’re headed or inflight entertainment, to make the journey go by as quickly as possible. You’ll thank yourself when you have an incredible time wherever you land.

As you take a practical approach to find out how to overcome fear of flying in your own individual circumstance, remember that for most people fear of flying reduces with experience. The good news is that generally speaking the more you fly, the easier it gets.

TMB are here to help, get more travel health advice here. 

Tips for travelling with food allergies

Tips for travelling with food allergies

Tips for travelling with food allergies

Travelling with food allergies can sometimes feel daunting, but it is possible to enjoy a lifetime of travel once you follow some simple steps. By planning ahead and taking precautions, you can be allergy aware and safe wherever you go. Here are some straightforward tips for travelling with food allergies.

Choose the right accommodation

Take some time to research your trip so you can enjoy your journey without constantly worrying about your allergies. Choose your accommodation wisely by calling ahead to learn about their food allergy policies. Whether you decided to stay in a hotel, hostel, or apartments try to book accommodation with a kitchen, and find out where local groceries can be purchased. This way you won’t have to worry about eating out all the time.

Get travel insurance

You should have travel insurance at the top of your list. Travel insurance is not only helpful for medical care in other countries but also helps if anything unexpected happens and you need to cancel or change your flights.

Carry a first aid kit

Pack a first aid kit with all your medications, including extra EpiPen and your Food Allergy Action Plan. This consists of recommended treatment in case of an allergic reaction, is signed by your GP and includes emergency contact information.  Don ’t pack away your first aid kit in your checked luggage, it should always be easily accessible.Tips for travelling with food allergies

Food allergy apps

There are dozens of free apps to help people with food allergies and food sensitivities. A useful app to download is smart-ICE (In Case of Emergency). With this app, you can keep your emergency contacts, doctor’s information, medical information, and any prescription information or medicines you’re taking all on your phone. This is a great app to have in case of an emergency.

Ensure a safe plane ride

If you have serious reactions to any common allergens, it is imperative you verify that your flight will be safe. For example, if you have a peanut allergy, call the airline before booking and ask what their allergy policies are. Every airline is different and some are more helpful than others. Most need the notice to make accommodations. Even after you have discussed your allergies with the airline always tell the flight attendant about your allergies before boarding the plane.  Make sure you feel 100% safe and before you board the plane.

Learn the local language

Try to learn as much of the local language as possible, especially the terms associated with allergies. This way you can recognize what your allergens are called, and explain yourself if you are having a reaction and need help. Hellolingo.com is a free language sharing site and Duolingo is a great language learning app that can help you pick up the local language easily.

Tips for travelling with food allergies 2

Find out where to eat ahead of time

There are several things you can to do while travelling to make eating easier and safe. Do some research ahead of time to see what dining options are available at the destination you are visiting. Biteappy is a worldwide directory of allergy-friendly restaurants locally or abroad. Search for allergy-friendly restaurants to make eating out an easy and enjoyable experience.

Travel Health

We hope that you find these tips for travelling with food allergies useful while you travel abroad. For more travel health tips and advice call your local TMB travel health clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals.

Best islands in Thailand for backpackers

thailand 2Best islands in Thailand for backpackers

Backpacking through Thailand is a real treat for Irish students. After a busy college year, students love to jet off and explore the Thai islands and find a sense of freedom and some well-deserved fun in the sunWhether you want to see the fascinating world of South East Asia, swim in the crystal-clear waters, enjoy the picturesque mountain views or experience the most incredible nightlife – these islands have it all! With so much to see and do it’s easy to see why young visitors go backpacking in Thailand every year. However, with countless islands to choose from, planning a trip can be difficult. To help students make the most of their island hopping experience, here is a rundown of what our customers have voted the best islands in Thailand for backpackers.

Ko Samui

Ko Samui is one of the favourite destinations in Thailand among students and is easily accessible with its own airport. This island offers students magnificent white sandy beaches, wonderful restaurants and a sparkling nightlife to match. Visit Chanweng beach and feel alive with the hustle and bustle of this vibrant beach surrounded by bars, restaurants, and a fantastic selection of shops. Ko Samui is known for its laid-back charm but also offers an exciting nightlife that will definitely impress you! This is a great point at which to kick off your backpacking adventure.

Ko Pha-Ngan

Only a short ferry ride from Ko Samui is Ko Pha-Ngan, another hotspot for students and certainly one of the best islands in Thailand for backpackers. Situated in South-East Thailand, this island is home to the most stunning bays and luscious rainforest. Explore the island’s diverse flora and fauna, swim in clearest waters and taste delightful local specialities for an experience of a lifetime!

Ko Pha-Ngan is renowned for its monthly Full Moon Party. This night-long party takes place on a stretch of beach each month during the full moon. Imagine a beach packed with people from all over the world, fire dancers, dance stages, drink bucket stands and live DJs – there is nothing quite like it!

Ko Chang

Ko Chang, Thailand’s second largest island, is definitely high on the list of best islands in Thailand for backpackers. This island offers students a chance to revitalise and renew their energy levels. It is by far the most scenic island with beautiful beaches and renowned views. Relatively undeveloped, the island is perfect for energetic treks and exploring its untouched dense forests. The island’s beaches have clear calm seas, great for swimming and snorkelling. This is an idyllic Island for any young adventurer!

Koh Tao – Best islands in Thailand for backpackers

Koh Tao is one of Thailand’s smaller islands but that doesn’t mean that it is without plenty of fun activities for students to enjoy. The island’s stunning natural landscapes offer the perfect environment for students to relax, sight-see and soak up the sunshine.

Spend your days practicing yoga on a golden beach for a unique experience that you won’t easily forget. This island offers irresistible charm – not to mention an excellent nightlife – including the occasional full-moon party.

Travel health

TMB want to help you stay safe and healthy while abroad! Make sure you are fully prepared and protected against possible health risks by booking a consultation with one of our medical professionals.

Can you travel abroad with your pet?

Can you travel abroad with your pet?

justin-veenema-NH1d0xX6Ldk-unsplashAre you going away to an exotic destination this Christmas, visiting family abroad, or returning home? Though this can be exciting, we all know the feeling of leaving your beloved pet behind. Finding someone you trust to take care of your pet while you are away can be difficult. However, you don’t have to leave them behind. Here’s how you can travel abroad with your pet.

Get your pet passport

Yes, you heard us right. Pets require passports in order to fly between countries!

Proper documentation is always needed when travelling with your pet, so be sure to research the requirements of the Regional Veterinary Office of the destination of your travels prior to departing. This includes proof of vaccination and microchipping! Rules for travel vary depending on location, so it is best to have everything organised in advance!

Choose your accommodation wisely

Before embarking on your travels, take some time to do your research. If you are planning on staying in hotels/hostels/ airbnb’s, make sure they are pet-friendly.

There is nothing worse than being turned away at check-in, let alone losing your deposit! If you plan to stay with family or friends, make sure they are happy for your pet to join! It is polite to give people a heads up. You don’t want to be that person who shows up with a pet unannounced!

Make a holiday itinerary

If you are planning to travel with your pet, make sure it is a holiday for both of you! There are plenty of pet-friendly activities for you to do together. Research your destination and see if there is a nearby park or other pet-friendly locations that you and your pet can visit together.

Can you travel abroad with your pet? The answer is YES! If you and your pet are heading off an exotic destination, we strongly advise that you book an appointment at your local TMB clinic and get all of the recommended vaccinations.  

How to do a digital detox while on holidays

How to do a digital detox while on holidays

maxim-ilyahov-0aRycsfH57A-unsplashHolidays are a time for relaxation and reflection. However, with smartphones today, getting some time to yourself can be more challenging than you think. This is why doing a digital detox while on holidays is perfect. With our five top tips, we want to help you to cut down on your smartphone usage to ensure you make the most of your getaway!

  1. Choose the right destination

Choosing the right destination for your holiday is not only important, but it is key to the success of your digital detox. A city with lots to offer will keep you on your feet and distracted. For example, Japan is an ideal holiday destination!

In Japan, there is more history and culture available to you than you could ever imagine! In order to take full advantage of this, you need to give Japan 100% of your attention. If you choose a destination that will leave you bored at times, you will have a stronger temptation to pass the time on your smartphone. In Japan, you won’t even have a spare moment to break your digital detox!

  1. Bring a Camera

One of the easiest ways to “accidentally” check your phone is when you choose to use it as a camera! One moment you are taking a picture, the next you are checking your emails and social media. Do yourself a favour, and bring a good camera on your next holiday! Not only will it take better photos, but it will also allow you to stick to your digital detox and stay in the moment!

  1. Get a map – a digital detox

This is one of the easiest things you can do to avoid screen time. We all remember a time before GPS, it will be like taking a trip to the past!

Maps are readily available to you while on holidays. If you are staying at a hotel, ask the front desk! As well, any tourist office would be happy to help you out. Guiding yourself through a city by map will eliminate the need to use your smartphone for directions.

  1. Swap your smartphone for a fuss-free phone

Surprisingly, a cellphone without smartphone capabilities is quite inexpensive today. Instead of bringing your smartphone on holiday with you, swap it out for a fuss-free cellphone. If your main concern with doing a digital detox is that it will be difficult for people to get in touch with you in case of emergency, then this is a viable option for you! Simply pop out your SIM card, and insert it into your fuss-free phone. Family and friends will be able to call you and you won’t have access to social media! Talk about a win-win situation!

  1. Allocate time for your smartphone

Saying that you won’t use your smartphone is an unrealistic goal for many people. It is our access to the world! Many of us use our smartphones not only for communication but for news and information!

Cutting yourself off from all of this can be very difficult. This is why we propose you set a time frame (or two) during which you are allowed to use your smartphone for all the features it offers! We suggest in the morning before breakfast and before you go to bed! With allocated smartphone times, you are less likely to crave your phone during the day.

We hope you found this blog on how to do a digital detox while on holidays helpful. If you are heading off to an exotic adventure, we strongly advise that you book an appointment at your local TMB clinic and get all of the recommended vaccinations.  

The Different Types of Travellers – What Kind Are You?

The Different Types of Travellers – What Kind Are You?averie-woodard-5d20kdvFCfA-unsplash

Every traveller has their own vibe when it comes to travelling. Sometimes you are rolling with the punches, exploring every aspect of a city- and sometimes you just want to take it easy and relax on a beach. Luckily, the world is a vast playground that can cater to anything you feel like doing. Keeping the different types of travellers in mind, we’re here to tell you exactly where you should go for your next holiday destination.

Relaxer

Occasionally,  our lives can become overwhelming… but that is why we have holiday time! If you are the kind of traveller who needs to escape their daily routine and relax on a beach, Cuba is the place to go!

Picture this- light blue waters, white sand beaches, palm trees and a piña colada. If that isn’t the recipe for a perfect holiday, I don’t know what is! Cuba is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world – our favourite is Playa Los Flamencos. Covering over 22 km of coastline, this beach offers you beautiful views and more! In between lounging on the beach, we recommend you go for a snorkel to see the country’s famous starfish!

History Lover

If you are the kind of person who loves to learn about history, Israel is the place for you! Take a trip to the city of Jerusalem, and you won’t be able to move without stepping on some history!

Acting as a holy site to Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the city offers travellers of all backgrounds an opportunity to learn about the past. Don’t believe us? Here are our fast 5 facts about Jerusalem.

  1. There are more than 50 Christian churches, 33 Muslim Mosques, and 300 Jewish synagogues in the city.
  2. The Israel Museum is home to the Dead Sea Scrolls- some of the oldest Biblical manuscripts ever found.
  3. Jerusalem has more than 2000 active archaeological sites.
  4. There are more than 60 museums in the city.
  5. Some of the olive trees in the city are more than 800 years old.

The Party Goer – types of traveller

If you are the kind of traveller who is looking to let loose and be where the party is, Thailand is definitely the place for you. Each day offers you a new experience, and the country’s natural beauty is an added bonus! Of all the parties you will find here, attending a full moon party is an absolute must!

A full moon party is a signature party in Thailand that takes place on a beach, and goes on all night to celebrate… you guessed it! A full moon! Thailand boasts a vast range of full moon parties to choose from, such as the ones in Koh Pha Ngan! Visitors can expect to see fireworks,  listen to a wide spectrum of music and meet new people from across the world.  It truly is a party-goers paradise!

Adventurer

If you are travelling in search of adventure, Canada is our choice for you! In British Columbia, you can seek out enough thrill for a lifetime. This beautiful Canadian province is known for its breathtaking views,  but little do people know, it can offer you adventure in any way you can think of!

Here are some of our favourite activities offered in British Colombia.

  1. Snow Ski on Whistler Mountain
  2. Bungee Jump above the glacial-fed Cheakamus River
  3. Hike the Berg Lake Trail
  4. Go White Water Rafting on the Chilliwack River
  5. Go horseback riding through the Rocky Mountains

Budget Conscious

If you plan to travel on a budget, we’re here to help! Our favourite budget-friendly holiday spot is Cancun, Mexico. Known for its beautiful beaches and all-inclusive resorts, you are sure to get a good deal on your holiday.  As always, a budget-friendly holiday needs to be flexible with dates. The key to saving money is travelling during the off-season, especially in Mexico! Flights become far less expensive, and tourist fee-hikes on accommodation disappear.

If you are savvy enough, you will surely s a great deal for an all-inclusive holiday of your dreams! The easiest way to do this is to book as far in advance as possible. If you have prospective dates in mind, start booking! The closer to your holiday you get, the more expensive!

Travel health

For travel health tips and advice call into your local TMB travel health clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals. Our experts will offer you travel advice and guide you through the health and safety requirements for your trip.

5 shocking myths about the flu

5 shocking myths about the flu

how to prevent the flu

There are many misconceptions about the flu and the flu vaccine. It can be difficult for people to sort out a fact from a rumour when it involves this virus. It is our goal to help keep you informed about the flu. Here are 5 shocking myths about the flu so you know how to protect yourself from the virus.

Myth 1. The flu is the same as a cold

It may seem obvious to some but catching the flu is not the same catching a cold. The flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. The flu usually comes on suddenly. The symptoms of flu can include fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue (tiredness). In general, Cold symptoms are usually milder than the symptoms of the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. The flu can cause mild to severe illness. It is more dangerous than a cold as at times it can lead to death.

Myth 2. If you have the flu you can’t infect someone just by standing next to them

It is evitable that you will stand in close proximity to someone when at work, college or in a public space. Unfortunately, if you are sick, that means you have probably already infected them. The flu is spread by virus-laden droplets. These are drops of spit or other bodily fluids that spray into the air when you sneeze and cough. These droplets can extend out from you at a distance of six feet. Even just breathing on someone a few feet from you can infect them.

If you have the flu everything you touch also gets covered in the virus. The virus can survive for up to 48 hours on a hard, nonporous surface such as a door handle.

Myth 3. You never get the flu, so you won’t this year

If you have not had the flu before, then lucky you! However, just because you have not gotten sick in the past does not mean you are somehow immune to the flu. Not catching the flu is usually down to two things. One is that you haven’t come into contact with anyone who has the virus. The second reason is that you have always gotten the flu vaccination to prevent catching the flu.

If enough people get vaccinated against a virus, they can not then spread the virus to others. It is a process called herd immunity and helps protect the most vulnerable people in the population, including infants and young children, older adults and people who have weak immune systems from a medical condition or medication.

Myth 4. You got the flu vaccination last year, so you don’t need it again this year

To protect yourself and others from the flu, you must get the flu vaccination every year. Unlike some other immunizations, the flu vaccination becomes less effective over time.

The flu vaccination formulation also changes each year to protect against specific viruses that are expected to be prominent that year. This is another reason why it is important to get the flu vaccination every year.

Myth 5. You are healthy, so you won’t get the flu

Looking after your health is always beneficial for you. However, anyone can get sick with the flu, even extremely healthy people. The flu can affect you just as easily as it can affect someone who does not eat well or exercise regularly. It is true that a good diet and exercise regime will help keep you to stay healthy and strong, but that is not going to prevent you from getting sick if you are exposed to the flu virus. The only thing that will help prevent you from catching the flu is getting the flu vaccination.

We hope you found our 5 shocking myths about the flu helpful. To protect yourself and others from catching the flu we strongly advise that you book an appointment at your local TMB clinic for the flu vaccination. 

5 Best rainy season holiday destinations

agustin-diaz-7F65HDP0-E0-unsplashTravelling to a country during the rainy season can sound cold and wet, but for some destinations this is actually the best time to go. The rain tends to bring lush landscapes and fewer crowds, which means lower-priced accommodations and flights when these destinations are their most beautiful. But not all rainy seasons are created equal, so here’s our list of the 5 best destinations during the rainy season.

Peru (December- March)

The best part about Peru’s rainy season is that it’s generally the warmest part of the year, with average temperatures around 24℃ as opposed to the dryer months where temperatures are around 17℃. But the rain can bring obstacles if you are set on trekking around the Andes, and it’s best to avoid hiking since trails can be muddy and dangerous.

Instead, doing some of the iconic sightseeing in Machu Picchu and Cusco is better and less crowded.

Cayman Islands (May-October)

A brief afternoon shower is often welcomed in the heat of the summer in the Cayman Islands. The country has a very mild rainy season; it doesn’t rain every day, but when it does the storms tend to pass very quickly and offer a refreshing break from the summer heat. Visiting during this time of year also gives you the advantage of being in the beautiful islands off of peak season, so you will find that beaches will be less crowded and accommodations more affordable.

Mexico (May-October) –  rainy season holiday

Even with some rain, there are still plenty of things to do in Mexico during this season. Mexico has a rich and diverse history which is seen best while visiting some of their museums and historical buildings.

But if museums aren’t your thing, you can stay dry while sampling some of the country’s most famous exports at a Mexican tequila or mezcal tasting.

Costa Rica (May-November)

Costa Rica is unarguably most beautiful when the rainforests are lush and vibrant, and the rainy season is the perfect time of year to see the trees at their greenest. Along with making the trees so green, the rain can also bring more bugs to the tropics. Make sure to bring extra bug repellent because the mosquitos are the worst during the rainy season. Even though the bugs may be heavier, the rainy season tends to be the least busy time of year, meaning that the beautiful sights will be less crowded with other visitors.

Dominican Republic (May-November)

A little rain never gets in the way of a good time in the Dominican Republic. Even during the rainy season, many storms come in short bursts and leave clear sunny skies once they are done.

The small drizzles of the rainy season give the perfect excuse to get in the water and enjoy some world class scuba diving.

Travel Health

If you are thinking of travelling during the rainy season we have a range of travel health services available. For more information contact TMB.

5 of the World’s Best Backpacking Destinations

philipp-kammerer-6Mxb_mZ_Q8E-unsplash (2)Backpacking is easily one of the best ways to travel the world on a budget. And without letting baggage and fears get in your way of getting to know a new location, it can be one of the most rewarding experiences of a lifetime. But with so many places to see and choose from, it can be a bit overwhelming when deciding where you want to take your backpack next, so here are six of the world’s best backpacking destinations to help you decide.

Ecuador

Ecuador may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of backpacking destinations, but this small South American country has a lot more to offer than many realize. Ecuador’s large variety of landscapes and attractions is what makes it one of the world’s best backpacking destinations.

The nation’s capital, Quito, has a convenient public transportation system. This system makes it easy to stay outside of the city centre while still being able to explore all parts of the capital. After checking out the city, explore the outdoors on the Quilotoa loop hike or by visiting the legendary Galapagos islands; both locations offer some of the most unique sites in the country.

Nicaragua

Nicaragua is an extreme adventurer’s paradise. Offering mountain biking, kayaking and volcano boarding, backpacking in this Central American country is sure to awaken your more adventurous side.

One of the most popular activities to try is volcano boarding. If you want to give it a try then there are many locations to choose from but the most popular is Cerro Negro. This is not too far from the city of Leon. However, the surf doesn’t end on the volcano, Nicaragua has some of the best beaches in the world to hit the waves on, check out Playa Madera to experience some the best surf that the country has to offer. To top it all off, Nicaragua is one of the most inexpensive places to travel in all of Central America making it one of the world’s best backpacking destinations.

Morocco

To enjoy a “world away” feeling without wondering too far from Europe, Morocco is the ideal destination. One of the most popular activities to take part in during your visit to Morocco is riding a camel through the Sahara, and it’s fairly easy to arrange a tour from either M’Hamid or Merzouga.

If you would prefer to enjoy the sand closer to a beach, there is plenty of world-class surfing to be done up and down Morocco’s Atlantic coast. To diversify your trip, even more, don’t forget to check out a medina (old town). Fez is home to the largest one in the world, but every city in the country has one.

Sri Lanka – Best backpacking destinations!

Sri Lanka will win you over with its incredible array of temples, ruins, beaches and mountains. If you choose to take advantage of the public transport system, eat at local cafes and stay in inexpensive accommodations, the island can easily be explored on a tight budget.

While there are many breath-taking sights to see, we recommend planning ahead and choosing just a few to check out before you leave in order to avoid spending all of your money on pricey tourist sites.

Bolivia

Bolivia is the cheapest country in South America for a backpacking adventure. The landlocked country has an incredibly varied landscape; the north and east consisting mostly of tropical lowlands and the south and west are highly mountainous, which means there is a wide variety of things to do and see.

With a range of activities from touring the salt flats to shopping at unique markets, Bolivia is sure to have something that will catch your eye.

Travel Health

We hope you enjoyed our choice of  5 of the World’s Best Backpacking Destinations. Thinking of your next adventure? Visit us at one of our TMB clinics and speak to a qualified professional about the recommended vaccinations for your adventure.

 

The best cities for foodies

dan-gold-4_jhDO54BYg-unsplashOne of the most exciting and rewarding aspects of travelling is trying new food in the places you go.  In fact, for some, food is so essential they plan their whole holiday around going to the best places to eat. For those people and those who aspire to be more like them, here’s our list of the best cities for foodies to visit.

Bangkok – Thailand

See, hear, smell, touch, taste—Bangkok is a city that hits every sense. Sounds of heavy traffic and the smells of fresh Thai street food dominate the atmosphere in this Asian metropolis. Give your wallet a break and enjoy one of their famous Thai curries for just 60 to 90 baht (about €1.50 to €2.00). But your options aren’t just limited to curry, Bangkok is known for their endless options of exotic street foods—try everything from shrimp and noodles to mango sticky rice.

While Bangkok has legendary Thai street food, we always recommend using caution when purchasing food from street vendors. Use your best judgement to find one that looks sanitary, these are typically the ones with the longest lines and from vendors that specialize in one type of food.

Hanoi – Vietnam

Hanoi, Vietnam is certainly one of the best cities for foodies to visit! Enjoy the endless array of classic Vietnamese food such as pho bo (beef noodle soup), gỏi cuốn (spring rolls) and bahn mi (baguette sandwich). Each dish is characterized by a distinct balance of salty, sweet and savoury flavours that work in ways a western food pallet may not expect. The staple item for any Vietnamese dish is rice, a perfect ingredient to showcase this balance. Almost every dish in Vietnamese centres around the grain: it is used to make the noodles in pho, the paper in spring rolls and also shines on its own in a traditional xoi xeo (sticky rice) dish.

Mumbai – India – The best cities for foodies

Mumbai is known as one of the most diverse cities in India, so it’s no surprise that in this one city you are able to sample staple dishes that originate from all over the subcontinent. With hawkers on every corner vying for your business, you’ll have your pick of the best food at low prices at one of the best food cities in the world.

Even with the vast amount of street vendors, we caution against eating meat from the street, unless you are getting it from a place that is reputable and very busy. Although you may not even be tempted to eat meat since Indian cuisine is famous for some of the most flavourful and unique vegetarian options: malai kofta, palak paneer, chole, and hara bhara kabab are just a few in a long list of dishes that could catch your eye in Mumbai.

Sao Paulo – Brazil

As one of the largest and most internationally diverse cities in Latin America, Sao Paulo’s reputation as one of the best food cities in the world has grown substantially in recent years. Fusing together Portuguese, Italian and Japanese flavours with traditional South American flair, the cuisine found in Sao Paulo is like none other. In this city, there is something to satisfy any craving. From pizza to sushi to barbecue, they truly have it all.

Buenos Aires – Argentina

Argentinian food in one word: grilled. In Argentina, steak is king and nowhere does it better than Buenos Aires. The heart of Argentine cuisine is asado, an array of grilled meats, this dish and the social atmosphere that surround it is regarded as a way of life for many Gauchos.  What goes better with a perfectly prepared asado than a glass of world-class red wine? Argentina is the fifth largest producer of wine in the world and their claim to fame is Malbec. With food and drink like asado and Malbec as dietary staples, it’s no surprise that Buenos Aires is one of the best food cities in the world.

To balance out the decadence of asado and Malbec, don’t forget to try out a more casual, but still iconic dish, empanadas. From sweet to savoury, and everything in between empanadas is the go-to staple snack to round out an Argentine diet.  You won’t have to look far for this dish either as it can be found on nearly every corner in Buenos Aires.

Travel Health

To avoid illness overseas, travellers are strongly advised to book an appointment at one of the many TMB clinics and find out about the vaccinations they may require.

Tips for purchasing the right Travel Insurance Cover

eva-darron-oCdVtGFeDC0-unsplashSo, you’ve finally taken the leap and booked your dream holiday to a far-flung destination. Unfortunately, there is always the chance that travel disruption, strikes, sickness and other elements out of your control can end up damaging your plans and your budget. That is why a travel insurance policy is vital for any holiday. Below are Tips for purchasing the right Travel Insurance Cover to ensure that you are covered no matter what happens.

Purchase Travel Insurance as soon as you book your trip

Always purchase Travel Insurance as soon as you book your trip to ensure you are covered for cancellation straight away. It can be easy to push this off until the last minute but you can run the risk of having a claim declined if you or a family member falls ill prior to taking out the Insurance.

State any health conditions prior to purchasing the policy

bara-buri-D6mRHVHQg8o-unsplashRead the important conditions relating to health. Most policies will require a medical declaration to determine if you have any pre-existing conditions or taking medications. If you do not state these conditions prior to purchasing the policy, you may not be protected if you have an incident related to it.

Ensure you have sufficient cover

Check the summary of benefits to ensure you have sufficient cover. Be aware of reduced limits on Medical, Cancellation and Baggage cover with cheaper policies. Always make sure to check the Excesses on a policy so you know that if the worst happens, you won’t end up still having to pay a large excess fee to make your claim.

Additional cover options

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Check all additional cover options. Things like Winter sports, Excess Waiver and Travel Disruption usually incur an additional fee as they are extras on your policy.

Multitrip.com is a multi-award winning Travel Insurance brand. They are part of Blue Insurance, an Irish company that specialises in a range of insurance products, including car and home. Some of Blue’s other successful brands include GadgetInsurance.comCarHireExcess.ie and PetInsurance.ie

 

Airport tips to get you on-board stress-free

ethan-mcarthur-8KLLgqHMAv4-unsplashAirport tips to get you on-board stress-free

You may think that you’re a travel pro but you’d be surprised by the simple details that you forget. Don’t begin your holiday purple in the face and at the point of a meltdown due to an airport fluster.
Start your trip off on the right foot with these tried and tested airport tips that will get you from the check-in desk to your seat seamlessly!

All aboard

Get your boarding pass on your phone. Everyone has experienced the hassle of printing out boarding passes, barcodes not working, pages going missing and the crazy charges of re-printing at the airport. You don’t need to have a fancy app on your phone to save your boarding pass (although they are available). Simply take a screenshot of your boarding pass which will save to your camera roll. Then you’ll always have it to hand, which is particularly useful when stocking up on duty free as in most cases you have to present it at each purchase.

Airport tips – Bag drop

There’s not much worse than the fear of heaving your bag up on the scales at the check-in desk and watching the weight clock dangerously close and then over your allowance, resulting in a increasingly aggressive group of travellers watching you rummage through your personals to find the heavier items and stuffing them into your hand luggage. Did you know that some airlines now let you check your bags in the night before your flight? Avoid the stress and long queues and start your trip free from luggage stress.

Fast Track

If you’re travelling at a particularly busy peak travel time investing in a Fast Track pass could be the best way to go and one of the best airport tips. Skip the crazy queues of people sorting out their liquids and removing layers of clothes and fly through security (pardon the pun).

Dress well

Make life easier for yourself – dress lightly, don’t wear any belts or jewellery that will set off the alarms, wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off and avoid scarves and hats that will only have to be removed before going through the scanners. Comfortable footwear will also come in handy in the event of a panicked last minute realisation that your gate is in fact at the far side of the terminal and closes in four minutes.

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

Don’t be one of those people trying to cram six bottles of suncream into an airport approved clear bag at the last minute. Pick up a pack of sandwich bags before you leave and have your liquids all sealed up and ready to go. Also, keep your electronics to hand as these will need to be scanned separately.

Choose wisely

As airport tips go, this is one most people forget. When approaching security, take a quick scan of the queues. Avoid the groups of students with their matching backpacks and instead head for the group of suits who are sure to be travelling pros.

Ring the alarm

Airports have flights announcements for all kinds of destinations every minute. Don’t rely on them to remind you, especially considering some parts of the airport don’t actually broadcast these alerts. Set yourself an alarm giving you plenty of time to get to your gate.

Airport tips – Wifi

Airports have some of the best Wifi around. Take advantage and get some work done while you wait or simply make your friends jealous with the standard “On a plane on the runway” pre-holiday check-in.

Travel Health

We hope that you find these tips useful while you travel abroad. For travel health tips and advice call your local TMB travel health clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals. Our experts will guide you through the health requirements for your destination, telling you all you need to know about vaccinations, mosquito bite prevention and food hygiene.

Diving in the World – Top Destinations

sebastian-pena-lambarri-7i5HMCGupVw-unsplashDiving in the World – Top Destinations

The ocean is so big that only 5% of it has been explored by humans. Dive into the unknown on your next holiday and see the breathtaking scenes that lie beneath the coastline. Here are the favourite destinations for the best diving in the world.

Barracuda Point – Malaysia

Barracuda point is located off the shores of the Sipadan Island. Diving in Barracuda Point will see you surrounded by many wonderful creatures of the sea. Don’t be surprised if you get caught in the middle of the shoal of barracudas that swim in circles like a tornado. Other creatures to look out for would be turtles, batfish, jacks, grey reef and whitetip sharks.

Thistlegorm – Eqypt

Here divers can explore a shipwreck dated back to WWII. The Thistlegorm was a British ship on route to deliver supplies to troops in Northern Africa before it was bombed by the Germans. Now it is one of the most famous shipwrecks for divers in the world. The cargo on board includes many different vehicles from trucks, jeeps, motorcycles and tanks. All areas of the Thistlegorm are accessible for divers and with so much to see you might have to dive down more than once.

Beqa Lagoon – Fiji

Bega Lagoon is one of the top diving spots in the world. On your dive you could spot multiple species of sharks, more than 400 species of tropical fish and stunning coral reefs that are so visible in the clear Fijian waters. You can also dive down to the wreck of an old fishing vessel called Rusi’s Pinnacle, scuttled in 2000 it stands upright on the seabed, perfect for exploring. The water is usually warm, the currents are mild and with over 50 world class dives to choose from it will suit all experience levels.

Gansbaai – South Africa

Gansbaai is a small fishing town located in South Africa’s Western Cape. It is known for its large population of great white sharks. If you’re a bit of a thrill seeker this dive is for you.

Here you can get up close and personal by cage diving with these great whites. Feel the adrenaline rush as you float just meters away from one of the deadliest animals in the world.

Travel Health

Are you thinking of taking a diving holiday? For more travel health tips and advice call your local TMB travel health clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals.

Unusual Honeymoon Destinations

toa-heftiba-dti56waifB4-unsplashUnusual Honeymoon Destinations

Still deciding on a honeymoon destination? As you step into married life why not step outside your comfort zone and spend your honeymoon somewhere out of the ordinary. This is a once in a lifetime holiday so make sure it is one to be remembered. Here are some great examples of unusual honeymoon destinations for you and your partner.

Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town in South Africa offers not only an aesthetically pleasing honeymoon but also one full of adventure. Sit back, relax and enjoy wine tasting in the sun or go on a safari to see wildlife up close and personal. This is definitely an underrated honeymoon destination.

Havana, Cuba

Step back in time on your honeymoon to Cuba. The capital Havana is full of beautiful buildings and rich in history. Indulge yourself in the history as you are surrounded by bright colours, 1950’s vintage cars and music everywhere you go. Take a tour of the cigar factory and the tobacco plantations or relax with some familiar traditional Cuban drinks, such as a mojito or daiquiri. You could even try some salsa dancing together!

Marrakesh, Morocco

Morocco may seem worlds apart from your normal life but it is actually just a short flight away. Marrakesh, the capital of Morocco is full of bustling markets, mosques, palaces and gardens to explore.

Outside of the city, you can take camel rides through the Saharan Desert or hiking/skiing in the Atlas Mountains. But nothing is more romantic than a hot-air balloon ride at dawn over the city.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Punta Cana is perfect for a luxurious honeymoon. With a wide variety of 5* resorts, you will be spoilt for choice. Well known for its beautiful beaches, clear waters and golfing there is something for everyone. Day trips around Punta Cana can bring you to Hoyo Azul, where you can swim in a natural pool only reached by a timber staircase and footbridge. You can also go trekking or zip lining through the beautiful forest.

Andaman Islands, India

The Havelock Island, just one of many of the Andaman Islands, hosts beach resorts that offer a luxurious stay for you and your loved one. Sunbathe on the stunning white beaches or venture into the crystal clear waters and go scuba diving with the exotic marine life. You can also travel over to the Andaman’s Island capital and visit the cellular jail, this jail is where the British kept freedom fighters during the Indians struggle for independence.

Nairobi, Kenya – Unusual Honeymoon Destinations

If you would like to spend your honeymoon surrounded by wild and exotic animals Nairobi safariis the place for you. You can visit the Nairobi Animal Orphanage, a treatment and rehabilitation center for many different wild animals. You can take the Safari walk, which is a walk along an elevated boardwalk that winds through the Safari park, home to rhinos, cheetahs, leopards and lions.

If that’s not enough adventure for you, stay in the Giraffe Manor, a boutique hotel that is also home to endangered giraffes.

Giza, Egypt

Giza is another unusual honeymoon destination. Spend your days exploring the Egyptian pyramids, the Great Sphinx and the history museums. At night take a romantic evening cruise down the River Nile with exquisite food and entertainment.

Koh Samui, Thailand

Thailand’s second biggest island hosts lots of activities for couples to enjoy. Whether it be treating yourselves to a spa day or a romantic sunset dinner on the beach. You can also enjoy a traditional Thai food buffet while sailing around the stunning Koh Samui coast. Perfect for those couples who would enjoy a more relaxing honeymoon with spectacular views and fine dining.

Travel Health

If you are thinking of travelling somewhere exotic for your honeymoon we have a range of travel health services available for both you and your partner before you go. For more information contact TMB.

Amazing summer student travel deal

Group Travel

Fantastic Student Travel Bundle Offer

If you are a student planning your summer trip then make sure you take advantage of our Student Travel bundle offer!

Preparation is key

Take the time to make sure you have everything sorted before your summer adventure.  Make sure you are fully prepared and protected against possible health risks with this incredible student travel bundle offer.

The TMB Student bundle offer covers all of your travel medicine needs before you go from only €143.50pp.
This great price means that you and your friend can save your money for making lifelong memories during your travels.

What does the bundle offer include?

  • Vaccines: Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Tetanus, Diphtheria and Polio.
  • In-depth consultation
  • Specially tailored prescription for the trip
  • International Certificate of Vaccination (Yellow Book)
  • Malaria prescription where recommended
  • €5 voucher for Travelshop.ie
  • 24/7 helpline service

To avail of this offer, you must simply present a valid Student Leapcard upon booking and there must be two or more students attending a Tropical Medical Bureau clinic at the same time.

For students heading abroad, it is particularly important that they are covered against possible diseases and aware of the possible health risks with their chosen destination. For many, this will be your first trip abroad without your families or adult supervision and so it is your responsibility to look after yourself.

Plus you can win a €400 One4All voucher on the Tropical Medical Bureau Facebook page!

Travel gadgets

The offer also includes a voucher for Travelshop.ie, where you can pick up all your travel accessories from adapters and waterproof phone/camera/iPad cases to more gadgets like the LifeStraw – an ideal accessory for anyone planning a trip off the beaten path!

Travel health

For travel health tips and advice call into your local TMB travel health clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals. Our experts will guide you through the health requirements for your destination, telling you all you need to know about vaccinations, mosquito bite prevention and food hygiene.

*Terms and conditions apply.

Top free things to do on holidays

philipp-kammerer-6Mxb_mZ_Q8E-unsplash (2)If you’re travelling on a budget, then you’re in luck! There are lots free things to see and do on every holiday. Forget spending your entire travel budget on overpriced tourist attractions, pricey admission tickets and expensive events. If you do a little research before your trip, you will see that every area has plenty to offer, without huge costs.  Here are some of our favourite free things to do on holidays.

Hiking

If the destination has a beautiful mountainous landscape,  you can be sure that there is trail you can follow. Whether you are visiting South America or South East Asia there are many hikes to enjoy.

Festivals

Most destinations offer some festivals and fairs. Depending on where you are, you can find festivals based around music, art, food or other outdoor activities.

Though some festivals may have a hefty price tag, you would be surprised by how many festivals are free, such as the Lantern Festival in Taiwan.  All it takes to discover these events is some research.

Beaches

Find a nearby beach for some fun and relaxation. Couples, families and friends can all enjoy the beach. Kids will love playing in the sand and building sand castles. Adults can take a romantic stroll along the shore, and if the water is safe, everyone can enjoy a swim in the sea.

Free museums

Wherever you are travelling , there is a history, a story, and interesting things to learn.  You will be surprised by how many museums around the world are free to visit.  In some countries,  even well-known museums offer days and times where you are granted free entry.

Six centuries’ worth of art is available at Museo Soumaya, Mexico City without an entrance fee.

Parks

National and State parks have been preserved and constructed simply for your enjoyment. For kids, it’s a good opportunity to teach them about nature, wildlife, and the environment with a first-hand experience. National and State parks have plenty of activities for everyone including cycling, hiking, fishing, swimming, and camping.

Farmers Markets

Visiting a Farmer’s Market is not only an enjoyable experience, but it can help you to get a flavour of the destination.  You can see the unique fruits, vegetables,  spices and other products from the area.

Not only is there free access to these markets but most vendors offer free samples of their wines, chocolates, coffee and more.  You are in for a treat!

Travel Health

We hope you enjoyed our top free things to do on holidays. Thinking of your next adventure? Visit us at one of our TMB clinics and speak to a qualified professional about the different vaccinations you may require.

Best group holiday destinations

Group TravelBest group holiday destinations

Travelling with a group is an amazing way to discover the world. Whether you’re with friends or on an organised group trip, you can go anywhere with the comfort of knowing that you are never alone. From action-packed holidays to relaxing cultural getaways, we have compiled a list of some of the best group holiday destinations.

Vietnam

Vietnam has something for everyone! If you and a group are looking for an exotic location that will fit into everybody’s budget, this charming country is for you.  Learn to practice traditional yoga, taste the local cuisine and see the UNESCO World Heritage Site – Ha Long Bay. With a group trip to Vietnam, you are guaranteed to make unforgettable memories.

Colombia

In recent years, Columbia has become a prime destination for group travellers. Colombia has evolved into a peaceful country with exciting cultural offerings, a vibrant dining scene, beautiful architecture and, of course, incredible coffee.

Head to Cartagena to visit the oldest port city which combines urban charm. Cartagena also sits on the shores of the Caribbean, so a group boat trip to Playa Blanca on the Isla de Barú is perfect for a day of sun and turquoise water.

Bangkok

Bangkok, Thailand’s capital is a favourite destination among group travellers. With its famous local cuisine as well as its abundance of art, it is hard to not to fall in love with Bangkok. There is also plenty of history, shopping, and scenery for you and the group to take in.

India

India is a vast South Asian country with a diverse landscape. From Himalayan peaks to Indian Ocean coastline and history reaching back 5 millennia, there’s plenty for all kinds of groups. Plus, it is the perfect destination for food-loving friends.Taj Mahal Food is a fantastic way of connecting with any destination. Go sightseeing and visit some of India’s famous temples like the Taj Mahal and solidify the day’s adventures in your memory over delicious Indian food and drink.

Phuket – best group holiday destinations

Phuket, Thailand is more than spectacular beaches and sunshine. This area is perfect for a group who love water sports as well as those who like to relax.  Enjoy diving, zip lining, white water rafting, horseback riding and more. Take a day out together to James Bond Island or go swimming with the fish at Raya & Coral Island for the ultimate group bonding experience.

Travel Health

Are you thinking of taking a group holiday? We have a range of group travel health services which will be of help to you as you organise your group trip. For more information, book an appointment at a TMB Clinic. 

Why every couple should travel before marriage

Why every couple should travel before marriage

toa-heftiba-dti56waifB4-unsplashWhether you’re recently engaged or you just know marriage is on the horizon, travel before marriage is a great way of getting to know your other half on a whole other level before the big day is set in stone.
Read on to see why every couple should travel before marriage.

Make memories

Dating life is different than married life and your adventures are likely to be unique too. So, travelling before marriage will ensure you create one-of-a-kind memories!
Once you know your partner is the one, hopping on a plane and adventuring together is the perfect opportunity to make long-lasting memories.
Plus, you’ll also gather some spectacular pictures together for the wedding video montage!

Learn how to compromise

An important part of married life is knowing how to compromise.
When you and your partner travel together it’s inevitable that you’ll be confronted with situations that will challenge both of you. As a result, you’ll learn how to make these decisions as a team.
Travel is a great way to learn how to meet your partner halfway. This quality is vital for any marriage to work! With travel, you can learn this skill before you tie the knot.

Lighten your bucket list

There’s no denying it, we all have a travel bucket list. And, going into married life with a completely unchecked list may put some pressure on you and your spouse.
Before marriage, you often have fewer obligations and more free time – travelling with your partner before marriage gives you the opportunity to put yourselves first. Make sure to make the most of this special period together.

Focus on one another

Your significant other will eventually be your travel buddy for life. It’s important to get to know each other inside out as much as possible before the big day.
Without the distractions of everyday life, you’ll have the opportunity to discover additional traits and interests of your partner. This will bring both of you even closer to each other before your big day.

It’s never too late – travel before marriage

If you’re reading this and you’re married, don’t think that it’s too late!
There are many benefits to travelling before marriage, but there are also just as many when travelling with your husband or wife.
Take that honeymoon you never took, book a trip for your anniversary, or plan that family holiday you have always wanted to take.

We hope that you find these reasons as to why every couple should travel before marriage inspiring!
For more travel health tips and advice call your local TMB travel health clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals.

How to make friends when travelling

Group TravelHow to make friends when travelling

Making new friends from around the world is what makes travelling so exciting. Whether you are travelling on your own, with friends or in a group, it is always worthwhile making the effort to meet new people. When you look back on your travels, it is the friendships and memories you have made that make your adventures unique. However, is not always easy to make friends in new countries. Our travel specialists have some top tips on how to make friends when travelling to help make the process a little easier.

Be confident

Confidence is not something that comes naturally to everyone, but when you are travelling you sometimes need to push yourself out of your comfort zone.  It is important to be open-minded and curious while travelling to get the most out of the experience.

The first step to how to make friends when travelling is to start a conversation with someone new.  This might seem daunting at first but once you start making the effort it becomes much easier.

Stay in hostels

Hostels are perfect places to stay to meet other like-minded travellers. They are full of globetrotters that are doing the same activity as you, so starting conversations are usually easy and relaxed.  Whether you are sharing a dormitory or you are eating breakfast in the canteen area with other backpackers, there are plenty of opportunities to meet new people in hostels.

A lot of hostels also host events, meet-ups and group activities. So even if you don’t make friends with the people you are sharing a room with, there will be plenty of chances to do so elsewhere.

Volunteer – How to make friends when travelling

Volunteering has become increasingly popular in recent years as a way to give back to the place you are visiting. As well as helping the local community, volunteering also gives you the opportunity to practice and develop your social skills. You will meet people who share common interests with you, so it is extremely likely you will build some friendships by the end of your time volunteering.

Take a class or book a group tour

To make friends while travelling it is good to be open and enthusiastic while doing something fun that interests you. What better way to do so than by taking a class with other people and learning a new skill. It could be salsa lessons in Argentina, cooking classes in Thailand, a surf lesson in Bali or a scuba diving course in Mexico.

If classes aren’t for you, a great alternative is to book a group tour. Taking part in something adventurous or interesting is a great way to make friends when travelling.

Embrace public transportation

Travelling by plane, train, bus or boat can be a social experience. Ask the person next to you about the book their reading, offer them a sweet or simply strike up a conversation about the destination they are travelling to. It is passing conversations you have while travelling that creates the chance to build new friendships while abroad.

Travel Health

We hope that you find these tips on how to make friends when travelling useful. For more travel health tips and advice call your local TMB travel health clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals.

 

Have a Healthy and Happy Valentine’s Day

travel before marriageHave a Healthy and Happy Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is filled with love and romance, both at home and abroad. Whether you spend this special day in a tropical paradise or gift a loved one with a fabulous getaway, you won’t want anything to spoil it. From sightseeing the temples of Bangkok to a safari drive in South Africa, travel experiences offer a chance to spend quality time together in stunning surroundings. However, the key to any trip is to remember that ‘your health is your wealth’. Here are some travel tips to help keep you and those you care about happy and healthy on Valentine’s Day.

Be prepared

If you are going on a romantic holiday, be prepared. Make sure to check if vaccinations are required for your chosen destination.

Pack the right supplies

When on a romantic holiday with your loved one you will want to look and feel your best. Let’s face it, insect bites and getting burnt to a crisp don’t look pretty.  Ensure to pack your sunscreen and insect repellent to avoid looking like a half-eaten lobster.

Be sensitive

Consider that your Valentine may have allergies, asthma, diabetes, or other health conditions. You can be sensitive to your Valentine by finding out if certain foods, flowers, pets, stuffed animals, or other items might affect their health.

Spread love, not germs

A runny nose or a chesty cough is not attractive nor pleasant to have.  Washing your hands often, avoiding close contact when you or someone you know is sick and getting a yearly flu vaccination can protect you from catching or spreading a cold and flu.

Be food-conscious

Travelling with your loved one can be a relaxing, exhilarating and delightful experience but this is only possible if you maintain your health.  Avoid nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea by avoiding uncooked foods, ice and dairy products on your romantic holiday. Instead of going out for food consider making a healthy Valentine’s meal together instead.

Have a healthy and happy Valentine’s Day and avoid illness overseas. Travellers are strongly advised to book an appointment at one of the many TMB clinics and find out about the vaccinations they may require. 

How to unwind on holidays

averie-woodard-5d20kdvFCfA-unsplashHow to unwind on holidays

During your holidays, with all the excitement, it is easy to forget to rest. A trip away offers you the chance to try new activities, sample different food, see new places and to socialise with others. It is easy to forget to take some time to relax and recharge. Intentional and mindful rest during your holiday will help to improve your health but also will ensure you feel re-energized when you return home. Here are a few tips on how to unwind on holidays.

It’s not all about fitting everything in

If you like to explore your destination, it is great to have a few activities and excursions organised in advance of your holiday. However, try not to over plan your time away. Trying to do and see too much can become exhausting.  By taking your time, you can truly appreciate your surroundings.  It is good to know when to let go of your plans and to just enjoy the moment.

Have some time to yourself

If you are travelling with a group or a loved one don’t try to always keep up with one another and your itineraries. It is your holiday too, remember to make some space for yourself, do things only you like to do. If you are with others who want to go sightseeing but you rather lounge by the beach, don’t be afraid to communicate this. Simply spend the day on the beach relaxing – but just make sure not to get too relaxed that you fall asleep without topping up your sunscreen.  With some time to yourself, you will feel happier and more relaxed on your holiday as a pay-off.

Have an early night

Just because you are on your holidays doesn’t mean you need to be out every night. A long, lingering dinner, a few glasses of good wine and bed before midnight will mean you will wake up feeling more refreshed than you have done in months.

Limit your phone time

We cannot deny that many of us today spend too much time looking into our phone screens, so taking some time to appreciate your surroundings when away is certainly a good idea.

The thought of a phone detox during your holiday is a tempting challenge for some. However, this can be more stressful than it is worth, causing you to overthink about who may or may not be contacting you. To unwind on your holidays, try to put your phone away for a few hours. Limiting your phone time is a great alternative to a phone detox.

Take some time out to reflect

Did you know that a brain chemical, called serotonin, is released whenever you reflect on meaningful events and achievements from the past? Take time out during your holiday to relax and think through personal accomplishments that you are grateful for. Think about the people who inspire and motivate you to achieve your goals. Visualizing these events will fuel and energize you to get back to your lives after your holiday.

Travel Health

We hope you enjoyed our tips on how to unwind on holidays. Thinking of your next adventure? Visit us at one of our TMB clinics and speak to a qualified professional about the different vaccinations you may require.

Best detox spas and retreats in Thailand

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Escape from the stresses of your daily life at a detox spa or retreat center in one of the most beautiful places in the world! Travel has evolved in recent years and with healthy living being a massive trend in the last decade more travellers are now putting emphasis on their physical, spiritual and psychological well-being. Whether you need a two-week getaway challenge, or you are looking to spend a month in absolute relaxation bliss, there is something to suit everyone’s needs and wishes.  Here are some of the best detox spas and retreats in Thailand for 2018.-detox Thailand 

Santosa –Beach retreat

Santosa Phuket provides great value programs with spectacular views of the sea in a peaceful setting in Phuket, Thailand.  Their detox Thailand programs start at 3 days and go up to 21 days. Guests can choose from a range of daily activities including aerial yoga, Zumba, and even traditional Thai boxing.

After a morning of fun and exercise,  you can recharge with one of their signature spa treatments. Diet is another important part of their detox Thailand programme. Guests can refuel from a selection of tasty vegan and raw food.

Chiva-Som – Lavish spa retreat

Located in the majestic city of Hua Hin, the Chiva-Som (meaning Haven of Life) offers a sanctuary of beauty and serenity. Surrounded by stunning gardens and extraordinary views of the Gulf of Thailand you will feel as if you are in paradise.

With 70 treatment rooms, this award-winning Spa provides the ultimate spa experience and offers exquisite cuisine. Only organically-grown fruits and vegetables from the Chiva-Som garden are used. Take a morning Thai Chi class and experience some of the many spa treatments this resort has to offer.

New Leaf Detox – weight loss retreat

New Leaf Detox is renowned for their all-inclusive weight loss retreats. This attracts a variety of people whom all have the same goal in common – improving health through diet and fitness.

Their weight loss and juice fasting programs start at a minimum of 3 days to a maximum 28 days. The program is a combination of fitness activities, holistic massages and meditation, with a natural detox diet.  Guests stay in one of the tranquil poolside bungalows that are situated right next to the breathtaking  Lamai beach.

Banyan Tree – Luxury spa

Visit Banyan Tree Spa Phuket for the most uplifting and rejuvenating spa experience you will ever have.  Imagine waking up to the sounds of water,  starting your day with an organic breakfast, practising yoga midday and enjoying a massage to wind down in the evening. This is the routine you can experience at Banyan Tree. Their famous eastern therapies and holistic focus make it the perfect place to relax and re-energise.

Museflower Retreat – mindfulness retreat

This boutique retreat is located in Chiang Rai, Northern Thailand. Surrounded by a serene lake and lush rice fields this centre is the ideal destination to reboot and disconnect from the hustle and bustle of your everyday life. The most popular package among guests is the 4 days and 3-night stay.

Museflower is a mindfully green retreat that includes yoga classes, holistic treatments and the picture-perfect setting.  Whether it’s sipping tea by the picturesque lake, cycling within nature or taking a leisurely dip in their Himalayan salt pool, you are sure to feel revitalised and ready to take on the world again.

Travel Health

Are you thinking of taking a detox spa holiday or a  retreat in Thailand! Book an appointment at a TMB Clinic to find out more about your destination and any vaccinations you may need.

Skiing Holiday Tips

maarten-duineveld-pmfJcN7RGiw-unsplashSkiing Holiday Tips

Skiing and snowboarding holidays are all the rage at the moment – and it’s easy to see why! What’s not to love about whizzing down the slopes, taking in beautiful Alpine scenery as you go? If you’re a ski first-timer then chances are you’re a little intimidated or baffled by the prospect. From lift passes to equipment hire, there’s a lot to organise and it can be tricky knowing where to start. Let our skiing holiday tips help you out…

Rent equipment

Skiing is a really fun and addictive sport, but one of our top skiing holiday tips is that it’s definitely advisable to rent equipment on your first trip. The same goes for snowboarding. Whether you are going to a ski resort in Japan, Europe or even South America you won’t know how comfortable you feel on the slopes until you get out there. Equipment is expensive to buy and bulky to carry – you can easily rent skiing equipment at all of the top resorts around the world. Be honest about your level of experience at the ski shop and their experts will set you up with the appropriate gear. In the unlikely event that the sport is not for you, you don’t want to be stuck with an expensive outfit you’ll never wear again.

Dress appropriately

Leave your fashionable get-ups at home. The most important thing is to have a breathable ski suit and fleece to keep you warm when you’re out and about. Don’t wear white on the slopes – bright colours are a must. Spend time choosing the best boots for you. Believe us, you don’t want your much-anticipated getaway to be ruined by achy or blistered feet. For extra grip, purchase clip-on spikes.

Beware of the sun

Temperatures differ from place to place but the sun can be as strong on the slopes as it is on the beach. Check the weather conditions of your destination and be prepared packing plenty of high-quality sun cream with you. It is important to remember to re-apply this throughout the day. Sunglasses are a skiing holiday essential – splash out on shatterproof ones if you can. Swollen, cracked lips are common on the slopes so make sure you also bring lots of lip balm with you.

Get skiing lessons

No matter how much of a natural you think you will be, ski lessons are essential for first-timers. Not only will you learn the ropes in a safe and comfortable environment, you’ll also have a lot of fun meeting other travellers. If you pick up the sport really quickly you can always advance to a higher level class.

Exercise before you go

A lot of people underestimate how tiring and physical an activity skiing is. Sure, it looks simple gliding down the runs but this actually requires a lot of endurance and strength.  Another of our top skiing holiday tips is to make an effort to get your heart rate up and work your leg muscles before your trip – hit the gym, cycle to work and do some cardio in front of the TV at night. If you can, head to an indoor ski slope before you go to get a taste of what skiing is really like.

Get travel insurance

Accidents sometimes happen, no matter how careful you are. It is essential that you get travel insurance before your trip and that your policy includes all of the winter sports you will be doing. This not only ensures you are covered in the unfortunate event that something goes wrong, it also gives you peace of mind for the duration of your holiday.

Travel Health

By following these skiing holiday tips you will enjoy an exhilarating experience on the piste this winter. With amazing skiing destinations in Japan, South and North  America and Europe you’ll be silly to miss out. For further information on your medical needs or further safety tips, book an appointment at a local TMB clinic.

Christmas Travel Tips

Christmas Travel Tips

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Take advantage of our Christmas travel tips

If you’re anything like us, chances are your wanderlust is increasing rapidly now that the winter is well and truly upon us. The dark days and cold weather may leave you longing for the warmer temperatures and guaranteed sunshine of Southeast Asia or South America. If you’re planning a relaxing beach break in Thailand or fancy ringing in the New Year in Rio de Janeiro, then check out our top Christmas travel tips

The perfect time for many to travel is Christmas, when the whole family is free of work, school and other commitments. More and more people are taking advantage of this and choosing to spend the festive season with loved ones overseas or on an exotic holiday.  In fact, our winter months are a fantastic time to explore stunning countries like Thailand, India and Vietnam when the chances of monsoons are low and a dose of Vitamin D is much-needed.

Secure your bookings

Book early to make sure you get the best deals on flights and accommodation. Fares are likely to increase the closer it gets to Christmas and those who have left it too late may end up paying a high price for their procrastination. The chance of flights becoming full is also greater at this time of year so make sure you secure the dates you want ahead of the masses.

Plan connecting flights carefully

This is one of our top Christmas travel tips for smooth arrival at your desired destination! Winter frost or high snowfall may mean that your initial flight doesn’t leave on time.  If you’re booking with an online, look at layover times carefully. You need to make sure you have sufficient time to make any connecting flights, factoring in possible delays. Booking direct flights may cost a bit more money but offers you the added peace of mind. You definitely don’t want to spend Christmas stranded in the airport terminal by yourself!

Think about vaccinations

If you’re heading off to an exotic destination for Christmas now is definitely the time to start thinking about the immunisations you may require for your trip. It’s never too late to vaccinate but it is recommended that you get your vaccinations six to eight weeks before travelling. A course of injections may be required, with a period of time needed between each one. The last thing you want is to spend Christmas Day with an unexpected illness!

Be digital – Christmas Travel Tips

If you’re flying, check in online in the 24 hours before your flight. This will save you a lot of time standing around at the airport. There  may still be a queue for bag drop-off but it tends to move fairly quickly if more people have done their online check-in in advance. Another advantage of online check-in is it also allows you to choose your seat.

Be careful with food and drinks

Chances are you won’t be having a sit-down turkey dinner with all the trimmings this Christmas in Southeast Asia, Central America or South America. It’s very important to remain wary of how food is prepared and cooked in other countries. Choose restaurants carefully, beware of street food and only drink bottled or filtered water to greatly reduce the risk of food poisoning.

Solo travellers

The festive season can be a solo traveller’s nightmare. Seeing photos of your friends letting their hair down on social media and hearing stories of family get-togethers can naturally bring about feelings of loneliness. Our top Christmas travel tips for solo travels include reaching out to other travellers in the same boat and getting into the spirit of local celebrations. A great way to do this is by getting involved in a group activity such as yoga or group tours.

 

Be smart with your Christmas gifts

Enjoying a Santa Claus moment in the arrivals terminal is one thing – having your gifts confiscated at security is another. Never wrap presents, even if they’re in your checked bag. Security personnel may need to search your bag and will view wrapped packages with suspicion. Take advantage of duty shop shopping to nab last-minute goodies for your loved ones.

Travelling at Christmas has many advantages – the whole family can create lifelong memories in a fascinating new destination. Who needs a tree and tinsel when you have magnificent sights and exquisite scenery to take in? Take time to plan your trip properly and avoid any health risks to ensure you have the best time imaginable.

Travel Health

We hope you found our Christmas travel tips useful. If you are heading off on an exotic adventure this Christmas we strongly advise that you book an appointment at your local TMB clinic and get all of the recommended vaccinations.

Travel tips for travelling while pregnant

ashton-mullins-y16sN3fCwIw-unsplash (1)Travel tips for travelling while pregnant

Travelling while pregnant is sometimes a little more work but it is possible. Doing a little extra prep beforehand can go a long way to reducing discomforts en route to your destination. Whether you’re planning a holiday retreat before the baby arrives, a work trip or a four-hour drive to visit family, make sure to prioritize your comfort and health while on the go. Here are some travel tips for travelling while pregnant.

Visit the doctor first

It is usually safe for women with low-risk pregnancies to travel. However, it is important to consult your doctor first. Every woman is different and has different experiences during their pregnancy. Once there are no complications, most women are to be able to travel while pregnant. Your doctor will confirm whether it is safe for you to travel or not. Once you get the okay from your doctor, it’s vital to carry a written record of your due date and any medical conditions you have.

Time your trip right

The general rule for travelling while pregnant is to wait until your second trimester of pregnancy (14 to 27 weeks). In most cases, you are past the morning sickness of the first trimester and several weeks from the third stage of pregnancy when you are more easily fatigued. It is advised that women should avoid any long journeys during their last stage of pregnancy, especially if you’re at risk of preterm delivery.

Wear comfortable clothing

Dress comfortably in loose cotton clothing for maximum comfort. Although doubtful, the risk of DVT (Deep vein thrombosis) can be further reduced by wearing compression stockings and wear comfortable shoes.

Check the airline requirements

Check with the airline for its requirements before you book a flight. If you are planning on flying and you are 28 weeks pregnant or more, some airlines will require you to carry a letter from your doctor, dated no more than 10 days prior to travel. This should outline the estimated due date, the absence of complications, and your fitness to fly for the duration of the flight or flights booked.

Pick your flight seat strategically

If flying to your destination book an aisle seat if possible. This will make frequent bathroom trips easier for you. It is also recommended to request a seat in the middle of the plane, over the wing, where you’ll feel less turbulence.

Stretch – travelling while pregnant

Pregnant women are at higher risk of developing blood clots, so it is important to avoid sitting still for long periods of time. Whether you’re flying or driving, try to keep the blood flowing in your legs by taking breaks.

On long haul flights even flex and point your toes as often as you can. Any movement will help increase the blood circulation in your legs and even can reduce bladder pressure.

Wear a seat belt

When on a plane, wear your seat belt strap under your baby bump (your lower lap). It is important to keep your seat belt fastened as much as possible in the case of turbulence.

If you are driving to your destination, tuck the bottom strap of the seat belt under your baby bump for comfort and keep the top strap across your chest where it would usually sit. If you are on a plane and the belt doesn’t fit, ask an attendant for a seat-belt extender. Do not feel too embarrassed to ask — remember, you are yourself and your baby.

Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated is vital! Drinking water can help prevent swelling of your hands, legs, and feet. Stay hydrated throughout your journey by to drinking non-caffeinated fluids or like water and juice.

Travel Health

For more travel health tips and advice call into your local TMB travel health clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals. Our experts will guide you through the health requirements for your destination.

Travel health tips for seniors

 

ethan-mcarthur-8KLLgqHMAv4-unsplashTravel health tips for seniors

It’s never too late to go on an adventure! In fact, travelling in your later years as a senior is one of the best times to travel. Forget trying to cram everything you can into a two-week holiday that has to be taken at a certain time of year to coordinate with work and family obligations.

Whether you are visiting family abroad or planning the getaway of your dreams, travelling can bring a spark to your retirement. However, it is important that seniors prepare properly before travelling –  here are a few travel health tips for seniors to help you to have a happy and enjoyable trip.

Consult with your doctor before you travel

Speak to your doctor to ensure you are in good health prior your trip. You should get a written and signed note from your doctor detailing any prescribed medications you may need for your adventure.

Have your medication on you at all times

It’s important that senior travellers have enough medication with them for the duration of their trip. If you’re travelling for more than a week or a month, it is a good idea to always carry several days’ worth of prescribed medications with you. If you are flying, make sure to keep your medication and prescription documentation in your carry-on luggage. This will prevent any serious panic. The better prepared you are, the safer and more pleasurable your travel will be.

Get the right vaccinations

Seniors should ensure they receive the right vaccinations for the countries they are planning to visit. Some vaccines may be restricted on the basis of age. The yellow fever vaccine, for example, should be given cautiously to people older than 60 years, and it should not be given at all to people with certain immune-suppressing conditions. Seniors should drop into their local TMB clinic to discuss the vaccinations they require for their trip.

Take your time – Travel health tips for seniors

Remember your health should always come first, irrespective of any holiday destination. Try not to push yourself too hard, if you feel exhausted take a break and relax. You may not have the time to do everything, but if you slow down you will enjoy and appreciate your trip much more.

Travel insurance

Senior travellers should ensure they choose a travel insurance policy that meets all their needs. Make sure to do some research and consult your travel agent for necessary suggestions for seniors.

Keep your valuables secure while travelling

Try to avoid taking any valuables away with you, including expensive jewellery and sentimental possessions. If you have precious items, make sure to take advantage of hotel room safes and secure padlocks to your luggage when unattended.

Watch what you eat

Senior travellers tend to have more sensitive tummies and can’t stomach food like they once could. It’s understandable to want to forget this fact while abroad, but try to keep the spicy and dairy products to a minimum to ensure you don’t waste a day in your hotel room.

Inquire about senior discounts

Enjoy the benefits of being a senior traveller. Whether you are booking flights, accommodation or holiday excursions, don’t forget to ask whether they offer discounts for senior travellers. You never know how much money you could save unless you ask!

It is important to tell people back home what country you are travelling to and when you expect to be back. If you have a travel schedule, share this with family or friends, or carry a mobile phone and keep your loved ones posted on your whereabouts. This will give you a great sense of security that someone knows where you are in the case of emergency.

Travel Health

Contact your nearest TMB clinic and book an appointment for more advice on what you may need to keep your travels safe and healthy.

How to check if a travel agency is legitimate

how-to-stay-healthy-while-working-from-homeFind out how to check if a travel agency is legitimate

If you visit your local travel agent or book with an online travel agent, it’s typically a genuine and honest transaction. Using a travel agency is a quick, easy and straightforward way of organising your next adventure. However, it is important to make sure the agency you use is legitimate.

TMB not only want to ensure you have a safe trip but also would like to advise travellers on how to plan a holiday to make it as enjoyable as possible. Here are a few simple steps on how to check if a travel agency is legitimate.

Check that the travel agency is licensed

Make sure the company you are booking with is licensed before you make any payment. This peace of mind is priceless and ensures you can put your feet up before you even reach the airport.

The Irish travel agents association require that their members are licensed by the Commission for Aviation Regulation. This is a guarantee that consumers are protected by adequate bonding.  All travel agents trading in the Ireland are required by law to be licensed and bonded to buy or sell trips overseas.

Check the value for money

Ultra-cheap holiday packages can cause some people to question an agency.  Although travel agencies often offer incredible deals and discounts, it is worth looking at finer details when you see prices well below the norm.

Make sure the location of resort, flights, amenities, transfers and anything else that may be included match up to what you are looking for. A quick google search or look on Tripadvisor will give you a heads up to the quality of the resort, area, etc.

Phone a friend

If possible, find someone you know who can recommend a travel agent. Maybe a friend or family member have used an online agency they can recommend or perhaps they have used the travel agency you are considering. This will provide a first-hand evaluation which is the single best way to get a feel for any travel provider.

Make sure you’ve got the right paperwork

When you have booked and paid for your holiday with an agency you should receive a confirmation document immediately. This should outline your travel arrangements and the money you have paid.
A great way to check if a travel agency is legitimate is by checking that the company names on the paperwork match with who you have paid. There’s no harm in double checking your bank account and credit card statements for names and amounts paid.  Keep all documentation relating to your holiday booking on file in case they are needed in the future.

Travel health

For travel health tips and advice call into your local TMB travel health clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals. Our experts will offer you travel advice and guide you through the health and safety requirements for your trip.

How to budget for 6 months travelling

Packing Tips for Travelling AbroadHow to budget for 6 months travelling

Discover how to budget for 6 months travelling

It is difficult to predict how much money you will spend when travelling, especially in countries you have never visited before. Whether you plan to travel to India, Malaysia, Africa, Brazil or any other exciting regions of the world, it is important to go through how much money you will need. We have created a list of things to consider, helping you to make a suitable budget for 6 months travelling.

Choose your destinations with your budget in mind

Travelling for six months involves a lot of preparation and organisation. If you’re a student taking a gap year, a worker taking a career break or someone fulfilling a lifelong dream –  it is important to put some time and effort into planning your next big adventure. Consider the budget you must work with and where this budget will allow you to go.

Some destinations are more expensive to visit than others, so choose your destinations wisely. Cambodia, India, and Vietnam are excellent destinations when on a tight budget.  Singapore, Chile and Argentina are known for being a little more expensive, and if you have more cash to splash, go to places like Brazil, Israel or Puerto Rico.

Flights

After choosing the places you would like to visit, the next step is to book your flights. The key is to book early to get the cheapest flights!

Visas

Visa prices depend on the countries you plan to visit on your 6 month adventure. If China or Vietnam are on your itinerary, remember they don’t offer visas on arrival, so you must arrange your visa in advance. It is good to research the visa requirements of a country beforehand to ensure there are no extra costs or complications on your trip.

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is vital, particularly when travelling for 6 months. The upfront cost might seem steep at first but this will give you peace of mind throughout your trip. Nothing will kill your budget more than unforeseen hospital bills or having to replace lost luggage.

Vaccinations

It is essential to get the right vaccinations to avoid falling ill on your trip. Many people assume that vaccines are not needed for certain countries but you should always double-check.  Call into your local TMB clinics to learn about the different vaccines you may require and how much this will cost.

What to bring – Budget for 6 months travelling

Remember the less you buy the more money you have for your travels. Reduce costs by bringing essential items including a rucksack, appropriate clothing, footwear, toiletries and a first aid kit. Depending on your choice of destinations, you could be surprised by how much these items cost, especially if visiting a popular tourist area.

Accommodation

Accommodation costs vary from place to place. Depending on your budget, there are incredible deals to be found online for hotels, apartments and hostels. Make sure to compare prices online and to read reviews to ensure you are getting the best deal possible. Travelling in offseason can also reduce accommodation costs as owners often lower their prices during these periods.

Transportation

A great way to save on your budget for 6 months travelling, is by using the local transport to get around. Try not to waste your money on expensive taxis or coaches. The local buses, trains, subways or tuk tuks are a cheaper alternative.

Food

Food is expensive and is sometimes overlooked when calculating your expenses. Even in cheaper places like South America and Thailand, the food adds up extremely fast.

Eating well is important to stay healthy and fit while travelling. However, this does not mean you must eat three meals out a day. Preparing your own breakfast, lunch and dinner will greatly lessen the costs while travelling. It is nice to eat out every now and again but avoid going to restaurants in less touristy areas. Simply ask locals where the best place is to grab an affordable bite.

Travel health

For travel health tips and advice call into your local TMB travel health clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals. Our experts will guide you through the health and safety requirements for your trip.

10 best places to travel alone

philipp-kammerer-6Mxb_mZ_Q8E-unsplash (2)10 best places to travel alone

Discover the 10 best places to travel alone

While it’s great to share a trip with family, friends or a partner, there’s something very special when it comes to travelling alone. Travelling by yourself is a wonderful experience, full of reflection and personal growth. Some people are a bit wary of traveling solo – so we have created a list of  the 10 best places to travel alone.

Peru

Peru is one of the most stunning countries in the world. It is famous for its majestic ruins, breathtaking scenery and vibrant culture. Whether you like to hike, surf or see fascinating archaeological sites there is something for every solo traveller.

Argentina

With its beautiful scenery and rich cultural history, this intoxicating country will capture the attention of even a well-seasoned traveller. Dance the tango in Buenos Aires or marvel at the magnificent Iguazu Falls– Argentina has it all.

Alaska

Alaska is home to some of the world’s natural wonders, including majestic icebergs, glacier-carved fjords and snow-capped mountains. This US state is very popular among solo travellers with visitors coming from across the world . Try something new, and go whale-watching!

China, Hong Kong

If you haven’t travelled alone before or feel nervous going to Asia because of the language barrier, then Hong Kong is the perfect place to visit.  Hong Kong is a fusion between the East and  West. Because of its British heritage, much of central Hong Kong speak English and the signs are in English too. There is so much see and do in Hong Kong – for a unique experience, wake up before the sun rises and go to a nearby park for Tai Chi classes. This is an invigorating way to start your day.

Cuba

Cuba is a country where you can experience a unique blend of old and new. Havana is a city steeped in culture, famous for the vintage cars that line the streets. Varadero is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, with turquoise waters and waving palm trees lining every shore.  Take a visit to Cuba and you’ll soon know why it’s among the 10 best places to travel alone.

Thailand – 10 best places to travel alone

Thailand is a great place for solo travellers to visit – from parties in central Bangkok to beautiful beaches and tropical jungle. Thailand won’t break the bank either, if you want to get away on a budget, this is the perfect destination for you.

Costa Rica

If you are looking for adventure, Costa Rica is a fantastic country to visit. You’ll never get a chance to feel lonely as there’s plenty of exciting adventures to embark on! Explore the volcanoes, see the waterfalls or go surfing for a trip of a lifetime.

Brazil

Brazil offers an experience like no other, and no trip to Brazil is complete without spending some time in Rio de Janeiro, one of the most colourful and vibrant cities in the world. If you can coincide your trip with Carnival, when samba troops and pageant groups take to the streets, even better!

Australia, Sydney

Sydney, one of Australia’s largest cities, is considered a safe destination for international travel.  With an incredible variety of sights and attractions to see, including the very famous Bondi and Manly beaches, it’s easy to see why people travel alone here every year.

Travel health

Before you set off on your solo adventure, be sure to take a quick trip to your local TMB clinic to ensure you have all of the vaccinations.

How to stay healthy on the road

philipp-kammerer-6Mxb_mZ_Q8E-unsplash (2)How to stay healthy on the road

Discovering how to stay healthy on the road is the key to really making the most of your adventures

There are some very simple things you can do to learn how to stay healthy on the road, and once you work these into your routine, you will feel amazing. You might even consider working them into your home life routine when you return from your travels!

Hydration is key

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. We can’t emphasise this one enough; hydration is one of the most important aspects of learning how to stay healthy on the road. We suggest you invest in a water bottle (that is BPA free) and keep it topped up as you move around. Take advantage of free water fountains wherever you can, and if you’re wary of some water sources, invest in some water purification tablets. Keeping hydrated will give you energy and keep your body ticking over as it should – even after countless hours on the road.

Pack smart snacks

You want to pack things that will transport well (so leave the soft fruits at home!) Think nutritious, compact and tasty. We recommend things like cereal bars and nuts, as they fit easily into your bag, won’t cause a mess and keep your vitamin levels up, which is so important for your health and well-being.

Get stretching

If you’ve been cooped up on a plane, train or coach for too long, your body will start to ache and you’ll feel grumpy and tired. Skip out on any unnecessary irritation by getting in some exercise. Find some space, even just in the aisle, and do some simple stretches, focusing on your legs and back. If you can, try walking around for a bit to warm up the muscles and get the blood pumping again.

Be careful in the sun

One of the most important questions people ask when they want to know how to stay healthy on the road is how to look after themselves in the sun. It’s never been more important to have a dedicated skincare regime which incorporates sun protection! We recommend avoiding the sun at peak times when it is highest in the sky, wearing a high SPF, and donning a hat and sunglasses where possible.

Sleep

Sleep wherever you can – those few minutes of a power nap could make the difference between you catching that connecting flight or being alert and awake for one of the best moments of your travels. If you invest in a handy travel pillow, you’ll be prepared to catch a few winks of sleep at the drop of a hat – or should we say pillow?

Keep clean

Keeping things close by, like hand sanitiser, wet wipes and an all-purpose soap that washes your hair, body, clothes and dishes, is very important when you want to know how to stay healthy on the road. It keeps germs and bacteria at bay and helps you stay clean and healthy.

Be careful what you eat – How to stay healthy on the road

There is nothing worse than falling ill because of something you ate, so learn how to stay healthy on the road by avoiding food poisoning. Read our handy guide on eating and drinking safely – no matter where you are!

Study basic first aid

Knowing the ins and outs of small cuts and bruises will be so helpful when you’re travelling. Pack a small first aid kit, arm yourself with some knowledge and you’ll be the most popular person on your trek – trust us!

Get advice before you travel

Call into your local TMB Clinic before you travel and get expert health advice on your destination.  They can advise on what vaccinations you may need and what you need to be aware of before travelling. Getting the right information and correct vaccines for your trip are so important!

5 lessons kids can learn from travelling

travel after coronavirus5 lessons kids can learn from travelling

Packing up and heading around the world with your kids can be a little daunting, but you’ll soon find that they can learn from travelling.

Travelling is synonymous with being a young man’s game, allowing only the young and the single to partake in the excitement and adventures around the world.

Well we say absolutely not! Young or old, married or single, with kids in tow or not, you can travel the world. And what’s more, you can bring those kiddos along with you. You’ll soon find that they can learn from travelling. From discovering the realities of travel to appreciating new cultures, they won’t come back the same person as they left – and neither will you! With the right amount of planning and preparation, you’ll both learn from it and love it.

Gain a new perspective

Children have a wonderfully beautiful quality in that they see the world with fresh eyes and an open mind. Opening their eyes to the world from a young age will help them gain new perspectives that will encourage those qualities as they get older and for the rest of their lives.

Learn about themselves

There is a lot to learn from travelling, whether you are a child or not. Travelling helps your kids figure out what type of person they are. They’ll discover if they prefer to be with larger groups or just a few select people, or if they enjoy action and adventure or calming, relaxed activities. The more you travel together, the more you will begin to see what they like and don’t like. However, making sure that they’re entertained during long plane or train journeys is always important and music is a great way to do that!

Build confidence

Confidence building is a large part of children’s emotional development, and travelling is an excellent way to instil confidence in your child. Doing things like swimming in dark caves in Thailand or climbing a mountain in the Philippines are great confidence boosters . So, think of every new adventure as a building block of confidence for your little one.

Appreciate new cultures

One of the most important things kids can learn from travelling is the appreciation of new cultures. Be it learning a language, which is excellent for cognitive development, understanding a new way of life, or tasting different foods, the more exposure they get to the world, the more well-rounded and accepting of differences they will become. If you can also learn to live like a local when you travel as a family, you will be making the most of every new experience.

Break out of their comfort zone

Encouraging your children to try new things is one of the most important things that they can learn from travelling. Children can sometimes be notorious for being picky eaters, but you definitely won’t have one of those on your hands if you’ve exposed them to the wide variety of yummy foods available to them. However, nothing will squash a taste for adventurous food quite like food poisoning, so it’s definitely best to avoid that.

So, get those bags packed – the world awaits!

Travel health

We hope our tips on how kids can learn from travelling are useful. For travel health tips and advice call into your local TMB travel health clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals. Our experts will guide you through the health requirements for your destination, telling you all you need to know about vaccinations, mosquito bite prevention and food hygiene.

Best places to visit in South America

nad-hemnani-8xpklKrfsG4-unsplashBest places to visit in South America

Discover the best places to visit in South America for the ultimate adventure

South America boasts a wide array of destinations that appeal to all types of travellers. From lush rainforests, ancient archaeological sites, magnificent scenery and bustling cities this versatile continent has it all. So, if you decide to take the plunge, here are the best places to visit in South America.

Columbia

There are few countries as naturally beautiful, diverse and welcoming as Colombia. Whether you are after beaches, mountains, rainforest’s or desert, Colombia has it all. If it’s adventure you’re seeking, this is the best country to visit in South America. There are plenty of adrenaline-pumping activities on offer including scuba diving, paragliding, jungle trekking, hiking, and horseback riding. The le Piedra del Penol is a popular tourist attraction is Columbia today. Visitors can climb this wonderful rock formation in the town of Guatape and will be rewarded with stunning views.

Brazil

Brazil, the largest country in South America, is the perfect place to let your hair down. With its white sand beaches and vibrant nightlife, it truly is an exciting escape. Rio de Janeiro is a favourite destination among travellers. Not only does it offer visitors stunning landscapes and some of the greatest football events but it is home to the popular Carnival festival. This is one of the biggest parties in the world and the good news is everyone is invited! This is definitely one for the top places to visit in South America!

brazil

Argentina

When back on the mainland, don’t miss Buenos Aires, the spectacular capital of Argentina. Fall in love with this city as you take the time to enjoy all its delights, from tangoing the night away with a handsome stranger to savouring a delicious steak.argentina

Chile

If you are looking for a unique adventure, you can’t do better than Chile! Chile is a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. It’s natural landscapes, culture, food and people just are few of the reasons to visit. Santiago, its capital, is the most famous region for travellers to explore. This city is surrounded by the Andes and Chilean Coast Range mountains giving you the most breath-taking views, not to mention the amazing architecture within the city itself.

Peru

Peru is a breath-taking country, recognised for its majestic ruins, amazing scenery and rich cultural heritage. It is also home to the famous Machu Picchu. But, if exploring ancient Inca civilisations isn’t enough, you can zip wire through the canopies in Máncora or go surfing the waves of Cabo Blanco.

Plan your next trip to South America. Go somewhere new, try something adventurous and face your fears! Book an appointment at a TMB Clinic to find out more about your destination and any vaccinations you may need.

How to reduce 6th year holiday costs

Group TravelHow to reduce 6th year holiday costs

Leaving cert students from across the country are looking forward to their 6th year holidays, ready to blow-off steam after a hectic school year.

The 6th year holiday is a time for students to let go and enjoy themselves, but for some students this will be their first holiday abroad without supervision. Therefore, it is easy to overspend as they get caught up in the holiday frenzy. Our travel experts have come up with a few simple tips to help students stretch their budget and reduce your 6th year holiday costs.

Create a holiday budget and stick to it

It’s okay to enjoy a well-earned holiday, however, it is good to create and keep a budget in mind. After the initial costs of accommodation and transportation, set a daily cash allowance for expected food, drink, activities and excursions. If possible, increase this allowance number by 10% as you should always have a small sum of money put away for small emergencies or unexpected expenses.

Pack essentials

Reduce 6th year holiday costs by packing essential items such as appropriate clothing, footwear, toiletries and a first aid kit – this should include insect repellent, plasters and of course after sun. Depending on your destination, you could be surprised by how much these items cost, especially if visiting a popular tourist area.

Weigh and measure your luggage

Make sure to pack sensibly. Do you really need that many pairs of trainers or that much makeup? Whether you are checking bags into the hold or travelling with hand luggage it is important to be sure that they are below the size and weight restrictions imposed by the airline. Excess charges are harsh so avoid this extra cost by weighing and measuring your bags beforehand.

Avail of student discounts

Leaving Cert holidays are now bigger than ever – with many students venturing outside Europe to more exotic places like Thailand, India and Africa. It has also become more common for students to embark on volunteering trips or work further abroad to expand their horizons before college. Make sure to get all the required vaccinations for the country you are visiting. TMB have a special student vaccination package for Summer 2017 which means you can get your vaccinations, consultation and a tailor-made prescription from only €133. Plus, if you’re travelling with a group you can get even more discounts!

Take advantage of free WiFi

It is important that you are contactable at all times. Don’t waste your phone credit using the internet, remember, when abroad credit is necessary to both receive and make calls. If your apartment complex or hotel doesn’t offer this amenity, don’t worry. Starbucks, McDonalds, and public facilities will offer complimentary Internet access. If you do happen to run out of phone credit, don’t worry, with Wi-Fi you can contact your friends  free of charge using social apps like WhatsApp or Facebook.

Choose to eat in – 6th year holiday costs

It is easy when on holidays to go out every morning, day and night and splurge money on food. It’s good to treat yourself, particularly after a lot of hard work studying but having a meal in occasionally means you will have more money for excursions and other fun activities. Visit the local supermarket for inspiration, chances are, you’ll have a fridge in your hotel or apartment room where you can easily store snacks and more.

Travel health

For travel health tips and advice call into your local TMB travel health clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals. Our experts will guide you through the health and safety requirements for your destination.

Driving the Garden Route – Safety Dos and Don’ts

Driving the Garden Route – Safety Dos and Don’ts

How to stay safe while driving the Garden Route

People are drawn to South Africa’s Garden Route for its polarity – you can be in the middle of the mountains at one moment and be thrown to the amazing coastline the next. This self-drive route offers a wide array of activities, like going on wine tasting tours in the mountains, relaxing on the many beaches, and even cage diving with great white sharks. To ensure your holiday goes as smoothly as possible, here are some safety dos and don’ts for driving the Garden Route.

Be prepared

Travelling along an area with so many different environments, like Driving the Garden Route, can call for some hectic packing. Get a SIM card to always have access to your phone’s GPS and emergency contact numbers. To make sure that you can always reach someone, buy a South Africa adapter, so you can charge your devices at a hotel before heading out to your next destination. As for clothing, if you are travelling in South Africa’s winter months, pack warmer clothes for the chilly nights. Bring comfortable shoes for hiking and a wind jacket for the sea breeze.

Safest ways to travel

The Garden Route is a heavily trafficked area by tourists, so it is safe to travel along. However, there are certain measures you can take to stay the safe while driving the Garden Route. Avoid walking through the back roads in cities or townships, and wandering alone at night. The Garden Route has two simple routes, and the roads are equivalent to European roads, making the drive itself safe. However, be sure to hire a car from a reliable car service to lessen your chances of breaking down on your route.

Safest places to see  – Driving the Garden Route

With so many different destinations along the Garden Route, it is difficult to fit all you want to see and do in one trip. To help you plan, here is a list of 5 beautiful and safe places you should not cut out of your Garden Route itinerary.

  • Go on a wine tasting tour in the Outeniqua mountains above George.
  • In Gansbaai, embark on a whale sighting tour during whale season, or go great white shark cage diving.
  • In Knysna, visit the Featherbed Nature Reserve or the July Oyster Festival.
  • Relax on the beaches of Plettenburg Bay, or join in on the watersport activities around you.
  • Visit Addo Elephant National Park and go on game drives to spot the herds of elephants.

Foods to eat or not to eat

From the South African braais (BBQ’s) to the seafood of the coastal cities, the food along the Garden Route is a main attraction for tourists. However, with travel comes the possibility of getting a food-related illness. Fresh produce is typically something that can always be enjoyed, but meat is where you have to be a little more concerned. Always make sure that your food is served hot, and try to steer clear of the street food in South Africa, as this may not guarantee you the safest food.

Make sure to stay hydrated the whole time, as the African sun has a way of creeping up on you. In doing so, try to opt for bottled water instead of tap water. If tap water is all you have, make sure to have a water purifier or water purifying tablets for your trip!

Travel Health

Book an appointment at your nearest TMB clinic to get your necessary South Africa vaccinations before you head out to the Garden Route. Our experts can advise you on how to stay the healthiest you can on your trip.

Top 5 ways to prevent food poisoning while travelling

how to stay fit while travellingTop 5 ways to prevent food poisoning while travelling

Follow our top 5 ways to prevent food poisoning while travelling

Travelling can be a relaxing, exhilarating and delightful experience, but this is only possible if you maintain your health. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are the most common and unwanted companions on any trip. Whether you are travelling for business or pleasure, keeping healthy and avoiding illnesses is vital for a successful journey. We share our top 5 ways to prevent food poisoning while travelling.

Avoid uncooked food

One of the most important ways to prevent food poisoning is to avoid eating uncooked foods. Hot temperatures kill bacteria in food that cause digestive illnesses. Cool or lukewarm temperatures support the growth of germs, so try to avoid foods such as fruit and uncooked veg as much as possible. When deciding on food to eat, look for items that are steaming hot to ensure they are fresh and bacteria free.

Bottled water

Always make sure to bring bottled water everywhere you go on your travels. You cannot be sure whether the water is contaminated or not so don’t take any chances. It may seem a bit OTT but checking that the bottle seal is intact is important. Bottled beverages, particularity water can sometimes be refilled with unclean sources. When in serious doubt, you can go for sparkling water or fizzy drinks since they will be noticeably carbonated.

Use the bottled water for brushing your teeth and make sure to keep your mouth closed when showering.

Avoid ice

While people usually remember to avoid tap water, it is often forgotten to avoid ice. If you are not careful, that refreshing drink may have the water you are trying so hard to avoid.  Always ask the server whether the ice is made from filtered water or tapped water.

Eat where it is busy and where locals are dining

To truly experience a country, one will always want to sample the local food. The native people can be quite helpful in finding restaurants that serve good healthy food. Look to see where the locals are going or ask them to suggest restaurants or a market place to eat.  A restaurant that is serving local people and is well-visited typically results in a higher turnover of food which means fresh food. Eating where the locals dine is one of the easiest ways to prevent food poisoning.

Be cautious of dairy

While dairy can be delicious and healthy, it also goes off easily which can cause illness. One of the ways to avoid food poisoning is by being a bit more cautious when consuming dairy, especially in developing regions. Cooked, hot milk is okay, so if you do want milk in your tea or coffee make sure it is boiled.

We all love an ice cream, especially in the summer months, but re- frozen ice-cream can make someone very ill. Check the shape, especially on packaged ice creams, to see if it looks to have melted and then been re-frozen.

Food poisoning treatment

If you happen to suffer from food poisoning while travelling, fear not! For most people, the illness resolves without treatment within 24 hours, though some types of food poisoning can last longer.  Food poisoning can leave you feeling weak and exhausted. It is extremely important to rest and replace lost fluids. When you are feeling better gradually begin to eat bland, low-fat, easy-to-digest foods, such as toast, plain pasta, crackers and rice. Stop eating if your nausea returns.

To avoid illness overseas, travellers are strongly advised to book an appointment at one of the many TMB clinics and find out about the vaccinations they may require.

Airport layovers – How to make the most of your long layover

travel after coronavirusAirport layovers – How to make the most of your long layover

Tips on how to make the most of your layover between flights

Sometimes it is not possible to avoid changeover flights. The thought of sitting around in an airport for hours between flights can be daunting but layovers do not have to mean endless hours of watching the clock. If you use your layover time efficiently, it can be a relaxing and fun part of your trip. In this blog, we share some advice for how to make the most of your long layover.

Come prepared

Prepare by bringing along supplies as a source of entertainment. Some airports have Wi-Fi restrictions so try not to be dependent on them. Whether you bring your laptop, tablet or smartphone, make sure to load it up with your favourite movies, books and music in advance. Netflix also have some movies and series that you can download and later watch offline. Whatever device you choose, it is important to bring chargers to keep your electronics going.

Pack a change of clothes, a small deodorant and baby wipes in your hand luggage. Airport layovers are better when you feel comfortable and refreshed.

Exercise

It is easy to feel tired and sluggish between flights. After sitting on a plane for hours, it is important to do some exercise when you can. If you are not shy, bring a yoga mat and find a quiet area in the airport to do some stretches. This will help you to use the time and to feel revitalised. If yoga isn’t for you, take a stroll or brisk walk around the airport. Some airports such as San Francisco International Airport offer fitness centres or free yoga rooms – make sure to do your research to see what is available.

 

Get a lounge pass – airport layovers

Many international airports offer lounge passes to purchase. Whether you are alone or with someone, a lounge pass is a good investment. Teas, coffees and food can be expensive at airports. Not only is a lounge a great place to relax, but food and beverages are included. A Lounge pass will help you to feel refreshed and ready for that fabulous holiday or business trip that’s ahead of you.

Sleep

Overnight airport layovers are the right time to catch up on some sleep. If you are lucky to have a travelling partner, find a comfortable area and take turns sleeping. This means someone can watch the bags at all times. If you are alone, wear a waist bag under your clothes. This will ensure your cards, money, passport and any other important documents are safe.

Some big airports, such as Amsterdam have a Yotel inside their terminals. If you would like a bed and a shower without the hassle of leaving the airport, this is perfect for you. Visit the airports website to check if there is a Yotel near you!

Can you leave the airport on a layover?

Whether you can leave the airport depends on a number of factors. You will have to go through customs and immigration if you want to leave the airport. Make sure you have the appropriate visa, documents and time to get in and out of the country without stress.

If it is suitable for you to leave the airport, take advantage of this and go on a little adventure. Do some research on the city you are in, maybe you want to visit a museum, ancient ruins or you just want to try the local food. Some airlines offer complimentary excursions to their guests, so make sure to ask a member of their staff about all your options.

Travel health

Contact your nearest TMB clinic and book an appointment for more advice on what you may need to keep your travels safe and healthy.

 

 

Preventing problems when travelling with friends

Group TravelPreventing problems when travelling with friends

Follow our simple tips to help make the most out of travelling with your friends.

Nothing strengthens a friendship like making memories of exploring some new and exciting places together. A trip away with friends can be the most wonderful experience but it can also be stressful and tense at times. Travelling with someone for the first time can truly make or break the friendship. Whether you are planning a trip with your best friends or new friends it is important to put in some time and effort to ensure the trip runs smoothly for everyone. Preventing problems when travelling with your friends is easy if you follow our few simple tips in advance of your adventure.

Outline your holiday goals

Before you and your friends confirm any airline or accommodations bookings, it is important to consider what everyone wants to accomplish. Get together to discuss the trip and establish if you have the same type of holiday in mind. Individuals should talk about their needs, goals and preferences to measure if they are compatible travellers. One friend may be adventurous, social and interested in cultures. The other may be more of an introvert, loves shopping and staying by the poolside. It is crucial to recognize that even your closest of friends may not be the best travel partners for you.

Make an itinerary

Do you like to get up early or sleep in? A discussion about day-to-day routines is vital. It is a good idea to make an itinerary in advance to eliminate the possibility of future disputes. Individuals should lay out what their expectations are for the type of holiday they have selected. There is no point having your heart set on scuba diving in Asia or on  jungle treks in South America if your friends want to just lay on the beach all day. Tell your friends what you want to do, discuss your objectives and make your plan.

Remember it is perfectly fine to break away from the group. Include some ‘me time’ in your itinerary.

Consider budgets –  Preventing problems when travelling with friends

Money can be a sensitive subject but it is important to consider everyone’s budget to avoid any conflict later. Are you the type of traveller who likes to splurge on accommodation and expensive meals? What you may consider affordable may not be the same as your friends, so make sure to be specific. Talk about the level of luxury you are willing to pay for to eliminate awkward situations in the future.

Health awareness

One of the benefits of travelling with your friends is having someone you can trust by your side at all times. It is essential when travelling with friends to be honest with any health issues you have. If you have any allergies to food, animals or medicines make sure to inform them. Similarly, if you have a pre-existing medical condition, discuss it a friend in the case of any emergencies.

Organisation

Preventing problems when travelling with friends begins with organisation. It is crucial for everyone to be equally prepared for the trip and this is particularly important when packing. Discuss what is necessary for your trip. Carrying a heavy rucksack is difficult if travelling through South East Asia or South America. Make your luggage lighter by sharing the load with your friends.

Thinking of travelling with friends this summer? Pay a visit to your local TMB clinic before travelling, find out about the recommended vaccinations for your chosen destination.

Best holiday destinations for students

Group TravelExplore the world with our 2017 best holiday destinations for students.

It has never been easier to travel and our list of the best holiday destinations for students will help you gain experience before heading into the real world! Students nowadays are not shy to travel, they do not lack confidence, on the contrary, most like to be independent and to gain a real sense of freedom away from parents, books and lecture halls.

TMB want to help you stay safe and well while abroad! Our amazing student travel offer for Summer 2017 covers all of your travel medicine needs – from consultations to vaccinations and even some very handy travel accessories from only €133! With this amazing student travel deal, there is no excuse not to travel! Explore new horizons and see the world with some of our best holiday destinations for students.

Thailand

Thailand is undoubtedly one of the best holiday destinations for students and is on almost everyone’s bucket list today. This beautiful and sunny destination has so much to offer students at an affordable cost. With mountains to climb, beaches to sunbathe on, jungles to trek and world-class cities to explore, there is no wonder why thousands of students visit Thailand every summer.

Thailand offers students a variety of attractions and activities to see and do. Whether you want to let loose and party, see the stunning cultural and historical sites, or do both, the choice is yours in Thailand. Koh Phi Phi, is well worth a visit. This island has a reputation as a party island but it is also a remarkable place to see. Here, you can visit Maya Bay, where you can get that picture-perfect Instagram shot! The Beach movie was filmed on this idyllic island. Another spot to see is Chiang Mai. Recognised as one of Thailand’s cultural hubs, it is home to many temples and landmarks. Don’t miss the Elephant Nature Park – a wonderful sanctuary devoted to rescuing elephants across Northern Thailand. You will be able to spend a day learning about elephants, bathing and feeding them for a unique and rewarding experience.

Thailand may be slightly further afield but it is very accessible today so don’t waste any time and start planning your next adventure with our new TMB student travel deal!

India

A new popular holiday destination for students is India. Tour villages, visit some of the most beautiful ancient historical monuments in the world and see the Triangle Taj Mahal for a holiday like no other. India is perfect for students who want to discover a different part of the world. A trip to the great Himalayas national Park is highly recommended for students who love the great outdoors.

India is such a big country, it may seem daunting for students to plan this trip, luckily we have already put together some India Travel Tips as a guide to make planning your dream holiday easy. Now all that remains is to find a cheap flight, and be on your way.

Peru

Peru is one of the most exciting and best holiday destinations for students who love to experience the culture of times past. It holds many historical remains of the Inca empire, one of the most fascinating civilizations in history.

The Inca Trail is one of the top five treks in the world and has become a very sought-after challenge with students. It is included as one of the New Seven Wonders of the world. Experience first-hand the breath-taking mountain scenery, subtropical jungle, ancient ruins and tunnels and the famous Inca paving stones. The trek itself finishes at the magnificent Machu Picchu. Reaching Machu Picchu is a mind-blowing experience and an incredible achievement to have under your belt.

Peru is also a great destination for aspiring surfers on a budget, or students who want to experience traditional sightseeing and the beach life in one trip. Peru offers something different for students with boundless activities and sites to see.

Travel health

With summer only around the corner, it is time to start planning your next adventure! Those students travelling to any of our top student destinations are strongly advised to book an appointment at a local TMB clinic and speak to a trained professional about the vaccinations required, which is included in our fantastic student offer for Summer 2017.

 

Tips for travelling with a toddler on a plane

eva-darron-oCdVtGFeDC0-unsplashTips for travelling with a toddler on a plane

Parents from around the world often worry about flying with their children so we’ve put together some of our to tips for travelling with a toddler on a plane.

With summer approaching, there is no better time to start preparing for your trip abroad. We are here to help! Our top tips for travelling with a toddler on a plane will ensure a stress-free journey for you and your child.

Flying with a toddler on your lap

Until your little one’s second birthday, your child is legally allowed fly for free on your lap. Toddlers are completely mobile, intolerant, and incapable of all reasoning at the most inconvenient moments.

Regardless of how well behaved your toddler may be, flying with him/her on your lap is not an easy task. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you are flying with a partner, older children or friend, they can give you a break while keeping your little-one entertained. If you are on your own, don’t panic, there is often a flight attendant or kind person willing to engage with your toddler.

Book nonstop flights when possible

This may seem obvious but the cheaper connecting flights may not be worth the hassle. It is impossible to predict how your child will find their flying experience. Whether they are restless, frightened or experiencing travel sickness or ear pain, you don’t want them to have to through this twice or more. It is worth the investment to book direct flights when possible to avoid extra distress.

A connecting flight is sometimes the only option depending on your destination. The key to a successful layover is not to waste this period by allowing your toddler to nap. It is a good time to let your toddler get the wiggles out. Flight gates are often crammed with people. Go find an isolated area and let your toddler run around and burn off some energy before boarding.

Request an aisle seat

Trying to keep a lively toddler on your lap for a long flight is a tough endeavour. Don’t be tempted by the window seat views, this position will present you with problems later on. Toddlers need to move and have easy access to the toilets. An aisle seat can give you freedom and space.  Plan to spend some time in the aisle getting a little exercise. It is important to stay out of flight attendant’s’ way, walk and take toilet breaks between the food and beverages service times.

Carry essentials – tips for travelling with a toddler on a plane

The right carry-on bag can make your journey a lot easier. A canvas tote or backpack with convenient zipped departments will hold everything you might need to reach quickly. A first aid kit is vital for any journey. Pack away the essentials and any medication that you or your child may require throughout the duration of the flight. Plasters, antihistamines and painkillers can save a lot of stress later on.

Snacks

Avoid sweets, this is one of our top tips for travelling with a toddler on a plane. Resist the temptation to spoil them on a long journey. Pack a mixture of savoury snacks like cheese cubes, breadsticks, fruit and raisins to avoid an uncontrollable sugar rush. The air conditioning on a plane can cause dehydration, make sure you and your little one drink plenty of water.

The cups on airplanes are not toddler friendly. Bring a spill-resistant drinking bottle such as a straw cup to avoid awkward spillages on you or even the person sitting next to you. A small bottle can be tucked into the seat pocket in front of you.

Bring extra supplies

Preparation and organisation are one of our crucial tips for travelling with a toddler on a plane. Entertainment, like colouring and sticker books, drawing paper and other small toys are great for keeping your little one amused and preoccupied during the flight.

If your toddler is still at the nappy stage don’t forget to pack spares in your carry-on. Baby wipes can be used for multiple purposes including washing hands, wiping down tables and of course cleaning your baby’s bottom. You don’t want to forget them.

Travel health

Contact your nearest TMB clinic and book an appointment for more advice on what you may need to keep your travels safe and healthy.

Dubai travel tips – things to know before visiting

wael-hneini-QJKEa9n3yN8-unsplashDubai travel tips – things to know before visiting

Make the most out of your adventure with our Dubai travel tips.

Dubai, leaping up from the Arabian desert is a diverse city that boasts a variety of wonderful attractions. There is a lot more to Dubai than fabulous hotels and extraordinary skyscrapers. The city is full of ambition from extravagant malls to some of the most modern constructions and the largest artificial islands in the world! If you have never been to this incredible destination our Dubai travel tips will help you to make the most out of your visit.

Weather

The best time to visit Dubai is between October and April. Enjoy clear skies with warm temperatures that hover around 27 degrees Celsius. This weather is perfect for exploring the cities magnificent outdoor wonders like Dubai Miracle Garden. The summer months are not quite as welcoming with temperatures usually reaching up to 50 degree Celsius. Travelling around can be incredibly unpleasant with extreme heat and humidity. The city prepares for the heat with running air-conditioning in most buildings and transport vehicles but a trip during the peak season does make for a more enjoyable trip.

What clothing to wear

A sun hat, sun glasses and sun screen are the essentials for maximum sun protection in Dubai. The sun is very intense and can be tiring. Wear light clothing and avoid dark colours that attract sunlight.

Dubai welcomes people from across the globe. While Dubai has an incredibly relaxed atmosphere, it is important to remember that it is an Islamic state and certain sensibilities should be respected. Revealing too much skin can offend the locals and can be considered a criminal offense. Beachwear and bikinis should be limited to hotel swimming pools. Dress to impress but avoid any trouble by dressing appropriately also. This is one of the Dubai travel tips you don’t want to forget.

Clubs and alcohol – Dubai travel tips

There is an endless list of fantastic bars and clubs in Dubai city, however some clubs are not licenced to sale alcohol. If you are looking to enjoy an alcoholic drink or two make sure to do your research on each venue to avoid disappointment. There is a zero tolerance for drunk and disorderly behaviour in this city. Enjoy the cities glamourous scene by drinking only in places where alcohol is permitted.

Transport

Walking in Dubai is restricted by the heat and lack of pedestrian pathways. The city is vast and quite spread out with large roads and motorways in-between. Driving in Dubai is not for the fainthearted and with little public transport available the best option to get around is by taxi. All taxis in Dubai are metered and can be ordered or hailed from the street. The cost of a taxi is reasonable but try to avoid travelling during the peak times.

Visiting the desert

A trip to the desert can be an amazing experience. From sand boarding to group drumming sessions to star watching, there is something for everyone. The dessert endures extreme climate conditions so it is important bring a few basics to avoid any complications. Carry a bottle of water with you always. It is vital to stay hydrated so drink plenty of H2O throughout the day. Be prepared for any situation with your own first aid kit. This can carry disinfectant spray, sun cream, burn cream and any personal medication you may need.

Travel Health

Thinking of travelling to Dubai? Pay a visit to your local TMB clinic before travelling, find out about the recommended vaccinations for Dubai and get expert advice on how to avoid falling ill on your travels.

Safari in South Africa – the ultimate guide to wildlife

safariSafari in South Africa  – the ultimate guide to wildlife

A safari in South Africa offers a trip through the wilderness that allows you to enjoy all of the natural beauty this amazing destination offers.

It is all about the thrilling and exciting activities such as driving through the jungle, coming face to face with wild animals, hiking and experiencing the rich flora and fauna of the exotic region.

South Africa has a lot of places to offer to wildlife lovers from around the world. If you are one of those real wildlife safari enthusiasts, then a safari in South Africa is the right place for you.

Choose the right wildlife safari for you

The first step in planning your safari in South Africa should be to choose the type of safari you would like to go on. Whether you are backpacking alone, travelling with a family, or looking for a romantic honeymoon safari, there are many different types of safaris to decide on. A safari in South Africa gives you countless options, experience a mobile safari, beach safari, birding safari, honeymoon safari or an adventure and activities safari. South Africa has it all, so do your research and find what type of safari best suits you.

South Africa’s wildlife

The “Big 5” is a term used to describe Africa’s most dangerous, yet most popular, game animals and consists of the lion, leopard, elephant, Cape buffalo and the black rhino. The white rhino is also included today due to the rarity of seeing the endangered black rhino. Although most of us have seen and heard of these animals from books and documentaries, there is nothing quite like seeing these magnificent creatures in the flesh.

As well as being home to the “Big 5” safaris, South Africa is a fantastic place to spot some of the most interesting and rare species of birds and reptiles. To enhance your experience, it is a good idea to learn a bit about these animals before your trip.

Destinations for safari in South Africa

Africa is the world’s second largest continent with extraordinary nature just waiting to be discovered. Its landscape is incredibly diverse with lush green plains, vibrant marshland, and dessert land. South Africa hosts various safari destinations that offer many types of accommodation. From affordable bush camps (Botswana safari) to luxury safari lodges by the ocean (Mozambique safari) there is an endless list of destinations to meet everyone’s needs.

Budget

Whether you are travelling alone or in a group you must decide on your budget. A safari in South Africa is not cheap but it can be affordable. You can choose to go on an all-inclusive safari holiday or do the planning and organising yourself – the choice is yours. Before you go you must consider vaccinationsvisas, travel insurance and safari essentials. Preparation is key when trying to stick to a budget.

The essentials for safari in South Africa

Carrying a medical kit is vital for a safari in South Africa. It should be on top of the priorities list in case of emergencies. Always make sure to bring your kit along with you each day and add any personal medication that you need.

It is crucial to bring suitable clothing to suit all weather conditions of your chosen destination. Comfort and quality are important for your safari adventure. Do not forget your camera, capture spectacular moments, and make your memories last forever with stunning photographs.

Remember travel adapters, memory cards and an extra set of batteries if needed for any of your electrical equipment.

Travel health

Thinking of going on a safari in South Africa? Book an appointment at one of TMB’s 20 clinics nationwide to speak with a qualified consultant who will offer advice on how to stay safe while away and information about all the required vaccinations.

Beware of flu outbreak across Ireland

how to prevent the fluBeware of flu outbreak across Ireland

Due to recent flu outbreak, hospitals throughout Ireland are reporting a significant rise in the amount of people being admitted with winter-related illnesses.

According to the latest figures released by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSPC), who are in charge of monitoring the spread of infectious diseases, the amount of people falling ill with flu-like symptoms has tripled throughout Ireland in the last five weeks.

Flu outbreak

Most commonly known as the flu, Influenza is an acute viral infection that spreads easily from person to person which can cause annual epidemics during the winter months.

It may be a common complaint but the flu remains a force to be reckoned with – anyone who has experienced its nasty symptoms, which include high fever, a cough, stuffy nose, fatigue and nausea, can testify to this.

The HSPC has warned that this increase in cases is expected to continue until the end of February with Minister for Health Simon Harrison describing it as a very challenging time for Ireland’s health service.

How to prevent the flu

If you are concerned about contracting the flu there are ways to prevent it. Some precautions that you can take everyday are washing your hands regularly, keeping surfaces clean and upping your intake of Vitamin C
over the winter months.

However, the most effective way to protect against the Influenza virus is to get your flu vaccination. Tropical Medical Bureau offer these important vaccinations at their clinics nationwide.

Dr Graham Fry, Medical Director of TMB, says, “It is extremely advisable for those who are susceptible to infection, such as elderly people and those with conditions such as asthma, to protect themselves with a flu vaccination, especially considering the recent flu outbreak. It is also recommended for international travellers, due to crowded conditions at airports and on-board planes.”

The flu vaccination at TMB costs just €25 or €15 as part of a course of vaccinations. There are also group and corporate rates available as well as on-site vaccination services for groups of 20 or more. If you would like to learn more about our group or corporate flu services visit www.tmb.ie/services/group.

For further information or to book an appointment, please contact Tropical Medical Bureau on 1850 487674 or visit www.tmb.ie.

Top tips for choosing a yoga retreat

kike-vega-F2qh3yjz6Jk-unsplash (1)Top tips for choosing a yoga retreat

Enjoy a lifestyle of health and wellness by taking some time out and using these top tips for choosing a yoga retreat abroad. Sometimes it is necessary to remove ourselves from our busy lives to give ourselves the permission to truly relax.

Choosing a Yoga Retreat – Location

There are yoga retreats all over the world, so it is up to you whether you want something by the beach or the mountains. You may be a yogi who enjoys the ocean front view or a nature-lover who likes to be deep in the wilderness, the choice is yours. Location is important because it is the place you will stay for the duration of the retreat. Go to Europe or take the leap to Brazil, Mexico, or India for a tropical experience that is second to none.

Type of Yoga

When choosing your yoga retreat, it is important to know what style of yoga you will be practicing and the levels of yoga they cater for. Research is vital, you want to choose a retreat that suits you and your needs. Some forms of yoga are aimed at fitness, some are aimed at relaxation and others are aimed to integrate body, mind, and inner energies. There are a mystifying range of yoga types from Bikram, Anusara, Ashtanga and more, so if the style of one retreat doesn’t suit you, then keep looking.

Coach and Guide

When you think of a retreat you may think of group sessions between 10 or more but there are always other options. Ask what your intentions are from this experience, whether you want to get your life direction in order, let go of old emotions or you just want to try something new. The right yoga coach can make your experience even better than anticipated. You may want to experience private classes with your own coach who will work with you closely to achieve your goals. You could be happy to get group classes where you learn together and make new friends. Think about what you want and pick a retreat that offers the right coaching for you.

Tips for Choosing a Yoga Retreat – Duration

Are you looking for quality or quantity? Think of the length of the retreat. Consider how much yoga you will practice and what you want to achieve. Some retreats will offer only one class a day, while others offer 2 classes daily and mini-workshops. You may be a person who needs time to adjust and adapt a new routine or a quick learner who falls right into place. Try to be realistic and choose the right retreat duration for you.

Price

A yoga retreat is not cheap but it can be affordable depending on how and where you choose to do it. You may be a yogi who enjoys the luxury retreat with stunning views, private studios, exceptional service with gourmet cuisine and treatments at hand. You may be on the other end of the spectrum and want to be out in the wilderness camping, enjoying the simplicity of nature. When it comes to a budget, you can cut out extra costs by bringing your own materials or by booking an all-inclusive retreat.

Travel Health

We hope you enjoyed our tips for choosing a yoga retreat. Thinking of a yoga retreat abroad? Visit us at one of our TMB clinics and speak to a qualified professional about the different vaccinations you may require.

Travelling during rainy season in Southeast Asia

cambodiaTravelling during rainy season in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is one of the most exciting places to travel to in the world.

With better prices, smaller crowds and this guide, travelling  during rainy season in Southeast Asia can actually be more enjoyable and valuable than going during peak season. Just ensure you are properly prepared before you go!

When is monsoon season?

Monsoon season in Southeast Asia runs from the beginning of July to late September which might have you thinking of constant heat and sunshine, but you must not forget that during this season rainfall is common there too. Expect a warm and humid tropical climate with bursts of rainfall and overcast skies.

Travelling During Rainy Season – Prepare

Whether you are travelling to Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam or Malaysia you should look up the expected weather in each destination in advance. Some regions like Thailand just receive outbursts of rainfall and experience clear blue skies and sunshine for the rest of the day during monsoon season. On the other hand, sometimes countries can have continuous days of sunshine with no or little rainfall, so don’t miss out and plan your travels to get the most out of your trip. Keep up to date with the latest travel news to avoid any disturbances during the monsoon season, such as severe flooding.

Travelling during rainy season – Clothing

With warm temperatures, sunshine and downpours of rain it can be difficult to know what to wear when travelling during rainy season in Southeast Asia.  Pack light and loose clothing to help you stay cool during a sunny day. If there is a sudden outburst of rain you will quickly dry in no time when the sun come out again. Wear sandals or boots with good grip to help you walk around any slippery streets after downpours.

Don’t forget to have a safe place to put your phone or other gadgets to prevent any water damage. Whether you are lying by a beach, on a boat or there is a sudden outburst of rain, a water-resistant bag is a must have during the monsoon season.

Bring mosquito repellent

The warm and humid topical climate is a big attraction for mosquitoes especially during the monsoon season with the addition of some rainfall. Mosquitoes can carry malaria and other diseases that can be harmful. Bring plenty of mosquito repellent to project yourself from being bitten. A portable net over your bed at night is a great way to reduce your chances of getting bitten.

Plan your day

Organisation is key when travelling during the monsoon season. Know when the rainfall periods are due each day and plan to eat or relax at that time. Plan to sight-see and explore during the dry spells to get the most out of your holiday.

Whether you are taking a boat, bus or car allow for extra time in your schedule, slippery roads and uneasy water can cause delays. The natural landscape and wildlife of Southeast Asia is second to none so soak it all up. Unlike flora during the dry season, the landscape is green and lush rather than brown and parched. With less tourists, once you plan your day out right you can have an even better experience and enjoy the sights without the peak season crowds.

Travel Health

If you are travelling during rainy season in South East Asia it is really important that you look after your travel health and are up to date with all your travel vaccinations.

We hope that you find these tips useful while you travel to South East Asia. For travel health tips and advice call your local TMB travel health clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals. Our experts will guide you through the health requirements for your destination, telling you all you need to know about vaccinations, mosquito bite prevention and food hygiene.

Travelling alone – reasons for a solo adventure

philipp-kammerer-6Mxb_mZ_Q8E-unsplash (2)Top reasons for travelling alone

While it is a wonderful experience to travel with family and friends there is something special about travelling alone.

Solo travel is your very own adventure that can be one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do in your life. Whether you are single, in a relationship, introverted or extroverted travelling alone is for you!

Meet New People

The key to meeting new people is to keep an open mind while keeping safety in mind, especially when in unfamiliar land. When you travel with family and friends, while it is a lot of fun, it is difficult to interact outside your group of familiar faces. Travelling alone can be a great opportunity to engage with the locals and make new friends. Whether you have an extroverted or introverted nature you will see yourself reaching out more to socialise with others. The interactions you will make as a solo traveller will be deep and fulfilling as you appreciate the company of others more. Book yourself onto a tour with a group of fellow solo travellers where you can all share your experiences.

Time for Reflection

Take some important ‘me-time’ and go on your own adventure. It can be difficult for us to slow down in our fast paced lives. Travelling alone can be a great opportunity to de-stress and rediscover the true you. Travelling alone encourages you to engage in new activities in new places, and gives you time to both think, reflect and perhaps break some bad habits.

No drama

When there is more than one person traveling, you must be considerate of one another and willing to compromise throughout your holiday. This can work out well, but sometimes if things don’t go to plan the entire trip can be ruined. As a solo traveller you decide what your schedule is and what is on that day’s agenda. While travelling alone you avoid possibilities of drama and gain a great sense of liberation.

Travelling alone is empowering

A successful solo holiday can inspire you in all aspects of your life. Traveling alone may seem daunting at first. We fear the unknown and are sometimes terrified of trying something new. Traveling alone challenges your fears and insecurities. You will gain a great sense of achievement once you have completed your own journey and this feeling of empowerment with stay with. Our fear exists for our own protection but we must not let it control us. Challenging yourself and travelling alone is a great first step to never letting fear hold you back in life.

Simple logistics

Is there something you have wanted to try that no one is willing to do with you? Maybe you have dreamt of climbing the Himalayas in India, snorkelling in Thailand or even simply eating the local burritos in Mexico. Sometimes, whether you are single or not, you may find yourself unable to find a travel partner who is free to willing to go on this adventure with you. Don’t sacrifice your dreams when you’re perfectly capable of doing them alone. There is no time like the present, don’t wait around for a travel partner, pack your bags and go!

Plan your next trip as a solo traveller. Go somewhere new, try something adventurous and face your fears! Book an appointment at a TMB Clinic to find out more about your destination and any vaccinations you may need.

Winter sports holidays – the do’s and don’ts!

maarten-duineveld-pmfJcN7RGiw-unsplashWinter sports holidays – the do’s and don’ts!  

If you are planning a winter sports holiday you are bound to be excited about the thought of hitting the slopes and leaving all of your worries behind. Or, you may be staying at home and planning on trying some winter sports out here. However, with all sports come risks.

Whether you are jetting off to Austria or France, or visiting Galway or Dublin, here are the top ten tips for having fun and staying safe while partaking in exciting winter sports!

  1. With the risk of injuring yourself being high, when compared to a beach holiday, it is advisable to take out a travel insurance plan which will cover you for all winter sports activities that you plan to take part in.
  2. To make sure you’re prepared for the weather conditions, stay up to date with the weather forecasts for your planned destination a few weeks prior to your departure date.
  3. Remember, the higher you climb, the less oxygen there is to breathe. If you begin to feel sick, be sure to ascend the slope slowly and perhaps stay at a lower elevation the night before you ski so your body can adjust to the lower oxygen concentrations.
  4. Après Ski is a big part of any skiing holiday, however, drinking too much alcohol, coffee or tea is not advised as they can contribute to dehydration. If you are planning to ski, it is recommended that you drink at least eight, 8-ounce glasses of liquid a day.
  5. Your wardrobe can be fashionable as well as functional on your winter sports holiday. Wear tight fitting clothing to avoid the risk of your garments becoming caught in ski lifts. Always wear the appropriate clothing for each activity you plan on taking part in.
  6. When skiing, always wear sunglasses to avoid getting painful sunburn on your eyes. It also recommended to wear a sunscreen with a rating of at least SPF 35. Every 1,000 feet you ascend is equal to at least a 5% increase in UV intensity.
  7. If you have a tendency to develop frost bite or chill blains, be prepared and pack any remedies that you may need.
  8. Be safe and be seen! Wear colourful clothes when you are on the slopes so you can be seen by other skiers.
  9. In case of emergency, always carry an emergency kit that at a minimum contains a whistle, your mobile and an aluminium wrap. Always tell your friends of your plans so they can find you in an emergency.
  10. If you plan to take to the ice and are not a professional skater, keep it simple. Fancy footwork can too easily result in twisted ankles & head injuries.

Travel Health

We hope that you find these tips useful while you travel abroad. For travel health tips and advice call your local TMB travel health clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals. Our experts will guide you through the health requirements for your destination, telling you all you need to know about vaccinations, mosquito bite prevention and food hygiene.

Travelling over 50 – top tips for Silver Surfers

Travelling over 50 – top tips for Silver Surfers

It is a common misconception that travelling over 50 is not advisable. However, with the combination of the free time of retirement years and available resources thanks to years of working, what better way to celebrate than by taking that trip that you always dreamed of?

The truth is, once you take the necessary precautions, your twilight years are the perfect time to travel, now that you are older, wiser and have spent a lifetime waiting for the chance.

Teva-darron-oCdVtGFeDC0-unsplaships for travelling over 50:

    • Carefully consider the level of physical activity you are willing to reach – for some, trekking or hiking across vast mountain ranges is easily achieved but for others it means shortness of breath, tightness across the chest or perhaps the aggravation of severe osteoarthritis.
    • Visit your local TMB clinic or your GP for a general health check and to discuss your trip before booking or paying for your holiday. Your doctor can assess your general health and advise you on what obstacles you may face health-wise on your planned trip.
    • If you are planning on travelling with a group, try to ensure that you have the same things in mind and are of a similar fitness level. You do not want to feel pressurised into doing activities that you might not be physically fit for or comfortable with.
    • For the older traveller, their previous possible Hepatitis A exposure (‘yellow jaundice’) should be checked but, beside this one specific vaccine, the other risks remain very similar. Tetanus exposure, Hepatitis B exposure or exposure to rabies are all items of consideration.
    • Travellers in the older age bracket are more likely to have an underlying health condition which could be exacerbated by long-haul travel. It is essential to know that your insurance policy will cover local medical care. You should discuss your specific requirements with a specialised travel insurance broker. Being honest in declaration is very important as this may have serious financial consequences should your policy be called into action.
    • If you are on prescribed medications, ensuring that they are clearly marked should mean you will have no difficulty at customs. It may be helpful to have a doctors letter confirming that the medications are essential. You should always have a sufficient supply for your entire time abroad. A small sensible first aid kit may be a useful addition especially for those who will be walking a fair deal.

Take care of your health

For more travel health tips and advice call into your local TMB travel health clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals. Our experts will guide you through the health requirements for your destination, telling you all you need to know about vaccinations, mosquito bite prevention and food hygiene.

How to combat culture shock

Group Travel

How to combat culture shock

Travelling to a different country is exciting and fun, but how does the excursionist deal with the new set of challenges that can lead to culture shock?

Culture Shock is the feelings one experiences after leaving their familiar culture to live in another cultural environment. These feelings can include anxiety, confusion and doubt. Even the most open-minded adventurers among us are not immune to culture shock, so it is important to plan ahead and recognize culture shock when you feel it.

Travellers want to overcome culture shock and put anxiety in its place: out of sight and out of mind. But to be able to conquer it, it’s important to understand the stages of culture shock. This could be as mild as developing an ear for Boston accents, or as vexing as learning a completely different set of social norms in China. There are four crucial stages that every traveller faces.

Culture Shock Stage 1 – Honeymoon Period

You have just arrived in your new country. This day has been anticipated for weeks now, and you are finally there. You immediately notice the aspects of your new country that were pictured in your head. The differences from this country to your own are fascinating. There is a feeling of euphoria from entering this new place and you are in awe of your new surroundings. The wanderlust traveller inside of you is stimulated and you feel enriched.

Stage 2 – Culture Shock

Moving forward, the differences create an impression. The euphoria you have experienced disappears and the exciting-and-new feelings go away. Feelings of confusion, detachment or stress are brought on, and you realize everything familiar and cozy about home is not easily accessible.  The grocery store doesn’t have your familiar brands and your doctor didn’t move countries with you.

Stage 3 – Adjusting to Culture Shock

Cue the Hollywood Time Lapse – You begin to learn how to adjust over a period of time. You are learning new customs, making friends and developing a routine.

Stage 4 – Adaption

Gradually the feelings of stress brought on by culture shock will dissipate as you adjust to your new country. You become more confident and your anxiety fades. The unfamiliar begins to become familiar. Lifestyle has been adjusted to be balanced with the country’s own cultural norms. You can begin to enjoy and appreciate the cultural differences.

How to deal with culture shock – top tips

  • Research your area

Read about the different social norms, laws and personality types of your country. You might still make a culture faux pas at first, but research can help to avoid offending anyone.

  • Don’t isolate yourself

It might be stressful, but don’t retreat to your bedroom all day. Go easy on yourself; you will learn a lot about your new environment quicker than you think.

  • Do something that feels familiar regularly

Consistently communicate with loved ones. Set up Skype dates so you can communicate face to face. Download WhatsApp so you can communicate without racking up international phone bills.  Find a coffee shop in town to read your favourite book. Keep doing your favourite activities that make you who you are.

  • Exercise, get plenty of sleep and keep your body healthy

Keep up with your healthy habits while abroad! Try to fit in your normal workout schedule in your new routine. Find a nearby park to run in or join a local gym. Or, download the free Workout Trainer App that has in-app workouts to help you stay in shape. Leave yourself time to get plenty of rest and have regular meals.

  • Have a sense of humour

This is our favourite tip and just might be your most important daily reminder. You might make a social faux pas and feel silly. Laugh it off! It’s part of the experience of going abroad. Enjoy being in a new land and try to enjoy your silly mistakes.

Travel Tips

We know that travelling can be stressful, so cross one thing off of your To-Do list by booking an appointment with Tropical Medical Bureau. Handle all of your vaccinations and get more travel advice so you can focus on your exciting trip to a different culture.

It’s time to schedule your winter flu vaccination

how to prevent the flu
Time to schedule your winter flu vaccination

Winter is quickly approaching, with the days getting noticeably shorter and the weather a lot colder. For many people this means one thing – the flu!

Most commonly known as the flu, Influenza is an acute viral infection that spreads easily from person to person which can cause annual epidemics during the winter months.

It may be a fairly common illness but that doesn’t make the flu any less unpleasant! Its nasty symptoms include high fever, a cough, stuffy nose, fatigue and nausea.

How to prevent the flu

There are many ways to try and avoid the flu. Wash your hands regularly, get your fill of Vitamin-C rich food, such as fruits and vegetables and use disinfectant wipes to keep all surfaces clean to help to prevent the spread of the flu virus.

However, the most effective way to protect against the Influenza virus is to get your flu vaccination. Tropical Medical Bureau offer these important vaccinations at all of their clinics nationwide.

Flu Vaccination

Tropical Medical Bureau offer discounts for bookings of more than ten people for vaccinations and consultations at their clinics nationwide. You can also avail of on-site flu vaccination services for groups of 25 or more at no additional cost, ensuring there is minimal disruption to a working day.

The flu vaccination at TMB cost just €25 or €15 as part of a course of vaccinations. There are also group and corporate rates available as well as on-site vaccination services for groups of 20 or more. If you would like to learn more about our group or corporate flu services visit www.tmb.ie/services/group.

Dr Graham Fry, Medical Director of TMB, says, “It is extremely advisable for those who are susceptible to infection, such as elderly people and those with conditions such as asthma and bronchitis, as well as international travellers, due to crowded conditions at airports and on board planes, to ensure they are vaccinated.”

Alison Curran, Groups Liaison says “We encourage groups, companies and organisations of 25 or more to use our group on-site vaccination service to ensure they don’t fall victim to high rates of absenteeism this winter due to Influenza.”

The flu vaccination is specific to each winter and should be taken during October for maximum protection. The vaccination is available at all Tropical Medical Bureau clinics nationwide.

For further information or to book an appointment, please contact the Tropical Medical Bureau on 1850 487674 or visit www.tmb.ie

Health risks with returning travellers

eva-darron-oCdVtGFeDC0-unsplashHealth risks with returning travellers

With the summer coming to an end, thousands of returning travellers, coming back to Ireland from their breaks abroad.

Although Ireland is considered a very healthy country with a low risk of diseases spreading through vectors, such as mosquitos and sand flies, returning travellers coming home could be carrying illnesses which pose potential risks to themselves and others.

Many Irish people may not be aware of the significant risks associated with traveling to some of the hotter regions of the world. There is also a common misconception that diseases can only be picked up in exotic destinations. However, even returning  travellers from countries close to home can pose a threat.

Developing symptoms

It is important to note that not all illnesses have immediate symptoms and some can develop slowly over time. Therefore, even if you are not sick immediately, returning travellers should be wary of symptoms that develop over your first few days back home.

Whether they are arriving from an exotic location or from a more traditional holiday destination, it is extremely important for holidaymakers to be aware of their health upon their return. It is also crucial that if travellers returning home are not feeling well, that they seek medical help as soon as possible to out rule any imported diseases.

To help make sure you’re illness free upon your return, Tropical Medical Bureau offers a post-holiday screening service as well as a 24-hour hotline for existing customers.

Travel Health

We hope that you find these tips useful. For travel health tips and advice call your local TMB travel health clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals. Our experts will guide you through the health requirements for your destination, telling you all you need to know about vaccinations, mosquito bite prevention and food hygiene.

Vaccinations for Rio 2016 – Not too late to vaccinate

brazil

Vaccinations for Rio 2016 – Not too late to vaccinate

If you’re heading to watch the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro during August 2016 you are surely in for a spectacular display of sporting greatness. However, there are some things to consider beforehand, including your vaccinations for Rio 2016, to ensure your trip is truly one of a lifetime. The last thing you want is to be bed-ridden and miss out on the sporting performances due to illness.

Never too late to vaccinate

If you are travelling to the Games next month but have yet to receive your required/recommended vaccinations for Rio 2016 you still have time. While it is recommended that you receive your vaccinations 4-6 weeks prior to travelling, it is better to get them late than not at all.

All travellers to Brazil are advised to have vaccination cover against Yellow Fever and it is wise to also strongly consider some other vaccines including Tetanus, Hepatitis A and Typhoid. While in Brazil, if you plan on travelling to any of the Malaria at-risk regions it is essential that you take the recommended anti-malarial tablets as prescribed and also try to avoid mosquito bites as much as possible. If you have not already received your vaccinations you should book your consultation now.

Zika Virus and Rio 2016

The Zika Virus has been a prominent concern in the lead up to the Olympics, with many athletes choosing to drop-out of their respective events to avoid the risk of contracting the virus. However, in the countries that have been affected by Zika, such as Brazil, there is not a 100% risk of contracting the disease.

 

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The Zika Virus is primarily spread by mosquitoes (though sexual transmission has increasingly been documented) and many cases are asymptomatic; with only 20% of those infected actually developing symptoms sufficient enough to cause problems. Before you go, ensure you have plenty of insect repellent packed. Tropical Medical Bureau insect repellent can be picked up in TMB clinics, Lloyds Pharmacies, Dunnes Stores and Tesco nationwide, as well as Dublin Airport.

If you are travelling to Brazil, where the Zika Virus is present, then women are advised not to get pregnant until at least eight weeks after returning. Male travellers who are not showing any symptoms should not have unprotected sex during the trip or in the eight weeks following their return. If men do have symptoms of Zika, they should not have unprotected sex for the duration of the pregnancy.

Unfortunately, there is no vaccine against Zika viral infection, similar to many other mosquito borne diseases. While there is no specific treatment for those infected usually all that is required is for the individual’s own body defences to get to work. The main protection against the Zika Virus is to avoid mosquito bites in known at-risk regions of the world.

If you receive the correct vaccinations for Rio 2016 before you travel and take the proper precautions while in Brazil, you should be able to enjoy the Olympic Games in perfect health.

However, if you do become unwell while in Rio de Janeiro or upon your return, Tropical Medical Bureau offers a 24/7 emergency hotline for existing patients.

For more travel health tips and advice call into your local TMB travel health clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals. Our experts will guide you through the health requirements for your destination, telling you all you need to know about vaccinations, mosquito bite prevention and food hygiene.

Studying Abroad – Tips for students

Group TravelStudying Abroad

Studying abroad or interning abroad can be the most eye opening and rewarding time in a student’s life so it is very important to get the most out of your experience.
Whether you are enrolled in a school in a foreign land for a semester, or working as an intern for a company abroad, spending some time studying abroad is an incredibly exciting time for a student.

However, being in a different country for a long period of time can become overwhelming for many students, some who have never been away from home before. Preparing properly can help the wanderlust student study abroad in confidence. Research relevant courses, exchange programmes and funding entitlements you may have.

Studying Abroad Tips – Papers, papers, papers  

Don’t be the one person that is all packed up and ready to go but gets rejected by airport security! Make sure you have the proper documentation a few weeks before departure including a passport that should be valid for a minimum of six months beyond the date of travel, and visas. Failure to do so can take days to resolve and will take away from your experience abroad. Having more than one copy of your passport could save you from the losing-your-passport-panic-attack. It is also important to fill in the emergency information page of your passport! Going through customs in airports or getting student discounts often require a letter of intent from your university. Talk to your professor or teacher about getting a few copies before you leave your trip.

Studying Abroad Tips – Staying Healthy

With all of the excitement of going abroad, it’s easy to overlook the importance of having all of the tools to stay healthy in your new country. Students want to have the best experience possible and explore the new terrain, so be sure to do it without fear of catching a nasty illness. Book your vaccination consultation approx. six weeks before your departure. Be sure to take advantage of great deals and rates available for students. At Tropical Medical Bureau you can get your consultation, vaccinations, prescriptions and some travel extras from only €134. Also make sure you have plenty of medication that you may require while abroad, as it may not be available there.

Studying Abroad Tips – Combating Culture Shock

Culture Shock is the feelings one experiences after leaving their familiar culture to live in another cultural or social environment. These feelings can include anxiety, confusion and doubt. Culture shock is a very normal feeling for students traveling abroad and can vary in severity, but with the right mindset it can be overcome.

Before going abroad, do some research and read up on the area you will be living in. Expect that there will be differences from your home country and what you have pictured. Don’t be surprised if it’s not exactly what you thought it would be like. Allow yourself to adjust to the time zone and get into a normal sleeping and eating routine. If you are using public transportation, become familiar with the routes you need to take. And have a sense of humor! If the culture was just like your own, what is the point of studying abroad?

Studying Abroad Tips – Staying Safe

Although the buddy system seems elementary, students have strength in numbers. Keep yourself and your friends safe by trying to always travel together. Never leave your bags on the back of chairs or on the ground and always keep them close to your body when traveling. If you are consuming alcohol, drink sensibly and don’t leave your drink unattended and be aware of your surroundings. Have fun, but don’t lose your mind! A wild night of drinking can quickly turn into a stolen purse or a nasty hangover.

Studying Abroad Tips – Explore!

While in another country, get the most out of your experience by traveling! Book flights in advance as prices go up closer to departure. If you are staying in hostels purchase a lock for your bag. Strike up a conversation with a local and find out more about the parts of the country they love. Tourist attractions are a great way to see many of the countries highlights, but can also be overcrowded and overpriced. Live like the locals and find some local favorite spots. Bring a camera and a journal so you can remember your trip for years to come!

Travel Health

We hope that you find these tips useful while you travel abroad. For travel health tips and advice call your local TMB travel health clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals. Our experts will guide you through the health requirements for your destination, telling you all you need to know about vaccinations, mosquito bite prevention and food hygiene.

The Zika Virus and Rory McIlroy

Zika Virus and Rory McIlroy

With the 2016 Olympics taking place in Rio de Janeiro later this summer, concerns have been raised over the dangers of the Zika Virus and how it may affect those travelling to the games.

Irish golfer Rory McIlroy has announced that he is withdrawing from consideration from the Olympics due to his personal concerns with the Zika Virus in South America, adding to these worries.

Zika Virus and Pregnancy

The main concern with travellers is if they or their partner are planning to get pregnant within the next 6 to 12 months. If the answer is ‘no’ then Zika is of limited importance as, in the vast majority of cases, it is a mild viral illness, usually lasting just a few days and with little to no significant consequences. The exception to this general rule is where pregnancy may be a factor.

In the countries that have been affected there is not a 100% risk of contracting the disease. However, most patients considering pregnancy would prefer to avoid the potential worry and concern at a time when they should be enjoying the whole pregnancy process.

Then, in the cases where someone does become pregnant after exposure, or potential exposure, to Zika the risk of having a child with microcephaly remains small and is by no means a 100% certainty.

If you are travelling to areas where the Zika Virus is present, such as Brazil, then women are advised not to get pregnant until at least eight weeks after returning. Male travellers who are not showing any symptoms should not have unprotected sex during the trip or in the eight weeks following their return. If men do have symptoms of Zika, they should not have unprotected sex for six months.ekamelev-sZIjgg4Peu0-unsplash

What is the Zika Virus?

The Zika Virus is primarily spread by mosquitoes, though sexual transmission has increasingly been documented, and many cases are asymptomatic; with only 20% of those infected actually developing symptoms sufficient enough to cause problems.

The incubation period (time from infection to when you first develop symptoms) is usually 3 to 5 days and typical symptoms include fever, muscular aches and pains, headache and runny eyes – all very similar to what is seen in ‘flu’.

Zika Virus 1

Dr Graham Fry, Medical Director Tropical Medical Bureau

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr Graham Fry, Medical Director of Tropical Medical Bureau, has said of the Zika Virus, “There is no vaccine against Zika viral infection, similar to many other mosquito borne diseases. While there is no specific treatment for those infected usually all that is required is for the individual’s own body defences to get to work. The main protection against the Zika Virus is to avoid mosquito bites in known at-risk regions of the world.”

Various tests are now available through TMB clinics to assess any potential exposure and this service is being used by a number of patients for a variety of different reasons, such as for those undergoing IVF or planning pregnancy within months of exposure or potential exposure.

Dr Graham Fry is available for comment/interview. Please contact michelle@travelmedia.ie.

To book an appointment, please contact the Tropical Medical Bureau on 1850 487674 or visit www.tmb.ie.

Advice for volunteering abroad this summer

safariAdvice for volunteering abroad this summer

Ensure you look after yourself when volunteering abroad this summer. Volunteering abroad is a life-changing experience but there are many aspects to consider before offering up your time to help others. As well as being enriching and getting the chance to do your part for people in need, volunteering abroad comes with many responsibilities, not just to those you are helping but to yourself. It is important that you look after your own health and needs while you are away, devoting your time to those less fortunate.

Choose an issue close to your heart

The best place to start is by looking for a group that works with issues about which you feel particularly strong about. While volunteering for any organisation in need is very admirable, working with a group that is close to your heart will make you even more passionate about your work. Take some time, look at what is needed where and choose yours wisely. There are many organisations who put together volunteering packages to help get you on your way.

Volunteering Abroad – Research your destination

It is very difficult to maintain any level of fitness while overseas. Make sure you research your destination so you can see what you need to do to stay healthy. One thing you can do is to ensure that you always have access to clean drinking water by bringing water purification tablets.

Consider what you have to offer

When choosing where to devote your time, take the skills that you have to offer into consideration. Play to your strengths and use your time volunteering wisely by using the talents that you already have. For example if you are good with computers or technology or have a knack for working with children then you might be able to slot into a role without too much training beforehand.

Put the organisation’s needs first

While you may have a particular idea of what role you would like to take on, it is wise to look at the organisation as a whole and see exactly what their needs are first. In some instances what groups need most are more hands on deck such as drivers, cleaners, cooks. Every little helps!

 

Don’t take on too much

Sun exposure and lack of clean water may lead to dehydration especially if the workload is heavy. Pace yourself and don’t take on too much at once. Exciting as the experience is, homesickness often strikes so the support of your new colleagues is essential.

Take care of your health

It’s no fun being sick overseas so many organisations insist on a medical certification confirming that you are in good general health. Make sure that your required vaccines are up-to-date and issues relating to malaria prophylaxis are clearly understood.

 

For more travel health tips and advice call into your local TMB travel health clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals. Our experts will guide you through the health requirements for your destination, telling you all you need to know about vaccinations, mosquito bite prevention and food hygiene.

Leaving Cert holidays – How to make the most of yours!

Group Travel

Leaving Cert holidays – How to make the most of yours!

With the summer drawing slowly closer many Leaving Cert students are looking at booking their post-exams getaway.
Leaving Cert holidays are practically a rite of passage these days, with most students looking to blow-off steam for a week or two following what is undoubtedly some of the most stressful weeks in their young lives.

However, for many young people this will be their first holiday abroad without supervision which will also be a great concern to a lot of parents.

Prepare yourself before you leave and avoid any common disasters while you are away. Post leaving cert holidays are meant to relieve the stress built up over such a tough year so take the time to make sure you have everything sorted beforehand and let it be the escape you deserve.

 

Leaving Cert Holidays – Checklist

Tropical Medical Bureau have compiled a handy list of top tips for those heading on post leaving cert holidays to make sure you make the most of your holiday.

  1. Check that your passport is up-to-date; ideally it should be valid for a minimum of six months beyond the date of travel. Also, always bring a photocopied version with you.
  2. Make sure you always have the number and address of the hotel or apartment you are staying in on you at all times. If you get separated from your friends, you will be able to travel back safely to the accommodation.
  3. Purchase a decent money belt, many tourist destinations that are popular with students are bound to have pick pockets.
  4. Make sure you have received all required vaccinations for the country you are visiting. TMB have released a special package for students for Summer 2016 meaning you can get your vaccinations, consultation and a tailor-made prescription from only €134.
  5. Organise and pack a mini First Aid kit, some medication may be difficult to purchase abroad.
  6. Not only should you use sunscreen, you should also apply insect repellent to help protect from painful bites. The TMB has its own range of insect repellents, including DEET-Free Repellent and Bug Bands, available in all TMB Clinics, DocMorris & Lloyds Pharmacies throughout Ireland or on Travelshop.ie.
  7. If you suffer from any allergies, make sure you and your friends know how to handle an allergic reaction.
  8. Be aware of reducing alcohol intake, especially in a hot climate, as this can lead to serious dehydration. Stay hydrated and drink water continuously. If you have concerns about the state of a country’s water, the TMB also has its own range of water purification tablets.
  9. Travel Insurance is a necessity; make sure to check your policies to see if you are covered when taking part in outdoor activities, such as water sports.
  10. Always keep your drink covered and on your person to prevent the risk of it being spiked or tampered with.
  11. Always adopt safe sexual practices to avoid the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. International travellers are at great risk of contracting STDs, including HIV, if they have been sexually exposed to persons with any of these diseases.

 

Travel health

For travel health tips and advice call into your local TMB travel health clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals. Our experts will guide you through the health requirements for your destination, telling you all you need to know about vaccinations, mosquito bite prevention and food hygiene.

Don’t underestimate the Irish weather!

ways to prevent skin cancerDon’t underestimate the Irish weather!

During the summer months the Irish weather tends be very unpredictable so we are usually quite unprepared for it.
Our desperate need for our hit of Vitamin D means that we throw caution to the wind and embrace the rare warm Irish weather, attempting to make the most of it before it disappears again.

However, there are some very important things to think about when the sun does show its head, that you might not consider.

We all get very excited when the Irish weather finally picks up in the summer months and try to embrace it as much as we can before it disappears again. What we forget is that the sun is still harmful and that there’s still a need to protect ourselves, even on home ground.

Always wear sunscreen

Always wear sunscreen when exposed to the sun. The sun’s rays can be just as strong whether you are on a beach in the Costa del Sol or in a park in Ireland so make sure you avoid the lobster look by staying protected! Take a tip from Baz…

Stay hydrated

If you’re making the most of the Irish weather by going along to an outdoor gig, heading for a hike up the Wicklow Mountains, or simply planning to spend the day active outdoors, make sure you stay hydrated with plenty of water to ensure you can make the most of your day. This particularly applies if you’re planning on enjoying a few alcoholic drinks in the sunshine. If you have tickets for all or any of the great Irish festivals on offer this year then make sure you pace yourself when drinking to make sure you get the most out of the day.

Beware of bugs

Protect yourself against bug bites. While we may not have to concern ourselves with insects carrying deadly diseases, Irish insects can and will still bite exposed areas causing your skin to become irritated. Pick up a good insect repellent, like the TMB’s DEET 55 and 100 or their DEET free repellent and bugbands to keep nasty biting bugs at bay. If you do get bitten, pick up some bug relief spray from selected Lloyds Pharmacies or Dunnes Stores nationwide or on Travelshop.ie to ease the pain.

Beware of amateur chefs

When breaking out the barbeque this summer, make sure you cook your food all the way through and do not leave food lying unattended, especially outdoors, as this could lead to severe cases of food poisoning. The summer may only last a few days – you don’t want to miss out due to a dodgy burger!

Don’t drink and dive

Do not swim while under the influence of alcohol. On the rare occasion that the sun comes out and people flock to Irish beaches, stay clear of drinking alcohol before swimming. Having alcohol in your system when entering the cold water can lead to serious issues such as hypothermia, disorientation, difficulty breathing and impairs your coordination.

Be prepared

While it seems amazing when the sun does actually come out to play, chances are it won’t stick around for long. Always be prepared for it to disappear as quickly as it appeared and have a jacket to hand to keep you warm.

Travel health

For travel health tips and advice call into your local TMB travel health clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals. Our experts will guide you through the health requirements for your destination, telling you all you need to know about vaccinations, mosquito bite prevention and food hygiene.

Prevent disaster with a holiday checklist

Packing Tips for Travelling Abroad

Prevent disaster with a holiday checklist

It’s always a good idea to have a holiday checklist to hand when getting ready for a trip.

The flights are booked, the accommodation is sorted and the bags are packed. But have you remembered everything?

When planning a holiday, be it a beach getaway, a city break or a safari, people tend to get swept away by dreaming of their upcoming break and important details may be overlooked. If you forget an essential detail such as a vaccine or even ensuring your passport is in date, your dream could be shattered! That’s where a good holiday checklist comes in handy…

Here are the top ten holiday checklist items from Tropical Medical Bureau to ensure you don’t forget the important things ahead of your next adventure!

  1. Is your passport in date? It may seem like an obvious one but some countries require your passport to be valid for a minimum of six months beyond the date of travel. Don’t get caught out at customs!
  2. Have you had all required vaccines? Many people assume that vaccines are not needed for certain regions but you should always double check. For some countries certain vaccines are required such as Yellow Fever or Meningitis. Others such as the Rabies vaccine are recommended dependent on country.
  3. Do you suffer from any allergies? Make sure you are prepared for an allergic reaction while abroad.
  4. Be sure to stock up on any medication that you may require while away as it may not be available in your chosen destination.
  5. Make sure your luggage does not exceed the weight limit for the airline you are travelling with. Some airlines have a lower limit than others so be sure to check and avoid facing heavy charges or having to abandon your favourite pair of heels at the airport!
  6. Plan your route before you leave, do not leave deciding on where to go for when you arrive. Plan ahead for at least the first three days until you can get your bearings.
  7. Know where to go if something goes wrong. While you are away, Tropical Medical Bureau offers a 24/7 emergency phone line. Patients can use this service to contact TMB while overseas if they have any sickness. TMB also have an international network of clinics.
  8. Thoroughly research the area where you will be travelling to. It will be a significant help to arrive with knowledge of the area and any public transport that you may need to use.
  9. Learn the local language. Learning off an entire dictionary may not be plausible but picking up a few key words and phrases will come in very handy when trying to communicate.
  10. If you are feeling unwell upon your return, it could be something you picked up while you were away. Tropical Medical Bureau offers a full check-up upon your return if you are concerned about having contracted an illness.

It is always a given that something will go wrong while on holidays, but at least with a holiday checklist you have the essentials covered and will be prepared to deal with it when it does. If you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail!

Travel health

For travel health tips and advice call into your local TMB travel health clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals. Our experts will guide you through the health requirements for your destination, telling you all you need to know about vaccinations, mosquito bite prevention and food hygiene.

Top Honeymoon Tips

top-tips-for-booking-summer-holiday

Top Honeymoon Tips

These top honeymoon tips will ensure yours is the perfect way to start your life as a married couple, full of romance and love and wining and dining.

Whether you are planning a romantic beach trip, an exciting safari or a whirlwind city break, people tend to get swept away by dreaming of their upcoming nuptials and important details may be overlooked.

It is very easy to get caught up in the excitement of a wedding but it is also very important to plan your honeymoon perfectly. It is supposed to be the best holiday of your life and that is what we want to help you have. Forgetting an essential detail such as a vaccine or even ensuring your passport is in date, your dream could be shattered.

Top Honeymoon Tips – Documentation

The last thing you want is for your honeymoon to be ruined due to a simple practicality. Don’t get too swept up in the romance and use your married name on your tickets unless your passport reflects the change. Any brides eager to use their married name for the flights – don’t as you may not be allowed on the plane.

If you’re travelling to the USA it’s also very important that your passport meets the new ESTA requirements. Also, make sure you have someone responsible at home to send in your marriage registration form to the General Register Office while you’re away – that form has to go in within one month of the ceremony for the marriage to be registered. Make sure your luggage does not exceed the weight limit for the airline you are travelling with. Some airlines have a lower limit than others so be sure to check and avoid facing heavy charges.

Top Honeymoon Tips – Travel Health

For many honeymooners this trip will be a once in a lifetime adventure somewhere you have never been before. Somewhere beautifully exotic and exciting and completely different from home. Therefore, you need to ensure you’re protected against any nasty illnesses – the last thing you want is to spend the first days of married life in a foreign hospital. Head to www.tmb.ie and book your vaccination consultation a few months in advance of the wedding giving you one less thing to worry about closer to the date. Also, make sure to stock up on any medication that you may require while away as it may not be available there.

Remember where you are

Dining on the local cuisine along the shore might be very romantic but steer clear of ordering shellfish when abroad to avoid the most common romantic malady. Also, be sure to pack the suncream – looking like a lobster won’t turn anybody on, even if they have sworn in sickness and in health! It always helps to pack some reliable insect repellent too – nobody wants to be an irritated newly wed!

Don’t be too spontaneous

One of our most overlooked top honeymoon tips is to plan your trip before you leave. Although it’s tempting when you have so many wedding related decisions to make, do not leave deciding on where to go for when you arrive. Plan ahead for at least the first three days until you can get your bearings. Having to sleep in a hostel room with ten backpackers tends to kill the romance!

Relax, relax, relax!

One of the most important top honeymoon tips is to relax! Where possible it’s a good idea to have a day at home after the wedding festivities before you head off on honeymoon – this means the stress of packing can be postponed until then and might help the ‘I forgot the passport/tickets’ scenario! You should also try to take a few days off at the start of the trip and leave the adventures and activities for a couple of days in. This will help you relax after all the planning and organising of the wedding so you can enjoy your honeymoon properly.

Travel health

We hope our top honeymoon tips are useful. For travel health tips and advice call into your local TMB travel health clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals. Our experts will guide you through the health requirements for your destination, telling you all you need to know about vaccinations, mosquito bite prevention and food hygiene.

Hostel Tips

Hostel Tips

Budget travellers, take heed of our top hostel tips

Staying in hostels is a fantastic way of meeting like-minded travellers, especially if you’re travelling solo. Sharing a room and bathroom with lots of other strangers does, however, bring its own challenges and it’s best to be as prepared as possible before you arrive. Our advice for budget travellers and hostel tips will set you on your way…anete-lusina-GOZxrAlNIt4-unsplash

 

 

 

 

 

Hostel Tips – Before you Go

Read reviews

Hostel standards are improving all the time and you can now find boutique hostels with excellent facilities all over Europe, Southeast Asia and Central America. That being said, there are some dodgy hostels in the mix so it’s best to do your homework before passing over your credit card details. Read reviews on hostelworld.com or hostelbookers.com to find out exactly what the rooms, employees and vibes are like.

Pack carefully

Bringing a few essential items can transform your hostel stay from a nightmare into a dream. Ear plugs and an eye mask will ensure you get a decent night’s sleep, even if other guests aren’t as conscientious as you. Electrical plugs can be scarce in hostels so having a multi-plug adaptor allows you to charge several devices at once. If you are heading to destinations with lots of mosquitos, it’s worthwhile packing a lightweight mosquito net to hang over your bed while you sleep. The last thing you want is to wake up with dozens of nasty bites!

Hostel Tips – While You are Away

Avoid making lots of noise

Be respectful of your fellow travellers. If you’re heading out for the night, make sure your pyjamas and toiletries are ready on your bed so you don’t have to rustle about when you get in. Likewise, if you need to be up at the crack of dawn to catch a flight, pack your belongings beforehand and use a torch to find your way around instead of the main light. There are no excuses for chatting to fellow jetsetters once the lights go out – the common room and local bar are for socialising.

Beware of your belongings

It’s easy to make friends in hostels as you share stories of previous adventures and bond over the local culture. Not everyone’s intentions may be the same, however, and it’s important to be wary of your belongings at all times. Secure your valuables and passport in a locker or behind reception. Theft is a common occurrence in hostels – don’t let it happen to you!

Talk to fellow travellers

One of the best things about staying in hostels, and travelling in general, is the chance to meet people from all walks of life. Be open-minded during your stay and strike up a conversation with those staying in your dorm. In this way, you’ll get a taste of cultures from all over the world, not just that of the country you are visiting.

Tidy your stuff

Don’t be that annoying person that takes over half the dorm room with dirty laundry, wet towels or piles of books. Space is nearly always an issue in hostels where up to twenty people may have to share the same living space. Tidy away your things in your assigned locker and store what you can under your bunk.

Get your own space

It’s only natural that you’ll fancy a night on your own every now and again, even if you are having an amazing time with your new hostel friends. Don’t be afraid to check into your own room, if only to Skype your loved ones or watch your favourite TV show in peace. Getting some ‘me’ time allows you to recharge and fully embrace your travel experiences.

Don’t let horror stories put you off! Staying in hostels is a fantastic way of making friends on your travels and keeping within your budget. Our top hostel tips and advice for budget travellers will ensure your stay goes smoothly from start to finish.

Travel Health Tips

For travel health tips and advice call into your local TMB travel health clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals. Our experts will guide you through the health requirements for your destination, telling you all you need to know about vaccinations, mosquito bite prevention and food hygiene.

 

Budget Travel Tips

Budget Travel Tips

Save money on your holiday with our budget travel tips

Fancy an exotic adventure but worried your savings won’t stretch very far? Thanks to the multitude of low-fare airlines on the market right now, jetting off to the golden sands of Thailand, the Mayan temples of Peru or the bright lights of India has never been cheaper or easier. But what about when you touch down? Take heed of our expert budget travel tips and enjoy a fulfilling getaway, without having to rob a bank first!

averie-woodard-5d20kdvFCfA-unsplash

Travel during low season

Flights, accommodation and tours are always going to be more affordable during off-peak times, which usually coincide with monsoon season in Southeast Asia and South America. Be prepared for a little rain and enjoy massive savings. It also helps to be flexible about the day and time you travel – fly mid-week or very early in the morning to nab yourself an amazing deal.

Take hand luggage

Budget travel tips don’t come much better than this in terms of saving money. OK, we know this might not be possible if you’re off on a six-month backpacking trip but only bringing hand luggage will save you lots of money, especially if you plan on flying in between several destinations on your trip. Wash clothes on the go, dump books you’ve read and refrain from buying souvenirs. Your wallet will be heavier and your backpack lighter – win-win!

Think wisely about food

If you’re staying in a hostel or rented accommodation, use the facilities to cook a delicious meal after your day’s activities. When you’re out and about grab street food (being careful to avoid any dodgy vendors) or make yourself a picnic with tasty produce from a local supermarket. It’s nice to eat out every now and again but avoid restaurants in touristy areas that are likely to hike up the prices for foreigners.

Research destinations carefully

Be smart about where you travel to and think of all the costs involved after the flight-booking stage. You might love the idea of exploring Japan or Scandinavia but these destinations can be tough for penny-pinching travellers. It might be best to consider other places instead, such as Southeast Asia. Thailand and Vietnam continue to be a massive hit with backpackers thanks to its gorgeous landscapes, fascinating cultures and “cheap cheap” prices.

Take local transport

This is one of our top budget travel tips. Do as the locals do and catch the bus. Not only is this a great way of cutting costs, it also allows you to interact with your destination’s inhabitants and experience its culture first-hand. Better yet, walk, walk, walk! Night buses and trains are a cheaper alternative to daytime transport and allow you to also save on accommodation. Remember to be careful of your belongings on board and only book with reputable companies.

Do your homework

There’s no point in depriving yourself of the wonderful activities and sights that make your destination unique. You just have to do a little research to ensure you get the best price. Suss out museum passes when you arrive in a new city, which can save you money in the long run. Chances are there are lots of free activities you can also try on your trip – maybe even free walking and cycling tours.

Be wary at the airport

How often do you hear horror stories of individuals being scammed the moment they step off the plane in a new country? It’s important that you do your homework and know what to expect when you land. Don’t fall for taxi drivers that demand extortionate prices – there’s likely to be a cheap bus or train into the city.

Budget, budget, budget

Keep a log of your expenditure in a notebook or using a handy mobile app. This might seem a bit excessive at first but you’ll quickly get into the swing of. Trust us, your bank balance will seem a lot less scary when you know exactly where your money is going.

Get travel insurance

Don’t be tempted to scrimp on travel insurance before you travel. The upfront cost might seem like a lot but this will give you peace of mind throughout your trip. Nothing will kill your budget more than unforeseen hospital costs or having to replace lost luggage. Travelshop.ie have great rates on travel insurance to see you through your trip.

Consider volunteering

Volunteering is a fantastic way of making a difference, soaking up an exciting new culture and saving money at the same time. Research programmes where you work in exchange for food and accommodation. Wwoofing (Willing Workers On Organic Farms) is great for those who want to get into nature and enjoy an enriched backpacking experience.

See, with our great budget travel tips it’s not that difficult to save money abroad when you put your mind to it. Think before you spend and you’re sure to cut costs on accommodation, transport and food. Don’t worry if you go over budget every now and again. A couple of cheap and cheerful beach days and things are sure to balance out. Plus, you’re sure to meet dozens of like-minded travellers in the same boat. The only thing left is your plan your economical adventure!

We hope you found our budget travel tips useful. For travel health tips and advice call into your local TMB travel health clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals. Our experts will guide you through the health requirements for your destination, telling you all you need to know about vaccinations, mosquito bite prevention and food hygiene.

Malaysia Travel Tips

Malaysia Travel Tips

Make the most out of your Southeast Asia adventure with our Malaysia travel tips

Discover the wealth of beautiful landscapes – lush rainforests, golden beaches and bustling cities – in Malaysia for a getaway like no other. It’s quick and extremely cheap to fly between destinations, thanks to the multitude of low-fare airlines on the market. This means that even if you only have a couple of weeks to spare you can still experience all of Malaysia’s highlights. Here are our top Malaysia travel tips – where to go and how to stay healthy in each destination.

Explore Taman Negara National Park

Be wowed by the tropical vegetation and majestic wildlife that call Taman Negara National Park home. This breath-taking park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers. Encounter lizards, monkeys, elephants, tigers, leopards, rhinos and exotic birds on your trip. Those heading to Taman Negara National Park are strongly advised to get your hepatitis B and rabies vaccinations before travelling. The last thing you want is to end up with a potentially fatal disease because of a bite from a cheeky creature in the jungle.

Sample street food in Penang

Malaysia is famous the world over for its scrumptious eats – rice noodles, flatbread, stuffed pancakes and street barbeques to name but a few! Head to Penang for the very best dishes – the fusion of Indian, Thai and Chinese flavours will make your mouth water. Sampling street food is great for the palette (not to mention your wallet!) – just be careful about which dishes you try. Choose vendors that prepare food in a hygienic way and avoid fish and meat to reduce the risk of food poisoning.

Climb majestic Mount Kinabalu

If you’re heading to Borneo, consider trekking to the summit of Mount Kinabalu, the highest peak in Southeast Asia. It really is an overwhelming achievement to make it to the top of this awe-inspiring mountain. Watching the sunrise from above the clouds is like something from a dream. Although the route is laden with tourists, don’t underestimate the strength and endurance required for the climb. Work on your fitness levels before your trip and invest in a decent pair of hiking boots.

 

Visit tea plantations in the Cameron Highlands

We Irish love our tea so it’s only natural that the Cameron Highlands make our list of top places to visit in Malaysia. The region is very popular thanks to its cool temperatures and lush vegetation, as well as the abundance of fine tea. Visit a butterfly farm, trek through the jungle and enjoy a cuppa, or three! It’s best to visit the Cameron Highlands during the dry season when the risk of landslides is low. If you’re planning an adventurous trek then it’s best to get your meningcoccal meningitis, tuberculosis and Japanese B encephalitis vaccinations before you go.

Malaysia is a stunning destination with something to please all kinds of holiday-makers, whether you fancy relaxation or adventure, ancient sights or modern amenities. Pay a visit to your local TMB clinic before travelling and get expert advice about how to avoid falling ill on your travels.

Group Travel Tips

Group Travel Tips

Be confident with our group travel tips

Travelling with a large group of friends can be a lot of fun – think post Leaving Cert holidays, skiing trips to the Alps, group beach breaks and longer backpacking adventures. It can also be pretty stressful at times, when opinions clash and everyone just wants a bit of space from each other. Don’t be put off – our group travel tips will ensure you have the best time imaginable, without killing each other!Group Travel

Choosing your companions

Think long and hard about which friends will make for the best travel companions. It may seem obvious but it’s important to travel with like-minded people who will be up for doing the same things as you. You might love meeting your old school friend for Sunday brunch or heading for a drink with your colleague but they might not be the best people to spend very long periods of time with. Travelling can be very tiring so choose to travel with a group of people who aren’t very high maintenance and have a ‘can do’ attitude.

Group Travel Tips – Be respectful

When travelling in a group, everyone needs to take responsibility for their own belongings, flight details, visas, passports, vaccinations and so on. It’s unfair for one person to have to carry the burden for everyone else. You should be respectful of each other at all times, making sure you are not late for group activities and listen carefully to everyone’s ideas.

Plan your budget

Sorthing this issue out before you leave is one of our top group travel tips. Money can be a sensitive topic but it’s essential you discuss this before jetting off on your adventure. One person’s idea of a budget might seem extravagant to someone else and vice versa. Set guidelines for food, accommodation and activities so you’re all on the same page. You don’t want to have to dip into your overdraft because you were too polite to speak up on day one!

Talk to each other

Establishing a clear channel of communication is of utmost importance. Encourage your fellow jetsetters to let you know if anything is bothering them so these issues can be resolved as quickly as possible. Travelling can bring out the best and worst in people – chances are you aren’t the best version of yourself after a 24 hour train journey or uncomfortable night’s sleep in a dingy hostel. Consider how your actions affect the rest of the group and listen to your pals with an open ear.

Get some alone time

Don’t be afraid to break off from the crowd if there’s an activity you want to try, sight you want to see or you simply fancy some alone time. Compromise is the name of the game when it comes to group travel but remember that this is your well-earned holiday too. Explain your decision to the group and make plans to meet up later. Chances are everyone else feels the same way.

Get ready for your group adventure with our top travel tips. The most important thing is to be honest with your travel companions, and yourself, about your preferences and budget. Be open to your friends’ suggestions too – your holiday will be all the more exciting because of it!

TMB has a range of group travel health services which will help you to organise your group’s travel plans. These include discounts for groups of 10 or more, on-site consultation for groups of 25 or more, safety guidelines specific to your trip and education seminars. Get in touch with the experts at TMB to find out more about group travel health.

Indonesia Travel Tips

Indonesia Travel Tips

Get ready for the holiday of a lifetime with our Indonesia travel tips

With over 17,000 islands, 300 languages and a wealth of jaw-dropping sights, Indonesia really has to be seen to be believed. This beautiful country is home to incredible landscapes, from dense jungles and lush rice paddies to tropical beaches and majestic peaks, as well as some of Southeast Asia’s friendliest people. Enjoy the rich diversity of this humble destination with thanks to our top Indonesia travel tipsways to prevent skin cancer.

Indonesia Travel Tips – Travel health

It is recommended that you consider vaccination cover against a number of serious illnesses, including hepatitis A, typhoid, tetanus and poliomyelitis, before entering Indonesia. Those who plan on exploring rural areas, such as Java’s Green Canyon or Sulawesi’s Bantimurung Karst Mountains, are also advised to get hepatitis B, Japanese B encephalitis and rabies vaccinations. Find out more about the recommended vaccinations for Indonesia.

Think about the weather

Aside from Christmas and New Year’s, Indonesia’s low season runs from October until April. You can pick up some excellent deals on tours and accommodation over this period but be prepared for a little rain. Fortunately, the rains are usually limited to brief downpours so you can still see all this gorgeous country has to offer without too much inconvenience.

Be cautious of wild animals

Stray dogs, cats and monkeys may look cute but they also carry potentially fatal diseases. This is why it’s highly recommended that you get rabies, tetanus and hepatitis B immunisations before travelling to Indonesia. If you’re heading to Ubud’s Monkey Forest, leave your valuables at home or secured in a closed backpack. These cheeky creatures are famous for their thievery!

Indonesia Travel Tips – Respect religious traditions

Indonesia is a very spiritual country and it is likely that you will encounter a religious ceremony over the course of your stay. Be respectful of locals by wearing modest clothing and behave appropriately when visiting Hindu temples. An important point to note and one of our top Indonesia travel tips is that Indonesians leave offerings (canang sari) made out of palm leaf, flowers and herbs to the Creator on the street each morning. Be careful not to step on these and make sure you don’t interrupt any religious processions that take place.

It’s quite common for travellers to add on a stint in Bali and the Gili Islands at the end of their Southeast Asia backpacking trip and not experience the other amazing sights that Indonesia has to offer. Bali packs a big punch and draws millions of tourists each year – its golden temples, golden beaches and vibrant paddy fields are like something out of a dream. If you have time, however, check out the cultural delights of Yogyakarta, conquer Mt Bromo, unwind at Lake Toba and get up close and personal with the Komodo Dragon.

Accommodation in Indonesia

Homestays are common in Indonesia and are an excellent way of soaking up the local culture. Usually guests are provided with their own room, bathroom and breakfast for a very good price. Your money goes directly to the local people and you’re guaranteed lifelong experiences not found in a hostel or hotel. Win-win!

So a synopsis of our top Indonesia travel tips – Take advantage of these top tips and say ‘selamat’ (‘hello’) to intriguing Indonesia. Book an appointment at your nearest TMB clinic to find out more about the vaccinations you require, be respectful of local traditions and open to the wealth of wonderful experiences this fantastic destination has to offer. An unforgettable holiday is guaranteed!

Travel Health Tips

Travel health tips

Avoid illness with our top travel health tips

Whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure, it’s essential that you think ahead about your health and safety. At TMB we’re well used to easing the fears of future travellers and offering expert advice to see them on their way. From common occurrences like diarrhoea and vomiting to more obscure parasitic illnesses, TMB’s Director of Nursing, Siobhan Grehan has seen it all. Here are Siobhan’s top travel health tips to keep you safe and healthy on your overseas adventure…philipp-kammerer-6Mxb_mZ_Q8E-unsplash (2)

Take your health seriously

It’s important to take responsibility for your health before you travel and spend time researching the different vaccinations you require. The TMB website is a great source of information – you can easily see what vaccinations are recommended depending on the country you are visiting and activities you will be doing. You cannot enter certain countries without proof of a specific vaccination, for example you need to show a yellow fever vaccination certificate to get into many places in Africa. These countries have their own interests at heart however, not yours. It is also highly recommended that you get immunisations that protect against other serious illnesses.

Travel Health Tips – Be prepared with food and drink

The most important thing is to expect the unexpected when you’re travelling. Keep dry salty snacks, such as crackers, energy bars or nuts, at the bottom of your bag. You may find yourself in a situation where you don’t have food or the meals on offer are not prepared in a hygienic way. Take your own bottle of water with you each day and use purification tablets if you are unsure about water quality. The last thing you want is a bout of food poisoning!

Email important information

Scan and email yourself a copy of your passport so you have easy access at all times. In the unfortunate event that this is lost or stolen, the process of getting a replacement will be much quicker. Likewise, don’t just photocopy your yellow fever certificate, insurance policy, car hire agreement and other important documents – keep online copies in a special folder in your email inbox.

Respect other cultures

One of the most amazing things about travelling is that it allows you to experience new cultures and ways of life. It’s important to respect the traditions, beliefs and dress code of your destination’s inhabitants. Our top travel health tip for if you find yourself in a situation where it would be culturally incorrect to accept dodgy-looking food, then politely decline on the grounds that you have an allergy.

Bring disinfectant

It’s very common for backpackers in Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia to engage in outdoor activities that may result in cuts and scrapes. This is why having a tetanus booster before you travel is recommended. If you get a cut, keep it dry and use antibacterial cream to reduce the risk of infection and cellulitis. We recommend Fucibet, which is available on prescription and also works well for infected insect bites.

Education is key

Getting your recommended vaccinations should only take up one half of your travel consultation. It’s just as important to educate yourself about how to avoid mosquito bites, the source of malaria and dengue fever. TMB sell high-quality insect repellent, bug bands and mosquito nets to keep the bugs at bay. You must also learn how to identify unsafe food and water on your travels and minimise the risk of diarrhoea and vomiting.

For more travel health tips and advice call into your local TMB travel health clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals. Our experts will guide you through the health requirements for your destination, telling you all you need to know about vaccinations, mosquito bite prevention and food hygiene.

Argentina Travel Tips

Argentina Travel Tips

Stay safe and healthy with our Argentina travel tips

No matter what your budget or background may be, travelling to Argentina promises a variety of enriching experiences. Whether you’re on a lengthy South America backpacking stint or a much shorter getaway, Argentina is sure to enthral and delight. Take advantage of our Argentina travel tips to get to grips with this gorgeous destination and make the most of your stay.

 

 

 

argentina

 

With its jaw-dropping scenery, cosmopolitan cities and rich history, this intoxicating country is often described as seeming more European than South American – but with a sultry Latin American twist. Watch the world go by in a chic café in Buenos Aires or explore the alpine forests near La Cumbrecita and you’ll see that this destination is quite unlike anywhere else on the continent.

Argentina Travel Tips – Staying healthy

Before you step foot in Argentina you need to be thinking about your health. A quick trip to your local TMB clinic is all that’s needed to ensure you have all of your recommended vaccinations for Argentina, such as tetanus, hepatitis A and typhoid, before travelling.

In the unlikely event that you do fall ill overseas, fear not. Argentina’s public healthcare system is very good and it’s easy to get an appointment with a local doctor. Saying that, it’s important to get decent travel insurance before travelling. Check that your policy covers all of the exciting activities you plan on trying.

Safety in Buenos Aires

No trip to Argentina is complete without a stay in bustling Buenos Aires – the city’s residents are amongst the friendliest you will ever meet and keen to show off their vibrant home. Like any other city in South America, or indeed Europe, it’s best to have common sense while exploring Buenos Aires and to keep your wits about you, especially if you are travelling alone.

Holiday-makers are sure to fall in love with the city’s charming architecture, tantalising tango shows and legendary nightlife. While the chances of encountering petty crime are very unlikely, it’s best to know your bearings before setting off on your day’s adventures. Use a map to keep track of your location and ensure you don’t waste time getting lost.

Protect your belongings

It’s easy to see why Argentina is such a hit with backpackers – you can enjoy a wonderful array of activities and experience the country’s fascinating culture without breaking the bank. For peace of mind, it’s advisable to keep valuable accessories and equipment at home. You don’t want to be worrying about losing that beloved diamond ring or having your new camera stolen on your trip. We’d also recommend locking your passport in a hotel safe or security box, and keeping a photocopy on you at all times.

Argentina Travel Tips – Stay safe at night

One of our top Argentia travel tips is for solo travellers,  if you can, join forces with a group of like-minded tourists to explore this stunning country when the sun goes down. Experiencing Argentina’s exhilarating music and dance scene after hours is a must but it’s best to get taxis to your destination and only head to recommended venues.

A trip to Argentina is a feast for the senses – mouth-watering cuisine, rich wine, stunning landscapes, welcoming locals, entrancing music and mesmerising dancing. Be cautious on your getaway but remember the most important thing – soak up the unique culture and have fun! Lifelong memories await you once you’ve journeyed to this exhilarating destination.

We hope you find our Argentina travel tips useful, please check out our blog for more travel health advice and destination tips. For further information on your medical needs or further safety tips, book an appointment at a local TMB travel health clinic.

India Travel Tips

India Travel TipsTaj Mahal

India travel tips including where to go and how to stay healthy

If you’re a first timer about to embark on an adventure in India, chances are the prospect is a tad daunting. Chaotic and bewildering, this beautiful country can be a lot to handle if you aren’t prepared and don’t know what to expect. With dozens of different regions and a billion locals, it’s tricky knowing which destinations you should pack into your getaway. Fear not, our expert India travel tips will ensure you don’t miss a trick on your adventure.

Plan your itinerary

Top of the list of our India travel tips  – don’t try to fit in too much into a short space of time. India isn’t going anywhere and you can always come back for more at a later date. Choose your itinerary wisely, factoring in travel time between each destination. A fail-proof route is the classic Golden Triangle, which comprises of dazzling Delhi, amazing Agra and pink-hued Jaipur. If you’re fancy a more relaxing break, head to Goa’s golden beaches or the quiet Kerala backwaters.

Escape the masses

When you think of India, chances are you imagine sprawling, bustling cities. Within moments of stepping off the plane you’ll come to realise that there is much, much more to this stunning country than chaos and noise – unparalleled hospitality, intriguing history, colourful culture. That being said, it’s definitely worth visiting India’s smaller villages and gorgeous natural areas where you can enjoy total escapism. If you have time, factor in a trip to the beautiful Yumthang Valley, majestic Nohkalikai Falls or dreamy Kerala in the south.

Choose food wisely

Many Indians are vegetarian, meaning there are a host of wonderful veggie options to take your fancy. Choosing vegetarian meals reduces your risk of suffering from ‘Delhi belly’, which you definitely want to avoid! If you decide to eat meat, make sure it has been cooked thoroughly and comes from a hygienic eatery. Picking restaurants that are packed with locals is usually a good bet. Remember – when in doubt, leave it out!

Be careful with water

Only drink sterilised water on your getaway – as India travel tips go this really is critical! Tap water often contains bacteria and viruses, sure to cause you an unwanted bout of sickness. Avoid ice or any food that has been washed in water, such as salad or fruit. Purification tablets are easy to carry around and alleviate the risk of contamination. If you buy bottled water make sure that the seal hasn’t been tampered with.

Patience is a virtue

Things don’t always run on time in India so be patient when your new friend is running late or your train hasn’t shown up. You’ll come to understand that this is all part of India’s alluring charm and something you’ll miss when you’re back in that Monday board meeting bang on 9am. Use waiting time to people watch and get a greater insight into the local way of life.

Respect the culture

Dress conservatively to avoid drawing unwanted attention to yourself and respect the traditions and beliefs of locals. Covering arms and legs is a simple step towards respecting India’s relatively modest culture, as is removing your shoes before entering someone’s home or a temple. Check out the bustling markets of Udaipur or Agra and pick up elegant, modest items to see you through your trip.

Beware of pickpockets

As in any major cities in the world, pickpocketing is a problem in India. Be aware of your belongings at all time, especially when travelling on overnight buses or trains, and avoid carrying large quantities of money with you. There’s no need for that fancy watch or diamond earrings on your Indian escape so leave these at home.

Get excited

Travelling to India is sensory overload – an explosion of bright sights, explosive tastes and warm feelings at every turn. It’s difficult to summarise exactly what makes India so special – you simply have to go there and experience it for yourself to grasp what a wonderfully diverse and friendly country it is. You’ve undoubtedly heard a few travel horror stories of late but don’t let this put you off! India is full of generous, caring people, ready to show off their magnificent country and culture.

TMB’s India travel tips would not be complete without some travel health advice. It’s important to prepare yourself before travelling – to pack carefully and get all of the recommended vaccinations for India – but don’t worry about your getaway itself. You’re guaranteed to have an incredible time!

Those travelling to India are strongly advised to book an appointment at a local TMB clinic and speak to a trained professional about the vaccinations required.

China Travel Tips

China Travel Tipschina

 

 

 

 

 

 

China travel tips to help you plan an unforgettable adventure

Travelling to China can often be a little overwhelming. As the third largest country in the world, there’s a lot of ground to cover and it can be hard to know where to begin, especially if you only have a limited amount of time. The hustle and bustle can also take a while to get used to and it’s not uncommon to experience culture shock on arrival. Fear not – our China travel tips will help you to venture into the unknown and tackle the world’s most populated destination.

Plan your itinerary

It’s really hard to fathom just how massive China is until you get there. The country itself is unbelievably vast, and so too are its cities, mountains and jungles. You could easily spend a month in Beijing and only skim the surface of what it has to offer. Travelling between the major cities and provinces takes time and it’s necessary to factor this into your planning. Avoid spending half your trip on overnight trains or buses by focusing your itinerary – choose one or two provinces that you like the sound of and explore these properly.

Nature lovers should head to Guangxi, with its lush rice terraces and majestic karst peaks, or Sichuan, which boasts picturesque Ming-Dynasty villages and gorgeous mountain scenery. History buffs will want to check out the Terracotta Army in Xi’an while city slickers won’t want to leave cosmopolitan Shanghai. Take time to research travel hotspots to ensure you chose the perfect destination for you.

China travel tips – language skills

For many, the trickiest thing about travelling to China is the language barrier. Unlike Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, where you commonly find English signs and locals who speak English, this is not the case in China. And while you may have a few words of French or German rolled up your sleeve, Mandarin is, for most, an extremely difficult tongue to grasp. Before you head off spend some time learning the basics and pick up a trusty phrase book. There are lots of fantastic language learning and dictionary apps out at the moment such as Duolingo and Pleco, so one of our top travel tips for China is to  take advantage of these.

Check the weather

Because of its enormous size, China has wide-ranging climatic conditions throughout the year. Temperatures and weather conditions vary greatly from region to region – something to bear in mind when you’re planning your getaway. Generally speaking, spring and autumn are the best times to travel as the temperatures are pleasant but not overbearing, and there is little rainfall. Before deciding where you want to visit, check the weather conditions of each city and province. You don’t want your trip to be ruined because you’re too cold or hot to actually do anything!

China travel tips – health advice

Most important of our China travel tips is to prepare yourself for your Chinese adventure by heading to your local TMB clinic and getting the recommended vaccinations. All travellers should be vaccinated against tetanus, hepatitis A and typhoid, while those who plan on conquering Yellow Mountain or venturing into rural areas should also get diphtheria, meningococcal meningitis, tuberculosis and Japanese B encephalitis immunisations. Altitude sickness is the biggest health risk to tourists in Tibet so make sure you acclimatise in stages and stay hydrated. If you’re trekking it’s also worth investing in decent gear, such as a waterproof jacket and high-quality hiking boots.

No matter where you decide to go – north, south, east or west – an abundance of enthralling sights, stunning landscapes and friendly locals await. Not to mention the out-of-this-world food! Plan your itinerary and prepare yourself physically before jetting off to ensure you have the most amazing time possible.

Live like a Local

Live like a Localaverie-woodard-5d20kdvFCfA-unsplash

Tips and tricks to live like a local on holiday

Getting off the beaten track and soaking up a completely different culture can transform your holiday into a truly life-changing experience. With limited time on your hands and language restrictions, this can sometimes be a little tricky to do. It’s often easier to stick with the hordes of other tourists and tick the main sights off your list then take a chance on a random town, an unknown delicacy or a lengthy train journey. To help you venture into the unknown we’ve compiled some top tips on how to live like a local overseas…

Eat local food

Sampling local cuisine is a must on your getaway. Often the most memorable travelling experiences involve unique and exciting local food – noodles in China, pad thai in Thailand, burritos in Mexico and gelato in Italy. A good bet is to head where the locals do and order a selection of dishes to share. If you have time why not sign up for a traditional cooking class where you can learn how to use exotic herbs and spices? Recreate signature dishes and impress your pals at dinner parties back home!

Use public transport

Live like a local and take public transport. It may be easier to hop on a plane in between destinations or to catch a cab on your way out at night, but this means that you’ll miss out on excellent people watching opportunities. Throw yourself into the hustle and bustle of everyday life in your destination and catch the bus instead. If you’re not sure where you’re heading, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Speak the language

The number one hurdle for many travellers is the language barrier, particularly if you are in a country like China or Russia where very few people speak English. Spend time before you head off learning some local phrases. “Hello”, “Thank you”, “Where is the station?” and “How much is it?” may bring you back to your school days but will inevitably prove useful on your trip. Knowing a few words of the local tongue also allows you to interact with your destination’s inhabitants. Buying a local newspaper each day helps you to practice your language skills, get an insight into what’s going on and fit in with the crowd.

Research festivals

A fantastic way to understand local culture and make new friends is to head to a festival. Think getting colour-bombed at Holi in India, drenched at the Songkran Water Festival in Thailand or dancing along at vibrant Carnival in Brazil. Festivals help us to understand the beliefs and traditions of countries we visit, as well as being a whole load of fun. Research what’s going on in your destination and see how you can fit this into your trip. It’ll undoubtedly make your getaway all the more meaningful.

Enjoy your own company

Use your holiday as an opportunity to do exactly what you want to do. Travelling with friends is always fun but chances are you see them all the time at home anyway. If there’s something you really want to do – a water sport you want to try, a park you want to visit, a class you want to take – don’t be afraid to break off from the group and go it alone. It’s worth being a little selfish and putting yourself first on your trip. Keep in mind our tips for solo travellers and remember, you don’t know when you’ll be back!

So there you have it, some pointers on how to have an authentic and enriched travel experience – to live like a local. Ditch the guidebook for even a few hours and see where you end up. Try some delicacies and speak with locals whenever you can to create unique memories to last a lifetime. Believe us, you won’t regret it!

Brazil Travel Tips

Brazil Travel Tips

agustin-diaz-7F65HDP0-E0-unsplashMake the most of your South American getaway with our Brazil travel tips

Dance the night away at an all-night street party, venture into the depths of the lush Amazon rainforest, experience gorgeous colonial architecture, learn the art of capoeira or show off your football skills– this is what holidays to Brazil are all about. There is plenty to put  a smile on your face in this thrilling destination, which also happens to be the largest country in South America. Whether you’re off on a two-week tour or packing much more into a longer backpacking stint, it can be a little tricky knowing where to begin. Check out these top Brazil travel tips to ensure you get the most from your holiday and stay safe and healthy each step of the way.

Rio de Janeiro

No trip to Brazil is complete without spending some time in Rio de Janeiro, surely one of the most colourful and vibrant cities in the world. If you can coincide your trip with Carnival, when samba troops and pageant groups take to the streets, better yet! Head up Corcovado to get a selfie with the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue and take in the spellbinding view of the city, beaches and surrounding vegetation – truly incredible!

The Pantanal and Iguazu Falls

Top of the list of our Brazil travel tips stem from the country’s unique natural heritage. Wildlife lovers simply must make time for the Pantanal, the largest wetlands in the world, located in the west of the country. Over 11,000 species call this area home, including the rare Marsh Deer and Hyacinth Macaw. Cameras definitely at the ready! Another must-visit natural site is the astounding Iguazu Falls, which have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Be wowed by the power and magnificence of these waterfalls, which stretch for over 3km! If you’re heading into rural areas remember that you will need additional travel vaccinations for Brazil.

Salvador

Salvador, or the ‘capital of happiness’, is the ultimate destination for letting go of all your worries. With bright colonial architecture, gold-laden churches and fascinating museums, there is plenty of distraction in this cultural haven. Beach bums can head to the exquisite coastline found just outside the city, where there are countless palm tree-lined, golden beaches. Throw in a few cocktails and you’ve got yourself the perfect holiday destination.

Travel health advice

Don’t let your Brazil backpacking adventure be tainted or, worse yet, cut short because of sickness. It’s important to prepare yourself for your getaway by packing travel essentials like a first aid kit, insect repellent and sun cream, and ensuring you have all of the recommended vaccinations for Brazil. All travellers to Brazil should get yellow fever, tetanus, hepatitis A and typhoid immunisations. If you’re heading into rural areas, then make sure you also get vaccinated against diphtheria, meningococcal meningitis and tuberculosis. It is also essential that you protect yourself against malaria and take anti-malarial tablets over the duration of your holiday.

When to go

Brazil lies in the tropics and therefore enjoys warm temperatures throughout the year – particularly in comparison to our mild summers and dull winters. Because of its vastness, the climate tends to vary depending on where you are. For example, in Rio de Janeiro and the South there is more rain between October to May while in the Northeast the sun shines bright all year round. No matter when you travel you’re sure to enjoy all Brazil has to offer, although you may have to pack a rain jacket for some destinations. Even though prices are higher and the country is undoubtedly busier, we’d recommend fitting Carnival, held before Ash Wednesday, into your trip. There really is nothing quite like it!

So there you have it, some top tips to ensure you have the most magical and exciting Brazilian escapade possible. Spend a little time thinking about exactly what you want to experience and where you fancy heading, as well as getting yourself physically ready for your getaway. Just one other thing – can we come too?

Those travelling to South America are strongly advised to book an appointment at one of the many TMB travel health clinics to find out which vaccinations they require and to get the best advice about how to travel safely.

How to Prevent Food Poisoning

How to Prevent Food Poisoninghow to stay fit while travellingExpert advice on how to prevent food poisoning when you’re travelling

What could be worse than a bout of food poisoning on your much-anticipated getaway? Not a whole lot. The risks of catching a dose of salmonella or listeria are generally higher when you’re abroad, particularly in developing countries which may lack the same hygiene regulations as we have here in Ireland. No matter where you jet off to, it’s wise to be extra cautious about where and what you eat. Follow the below advice on how to prevent food poisoning and enjoy a healthy, happy holiday.

Choose restaurants carefully

The internet is your best friend when it comes to dining overseas, it is a particularly useful tool when looking for ways to avoid food poisoning on your travels. It may sometimes be a little difficult to determine whether an establishment is hygienic or not so read reviews from other travellers before you go. Heading to touristy areas is generally a safe bet – here you’re more likely to find eateries that want to maintain a positive reputation and so tend to be cleaner.

Beware of street food

In many destinations, sampling local delicacies on the street is part and parcel of the experience. It’s well worth trying pad thai in Bangkok or a döner kebab in Istanbul but make sure you are careful about which vendors you choose. Street food stalls generally don’t require licenses and are therefore not subject to inspection, they are a riskier option if you are trying to avoid food poisoning. Head to vendors that are popular with locals and tourists alike and have no obvious signs of contamination.

Make sensible food choices

Frolicking about in an exotic location might have you feeling extra adventurous but don’t let this affect your rationale when it comes to food. It’s best to stick to dishes that have been cooked thoroughly and still hot when you purchase. This will mean that contaminants and bacteria have likely been destroyed. One way to prevent food poisoning when travelling is to stick to the mantra when in doubt, leave it out.

Avoid suspicious dishes

It’s generally advised to avoid seafood or raw dairy products when you’re travelling. Fish and shellfish may contain contaminants from local waters and are more prone to undercooking than their meat counterparts. Milk, cheese and yoghurt might have internal bacteria which could lead to nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Not very nice!

Drink clean water

Holiday-makers often make the mistake of being lax about what they drink when they’re away. When considering how to prevent food poisoning when travelling, paying attention to the quality of water and other beverages you intake is just as important as doing so with food. Drink bottled or filtered water at all times, and check the seals on bottles to make sure that they haven’t been tampered with. Use purification tablets when you’re unsure about water quality and remember to use bottled water when brushing your teeth.

Maintain good personal hygiene

Food poisoning is not always a result of an unhygienic eatery or undercooked meal – you also have a part to play. Be extra vigilant and clean when you’re on the road, making sure to wash your hands thoroughly before every meal. Using hand sanitizer should kill any nasty viruses or bacteria before you eat. It might be tough but also avoid touching your face or mouth when you’re travelling.

Don’t spend half your trip running to your bathroom – follow our top tips on how to prevent food poisoning on your travels. Stay away from dodgy dishes and questionable water and you’re half the way. Maintain excellent personal hygiene and you’re there! And if you do suffer from food poisoning, fear not! Take care and you should be right as rain again in a few days.

To avoid illness overseas, travellers are strongly advised to book an appointment at one of the many TMB clinics and find out about the vaccinations they may require.

How to Beat Jet Lag

How to Beat Jet Lagtravel after coronavirus

 

 

Expert advice on how to beat jet lag and avoid feeling frazzled on holiday

Jet lag, the demon of long-haul travel, refers to disturbed sleeping and eating patterns, weakness and disorientation experienced on arrival in your destination. Journeying through different time zones can wreak havoc with your mind and body, seriously affecting how you feel for the first few days of your holiday or business trip. No one wants to be a zombie after their flight! Here we discuss how to beat jet lag and ensure you’re in top form to enjoy your getaway.

Rest up before you go

Flying halfway across the world is as stressful as it is exciting. Chances are you have lots to sort out before you go – visas, vaccinations, finances, packing and maybe even a goodbye party or two. You may feel like embracing holiday mode early but having too many wild plans will cause you to feel worn out and exhausted before you even set off. Spend the days before your journey relaxing and catching up on sleep so you are both physically and mentally prepared.

Flight behaviour

If you’re going to arrive at your destination during the day, avoid the temptation to cram in as many in-flight blockbusters and free peanuts as possible. Getting a much-needed slumber on the plane will help you feel refreshed on arrival. Use an eye mask and ear plugs to drown out the sound of other passengers and announcements. Catching some zzz’s can be difficult if you’re uncomfortable so don’t wear jeans, three piece suit or tight dress on the flight – you can always change on arrival if you’re worried about looking unprofessional.

Stay hydrated

Dehydration can drastically intensify the effects of jet lag. Plenty of water throughout the flight will help to keep body in top condition. Avoid the temptation to drink caffeinated drinks and alcohol before, during or after your flight. Sure, a few glasses of wine sounds like a great way to get the holiday started early but this will only further dehydrate your body and result in a disrupted sleep. Likewise, too much coffee may mean that you have even more difficulty adjusting to your destination’s time zone.

Embrace local sleeping patterns

It may be hard but try your best to go to bed at the same time as locals when you arrive at your destination. Dozing off at 3pm and waking up late at night will do nothing for your body in the long run. Aim to get as many hours sleep as you usually do at home. This will help you to adjust to the new time zone as quickly as possible. If you’re really struggling, a short nap during the day should see you through.

So there you have it, our top tips to avoid jet lag. Be good to your body and it will be good to you. Rest up before you go and make the effort to embrace local sleeping and eating patterns. An amazing getaway is waiting for you when you wake up!

Festival Tips

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Top music festival tips to see you through the summer season

Music lovers have plenty to smile about over the summer months. Now, more than ever before, amazing festivals are taking place in all corners of the country. There’s nothing quite like soaking up the chilled out vibes, singing along to your favourite tunes and spending an exciting few days with your best pals.

While fun and games are pretty much guaranteed, attending festivals also goes hand in hand with experiencing some inevitable discomforts. We’ve compiled a list of top ten festival tips to ensure you are as prepared as possible and get the most from your festival weekend.

1. Beware of the sun and insects

Remember to pack plenty of sun cream and insect repellent. Bad sun burn or lots of nasty, itchy bites are a sure fire way to ruin your festival experience. Reapply as necessary to keep your skin safe and the bugs at bay.

2. Plan your schedule

Get your hands on the line-up schedule before you go and decide which bands you want to prioritise seeing. You really don’t want to miss out on your favourite act because of lack of planning. Factor in resting time between the different sets – you’re sure to get tired being on your feet all day.

3. Drink lots of water

Many festivals have free water refilling stations so make sure you carry a bottle around with you at all times. Staying hydrated greatly reduces your risk of getting sunstroke and feeling unwell. If you’re not too sure about the quality of water, just use some purification tablets.

4. Pack festival essentials

Facilities at music festivals are few and far between so make sure you bring the right toiletries. Dry shampoo, hand sanitizer and plenty of baby wipes are a given.  Other useful items include an eye mask, ear plugs and a torch. And don’t forget the toilet roll!

5. Be sensible with alcohol

Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol in the sun makes for a dangerous combination. Not only does it greatly increase the risk of accidents, it can cause headaches, dizziness and nausea – definitely not what you want! Pace yourself and drink water in between alcoholic beverages.

6. Buy decent camping equipment

If you’re camping, make sure your tent is waterproof before you set off. There’s nothing worse than waking up in a pool of water! While you’re at it, pack a decent sleeping mat, pillow and sleeping bag. Getting a decent night’s sleep helps you to feel energised during the day and properly enjoy the music.

7. Charge your devices

Can’t live without your smart phone? Fear not! Investing in a mobile power bank will allow you to charge your device multiple times over the weekend. You’ll still be able to keep in contact with your mates and take as many photos as you like.

8. Pack sensible clothing

You might want to embrace festival boho chic but remember, you will be lying in a field in the middle of the night. Plenty of layers and a change of clothes are definitely advised. Wellies and big comfy socks will keep your feet warm and dry if it rains.

9. Eat healthily

On a tight budget? Bring snacks with you that won’t go off. Cereal bars, crackers and nuts are fantastic for keeping you going in between acts. If you’re buying food onsite be wary of anything that looks undercooked or has been sitting in the sun for too long. Getting food poisoning at a music festival is enough to put you off for life!

10. Mind your stuff

Festivals are a great place to make new friends but you still need to be wary of your belongings at all times – not everyone’s intentions may be the same. Leave valuables like fancy cameras or laptops at home and hide your money and phone in your tent when you sleep.

So there you have it, some top tips to see you through the festival season. The most important piece of advice – have fun! Festivals are amazing opportunities to meet fellow music lovers, get up close and personal with your favourite bands and even discover some new ones. A little preparation goes a long way towards ensuring you have an incredible time!

Holidays in Ireland

Holidays in Ireland

travel after coronavirusDiscover top tips to stay healthy on holidays in Ireland

Staycations are officially in! As a nation we’re starting to appreciate the wealth of beauty and culture on our doorsteps in Ireland and spending more time exploring our magnificent country. From the stunning Wild Atlantic Way to the breath-taking Giant’s Causeway and all the fun-filled cities and picturesque towns in between, there are a lot of gorgeous areas to be more than proud of.

While getting out and about is a huge part of enjoying your getaway it’s important not to underestimate the Irish summer. The sun’s rays are as strong as anywhere else in Europe and the risk of illness is just as high. Here are our top ten tips for holidays in Ireland to enjoy yourself to the fullest.

Beware of the sun

Always wear sun cream when exposed to the sun, even if it appears overcast outside. You really don’t want to be rocking the lobster look! Sun burn greatly increases the risk of melanoma, the most fatal kind of skin cancer.

Stay hydrated

Whether you’re hiking in the Wicklow Mountains or bopping along at a music festival, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. This will help your heart and muscles to work efficiently, as well as reducing the risk of sunstroke.

Avoid insect bites

Pick up a decent repellent to avoid nasty bug bites. Believe us, you don’t want to spend the summer being irritated by itchy bites. TMB have a variety of high-quality repellents and bug bands to keep insects at bay.

Be careful when swimming

Sadly about a third of all drownings in Ireland are alcohol related so never drink if you intend on swimming. Having alcohol in your system when you enter cold water can lead to serious issues such as disorientation, difficult breathing and hypothermia – not to be taken lightly.

Protect your phone

If you’re heading to the beach or an outdoor pool, invest in a decent waterproof case for your smart phone. This will keep it totally dry, while still allowing you to make calls, use your apps and take those all-important sun-soaked selfies.

Avoid food poisoning

Enjoying a barbeque or picnic is one of the best things about the summer months but make sure you cook food thoroughly through to avoid food poisoning. Bacteria like salmonella, e.coli and listeria grow much faster at warmer temperatures so store perishable foods in a cooler bag or box.

Don’t drink too much

If you’ve got tickets for any of the fantastic Irish festivals this year, pace yourself when it comes to drinking. Don’t waste your money on an experience you’re only going to forget. Consuming large amounts of alcohol in the sun is a dangerous mix and puts you at a much greater risk of accidents or illness.

Be prepared

It’s Ireland so don’t be surprised if you experience a freak shower or sudden change in weather. Always bring a jacket with you just in case it turns chilly or rains. If you’re camping, make sure you bring a spare change of clothes and plenty of dry socks.

Entertain children

Sunday drives are a staple component of many Irish childhoods. Give your kids some child-safe headphones so they can enjoy music and games in the backseat. Travelshop.ie have a great selection of products to make travelling with children nice and easy, like tasty travel pops that prevent car sickness. Always keep a first aid kit in your car in case someone has an accident.

Mind your feet

Off on a hiking trip? Invest in a decent pair of boots in the right size and make sure you wear these in well before any big excursions. The last thing you want is your exciting day out ruined because of painful arches or blistered heels.

Gorgeous scenery, friendly locals and plenty of craic – holidaying in Ireland is an experience not to be missed! Whether you’re camping in Cork, swimming in Sligo or walking in Wexford, these top tips will ensure you stay healthy on your adventures.

Peru travel tips

Peru travel tipsnad-hemnani-8xpklKrfsG4-unsplashDiscover the best Peru travel tips

Peru is a breath-taking country, famous for its majestic ruins, stunning scenery and rich cultural heritage. With its changeable climate and diverse landscapes, it’s definitely advisable to be as prepared as possible before jetting off to this gorgeous destination. Here, Nicola Connolly from www.bestofperutravel.com shares her Peru travel tips and advice about how to stay healthy and happy on your adventure.

Staying safe in Peru

The majority of places you will encounter on your travels in Peru will be full of tourists and heavily monitored by the tourist police. Like anywhere else in the world, it’s best to use your common sense at all times and avoid drawing unnecessary attention to yourself. Always take licensed taxis, don’t wander about by yourself at night and avoid flashing expensive gadgets or jewellery.

Best time to visit

In my opinion the best time to visit Machu Picchu and Cusco is undoubtedly in April and May or September and October. The weather conditions during these months are ideal – not too hot or too cold – and you avoid the hordes of travellers that flock to the ruins between June and August. Head to Lima during the city’s summer season, between December and April, when you can make the most of the beautiful Pacific beaches.

Visas and passports

It’s pretty easy to get a visa on arrival for Peru as an EU citizen but make sure to check your specific requirements before getting on the plane. Your passport should be valid for six months and have at least two free pages in the visa section. Remember to hold onto the tourist card you receive when you enter the country. You’ll have to pay a whopping 18% sales tax on accommodation and a fine on leaving if you lose it!

Vaccinations

It is recommended that all travellers visiting Peru are vaccinated against tetanus, hepatitis A and typhoid. Those heading into rural areas should also get a tuberculosis immunisation, while trekkers require hepatitis B and rabies vaccinations. Avoid mosquito bites and the risk of malaria by using a high-quality insect repellent and taking antimalarial medication.

Money and banking

Fake money is a problem in Peru so make sure you never exchange cash on the street. Stick to reputable banks, such as Banco de Credito del Peru, Scotiabank and BBVA Banco Continental on Avenue del Sol in Cusco. Many hotels take US dollars although traveller’s cheques are less readily accepted. Make sure you keep smaller quantities of the local currency, nuevo sol, on you to pay for snacks, water and souvenirs.

Packing tips

Being comfortable in Peru is all about layering. The temperature can change dramatically between day and night so it’s important that you’re prepared. I would advise investing in some zip off trousers that can be transformed into shorts, as well as a decent waterproof jacket and high-quality hiking boots. Other items to add to your packing list include a hat, scarf, gloves, ear plugs and sunscreen.

There’s plenty to smile about in awe-inspiring Peru. If the colourful cities and exquisite beaches don’t do it for you, then the dramatic Inca ruins and lush Amazon rainforest most certainly will. Follow these top tips and enjoy a truly once-in-a-lifetime Peruvian adventure.

Book an appointment at a TMB clinic to speak with a qualified professional about the vaccinations you require for travelling in Peru. You can also get expert advice about antimalarial medication, insect repellent and other travel essentials.

For more information about Peru and specialist travel tips please visit www.bestofperutravel.com.

How to prepare for Kilimanjaro

How to prepare for Kilimanjaro

yoad-shejtman-S8IflvEHBFk-unsplashFind out how to prepare for Kilimanjaro

Majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, which stands at 19,341 feet tall, is Africa’s highest mountain and one of its most beautiful sights. Over 40,000 people choose to climb this spectacular peak each year, keen to experience Tanzania’s stunning scenery and embark on a momentous personal challenge. Ian Taylor from www.iantaylortrekking.com is a Kilimanjaro specialist and has countless climbs under his belt. Here he discusses how to prepare for Kilimanjaro and stay safe on your trek.

Getting ready for your climb

The key to success on Kilimanjaro is excellent preparation and physical conditioning prior to your trip, as well as experience using your gear in a wilderness environment. You should never try to hike Kilimanjaro, or any other monumental peak, without preparation. You need to be able to walk 44.2 miles at high and extreme altitude, sometimes with 50% less oxygen in your blood scream and 50% less oxygen going to your muscles when you need it. You start hiking from 7,382 feet, covering about 16,500 feet on your way to the summit. This serious climb puts an extraordinary toll on your body so it’s essential that you are at your optimum levels of fitness and health. Increase your workout schedule in the months prior to your climb, making sure to get out in your local hills and mountains for lengthy walks.

What to pack

Don’t be fooled – Kilimanjaro is not for tourists. This is a serious mountain, an intense climb, which needs to be respected. You must be as prepared as possible, with the right gear and prior training to ensure you reach the summit. Your feet need to be taken care of on your trek. Buy a good-quality pair of hiking boots and wear these in well before you leave for Africa. I would also recommend packing a decent down jacket, a fleece, thermal underwear, good sunglasses and a headlamp.

Tips for ascending Kilimanjaro

Give yourself the time to prepare and understand the risks of climbing at a high altitude. Going too high too fast can be very dangerous. Less than 50% of people actually make it to the summit as they choose to go on five day cheaper climbs, not giving their bodies enough time to adjust properly. The key is the spend eight days on the mountain to give yourself the best chance of completing your climb. This will be more expensive due to the high cost of entering Kilimanjaro National Park but you need to consider what your ultimate goal is. You have travelled all the way to Tanzania to embark on this adventure. Why not pay a little more and give yourself the best possible chance of conquering your goals?

Adhere to this expert advice and there’s no reason why you can’t reach Kilimanjaro’s summit and have a life-changing experience. Preparation is key so make sure you spend time researching the route and sourcing all of the packing essentials. And remember, have an amazing time!

Those travelling to Tanzania are strongly advised to book an appointment at a TMB clinic and speak with a qualified professional about the different vaccinations they may require. All travellers really should consider cover against tetanus, hepatitis A and typhoid. Those travelling directly from Europe to Tanzania do not need to show evidence of cover against yellow fever at immigration but the vaccine against yellow fever is recommended for some travellers. This all needs to be talked through. Those who are trekking in rural areas also need to consider getting diphtheria, meningococcal meningitis and cholera vaccinations.

For more information about climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and to get expert trekking advice, please visit www.iantaylortrekking.com.

Tips for women travelling alone

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Find out some top tips for women travelling alone

More and more women are biting the bullet and embarking on exciting solo adventures across the globe. While solo travel has a host of benefits for all kind of travellers some extra precautions are necessary to take as a woman on your own. Here are our top tips for women travelling alone…

Be cautious

It’s pretty obvious but having a good dose of common sense really does go a long way. Be wary of who you meet and the situations you find yourself in. If a situation feels off, make an excuse and get out of there as quickly as you can. It’s really important as a solo traveller to trust your instincts and never take any chances.

Research your destination

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Research your destination extensively in advance so you understand local politics, customs and religion. This will help to minimise culture shock when you arrive and improve your overall experience. Check out YouTube videos to get a real insight into everyday life and read solo female travel blogs before you go.

Dress appropriately

In an ideal world, we could wear whatever we wanted without any negative repercussions. Sadly this isn’t the case and female travellers may receive unwanted attention if they dress inappropriately. When in doubt, copy the style of local women and always make sure that your clothing does not offend religious beliefs.

Plan in advance

Greatly reduce the stress of jetting off on your own by booking your accommodation and transport in advance. You’ll feel a lot more confident knowing exactly where you’re going to be and how you’re getting there. Keep your friends and family informed about your hostel or hotel address so they can reach you at all times.

Treat yourself

If you’re having an off day, take some time out from your itinerary to do something just for you. Pampering sessions on the road will keep you feeling your best and ready to tackle anything that comes your way. Chill out with a book, sample the local wine, get your nails done – whatever tickles your fancy!

Register with your embassy

Register with your embassy in the different countries you are visiting on your trip. In the unlikely event of a crisis, the embassy will be able to contact you and prioritise your well-being. Take photocopies of your passport, travel insurance and accommodation bookings in case any of these get lost or stolen.

Stay healthy

Remain in tip top shape by eating sensibly and staying hydrated. Make sure you pack a decent first aid kit and bring any special medication you need. Research the different vaccinations you may require for your destination and seek advice about how to avoid nasty illnesses when you’re away.

Befriend hotel staff

It’s natural to feel lonely from time to time when travelling solo. Make an effort to get to know the staff at your hostel or hotel to increase your sense of homeliness and security. Ask for advice about staying safe and let them know where you are going to and how long you expect to be.

Stay connected

The world is getting smaller everyday thanks to competitive flight fares and increased connectivity.  Just because you’re travelling solo doesn’t mean you are totally on your own. Make the most of Skype, Viber and WhatsApp to keep in touch with loved ones at home.

Solo travel has a host of wonderful benefits for women. Not only does it work wonders for your self-confidence, it also allows you to experience new cultures and ways of living. Take a little time to plan your trip properly and trust your intuition when you’re away to ensure you have the best time possible.

What to pack

What to pack

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Discover what to pack on your exotic holiday

You’ve booked your dream getaway, all visas and travel insurance have been sorted and you’ve made that all-important appointment to get your vaccinations. What’s left? Packing, of course. The prospect can be a little daunting but a little preparation goes a long way. To make things a little easier, we’ve compiled a list of what to pack to ensure you enjoy a safe and healthy adventure overseas.

Insect repellent

If you’re backpacking across Southeast Asia, Central America, South America or Africa, a high quality insect repellent is essential. You definitely don’t want to spend your time scratching nasty bites or suffering from any unpleasant side effects like fever, headaches and swollen lymph nodes. Preventing insect bites also greatly reduces the risk of malaria. An insect repellent containing DEET is strongly recommended to keep all those pesky bugs at bay.

Travel towel

If you hate the thought of lugging a bulky, damp towel from A to B then a microfibre travel towel is the way to go. This can be folded to a fraction of the size of a regular cotton towel, saving space in your backpack or suitcase. It will also dry much quicker and reduce the likelihood of odours and mildew occurring.

Luggage labels and luggage scales

Don’t make your time at the airport any more stressful than it has to be. There’s no need to worry about your baggage going missing if it’s properly labelled with secure leather tags. Luggage scales are also a great asset. These allow you to weigh your bag before the check-in desk so you can make sure it is within the allowance and you avoid any excess baggage charges.

Universal plug adaptor

If your biggest nightmare is not being able to charge your Kindle or use your hair straighteners overseas then a universal adapter is of the utmost importance. It’s worth investing in one which works in most countries so you know you’re sorted if your itinerary changes last-minute.

Sun cream

You’d be surprised how many people think they can get away without packing sunscreen for their holiday and end up looking pretty red-faced, literally! Our delicate skin is highly susceptible to the harmful rays of the sun and it’s vital that you take measures to protect it at all times. Pack a good-quality sunscreen and avoid painful sunburn ruining your holiday.

Mosquito net

There’s no need to endure an uncomfortable and sleepless night in a mosquito-riden hostel. Having your own sturdy mosquito net means that you are always protected no matter where you are. Again, avoiding mosquito bites greatly reduces your risk of contracting malaria in countries like Cambodia, Thailand and Indonesia.

Portable phone charger

Charge your smart phone on the go with a mobile power bank. This will make your life a whole lot easier if you’re incorporating long bus or train journeys into your trip. Nowadays you can get compact light-weight chargers that easily fit into your pocket or handbag. Listen to your favourite tunes, get snap happy and stay connected with people at home.

So there you have it, essential items that will make your life a whole lot easier on your travels. Cover the basics and the rest will follow. Make sure to check out Travelshop.ie for some great offers on insect repellents, mosquito nets, travel accessories and gadgets. You’ll thank yourself for it on your trip.

Ways to prevent altitude sickness

Ways to prevent altitude sickness

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Find out the very best ways to prevent altitude sickness in Peru

When you think of Cusco and Machu Picchu chances are you get swept up in a daydream of lush rainforests, ancient ruins and stunning landscapes. And you aren’t wrong! This beautiful area of Peru is one of South America’s hottest tourist destinations, and for good reason. Sadly, many don’t get to experience all it has to offer due to difficulty adjusting to the high elevation. Here Peru expert Nicola Connolly from www.bestofperutravel.com outlines the best ways to prevent altitude sickness to ensure you have an amazing Peruvian adventure.

What is altitude sickness?

Altitude sickness, a condition caused by lack of oxygen in high altitudes, can affect anyone travelling to Cusco, Peru (11,150 feet). No one is safe from this illness – it is not uncommon to see fit young people bowled over from ascending too quickly. Symptoms include headaches, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, a poor appetite, dizziness and the inability to sleep. These usually show up between 12 and 24 hours after reaching Cusco.

Relax when you arrive

It’s important to acclimatise in stages to give your body time to adjust to its new environment. Head to the beautiful Sacred Valley (9500 feet) first and be wowed by the breath-taking Inca sites, isolated weaving villages and vibrant markets. You may be excited to reach the summit and see the sights but remember, your health comes first. Spend your initial days in Cusco relaxing and soaking up the unique culture. Strenuous activity can exasperate symptoms and cause you to be become ill.

 ‘Climb high, sleep low’

Even the most experienced of trekkers follow the ‘climb high, sleep low’ mantra. If you’re eager to progress quickly and cover more than 1,000 feet in a day, make sure that you sleep at a lower altitude. Your body will thank you for it!

Stay hydrated

Low humidity at a high altitude makes the air dry so it’s more important than ever to keep your body hydrated. Drink lots of water before you arrive to prepare yourself for what’s to come and even more when you’re in Cusco. Avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol as these cause dehydration and subsequent headaches and nausea. You really don’t want to throw a hangover into the mix!

Have coca leaves

Peruvians swear by coca tea as an antidote to thin air. This natural remedy is readily available in hotel receptions and offers almost immediate relief to dizziness for many. Have iced tea with the leaves to take with you on day trips or, if you feel like getting into the spirit of things, chew them like a local.

Buy portable oxygen cans

A few puffs of oxygen can work wonders. Portable oxygen cans only cost about €13 each and easily fit in your backpack. Having one on hand if you’re feeling dizzy or have a headache is advisable.

Don’t worry

Cusco is a massive tourist destination and the locals are well used to dealing with altitude sick tourists. If you do fall ill, rest assured that the medical facilities are top-class and you will be well looked after. For your peace of mind, all hotels have tanks of oxygen and many 5* resorts even pump oxygen into bedrooms to help you to sleep.

There’s no need to let your fear of altitude sickness put you off experiencing one of the world’s most incredible sites. Even with crowds of tourists, Machu Picchu retains its sense of mystery and magnificence, making it well worth the effort. Follow these top tips to reduce your risk of altitude sickness and have the trip of a lifetime.

Those travelling to Peru are strongly advised to book an appointment at a TMB clinic and speak with a qualified professional about the different vaccinations they may require. All travellers must get tetanus, hepatitis A and typhoid vaccinations, while those who plan on trekking also need hepatitis B and rabies vaccinations.

For more information about Peru and some expert travel tips please visit www.bestofperutravel.com.

Ways To Prevent Skin Cancer

Ways To Prevent Skin Cancer

ways to prevent skin cancer

Discover the best ways to prevent skin cancer and stay safe in the sun

Doctors have recently reported that incidences of skin cancer are, sadly, on the rise. Over 90% of these cases are a result of damage from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. It’s these harmful rays that also cause wrinkles, sagging and discolouration of the skin – the aging symptoms we’re all so keen to avoid. We thought it would be a good idea to compile a list of ways to prevent skin cancer to ensure you can enjoy some sunshine without risking your health.

Damaging effects of the sun

Here in Ireland we’re understandably sun chasers. It rains for most of the year so when the sun does finally break through for a day or two we’re all out in our shorts and t-shirts, ready to catch some much-needed rays. While the sun has undeniable mood-lifting benefits and prompts our bodies to create Vitamin D, it can also be extremely dangerous, especially for pale and sensitive skin. We only actually need 20 minutes of sun per day to stay healthy. Anything beyond that is merely damaging our body and increasing the risk of skin cancer.

Dr Graham Fry, Medical Director of TMB, warns against being too complacent about the sun’s harmful effects. “We all get very excited when the weather finally picks up in the summer  months and try to embrace it as much as we can before it disappears again,” he says. “What we forget is that the sun is still harmful and that there’s still a need to protect ourselves, even on home ground.”

Examine your skin

The earlier you detect skin abnormalities the greater your chance of fighting against skin cancer. Put a reminder in your diary to examine your skin from head to toe each month. Pay particular attention to any moles or growths. If there has been a change in the size, colour or texture of these seek medical advice at once.

Avoid tanning beds

Looking tanned may be fashionable but using tanning beds is just plain silly. Did you know that more people actually contract skin cancer from tanning beds than lung cancer from smoking? It’s pretty shocking stuff. Opt for fake tan instead and keep your skin as safe as possible.

Wear sun cream

It’s pretty obvious but wearing sun cream greatly reduces the risk of skin cancer and aging. Choose one with an SPF of 15 or higher and apply every day. Even when the sun is not shining bright its rays are still targeting your skin and causing damage. Apply half an hour before you go into the sun and reapply every two hours or straight away after swimming.

Wear protective clothing

Cover up with protective clothing when you’re out and about. A broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses will help to protect your scalp, face and eyes when you’re out and about. Be wary of swimming costumes that might not give proper coverage.

Monitor time spent in the sun

It’s important to keep account of how long your skin has been exposed to the sun’s harmful rays. Seek the shade, particularly when the sun is at its highest between 10am and 4pm. Play sports or do outdoor activities in the early morning or at dusk to keep your skin protected.

Don’t burn

The risk of melanoma, the most fatal kind of skin cancer, is greatly increased if your skin burns. If you notice your skin turning pink or feeling hot, go inside immediately. Be extra careful around water, snow and sand surfaces as these reflect up to 80% of the sun’s rays, drastically increasing your chances of getting burnt.

Prevention is better than cure. Take the necessary measures to protect your skin and your risk of cancer will be greatly reduced. It’s true that the sunshine helps our bodies to create Vitamin D but this can also be obtained from supplements and a a healthy balanced diet. When in doubt, pay a visit to your GP to find out all the facts and have a skin assessment. You’ll thank yourself for it!

To find out more information about skin cancer please visit www.skincancer.org or www.cancer.ie.

Safari Travel Tips

Safari Travel Tips

safari

Discover our top safari travel tips to ensure you have an amazing African adventure

Going on safari in Africa is an amazing experience, quite unlike any other kind of holiday. Taking in breath-taking landscapes, getting up close and personal with stunning wildlife, embracing new and exciting cultures – it truly is once-in-a-lifetime stuff! Whether you’re a first-timer or old hat, you definitely need to be extra prepared when it comes to planning your safari adventure. Here are our top tips for going on safari in Africa…

Research regions

First things first – where are you going to go? Africa is a big continent, with different regions boasting unique and diverse wildlife. People generally choose between East Africa (Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda), South Africa and Southern Africa (Botswana, Namibia and Zambia). Spend some time researching what animals you would most like to observe and which national parks are best for these. The time of year should also influence your decision. While Kenya is best visited from late July to August, when the climate is coolest and migration is underway, Tanzania is better suited to September safaris.

Research wildlife

If your knowledge of African wildlife is limited to childhood viewings of ‘The Lion King’ it may well be time to dust off the encyclopaedia  and spend time researching the species you are likely to encounter on your trip. Understanding animal habits and traits will undoubtedly improve your overall safari experience, not to mention enhance your safety overseas. It is important to remember that these creatures are in the wild and will defend themselves against tourists if necessary. Respect their terrain and they are much more likely to respect you in return.

Book travel insurance

It goes without saying, booking travel insurance is an essential prerequisite to going on safari. Things can go wrong, no matter what preparations you make or how reputable your tour operator is. Make sure that your policy accounts for all possible outcomes, including trip cancellation, a medical emergency and luggage loss. Also check if your current health plan covers medical reimbursements for overseas care.

Get vaccinations

Africa is a beautiful continent, sadly home to some nasty illnesses such as yellow fever, rabies and poliomyelitis. Make sure you get all of your required vaccinations before travelling to greatly minimise the risk of falling ill. The last thing you want is to have to cut your long-awaiting safari trip short due to a stint in a foreign hospital. Because you will be exploring rural areas, additional vaccinations such as diphtheria, meningococcal meningitis and tuberculosis will also be necessary. Make sure you also take precautions against mosquito bites and malaria.

Take in your surroundings

When you think of safari, the first thing that pops into your head is probably ‘The Big Five’, right?! While spotting lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards and buffalos is undoubtedly an incredible experience, it’s important to appreciate the little things too. The landscapes and nature in Africa are out of this world and reason enough to venture into the wild. Don’t fall into the trap of simply ticking things off your list. Taking the time to acknowledge the diverse vegetation and smaller species, such as insects and birds, will lead to a much more enriched safari experience.

Pack sensibly

There’s no need for fancy attire on safari so leave those heels or expensive suit at home. Pack sensibly, making sure that all clothing is comfortable and suitable for the climate. Layers that can be easily removed are ideal as African temperatures tend to vary a lot between day and night. Clothing in earth tones is advised so you remain inconspicuous among the wild animals. You definitely don’t want to be distracted by blisters on safari so remember to break in new shoes before you go.

If those top tips don’t have you safari ready, then we don’t know what will. Spending time researching your destination and the wildlife that call it home will greatly enhance your safari experience. Take precautions against illnesses and pack appropriately to ensure you have the most comfortable getaway possible.

Those going on safari or a holiday in Africa are strongly advised to seek medical assistance at a TMB clinic before travelling. Book an appointment to speak with a qualified consultant who will offer advice how to stay safe while you’re away and information about all of the required vaccinations.

Travelling With Children

Travelling With Children

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Discover our top tips for travelling with children

There’s no doubt about it – travelling with children can often be a tiresome or stressful experience. Your little ones may become cranky on the move or bore easily in a new environment. With a little preparation, however, there’s no reason why your family can’t embark on its own exciting adventure overseas. Check out these top family travel tips to ensure your next getaway is as hassle-free and enjoyable as possible.

Plan ahead

Spend time researching destinations that will suit all members of your family. There’s no point trying to be spontaneous with your little ones in tow. It makes a lot more sense to book ahead and ensure your accommodation is child-friendly and safe. While you’re at it, organise all airport transfers and transport. It’s a well-known fact that children act up when they’re confined to small spaces so limit journey time as much as you can.

Bring toys

OK, so you’ve in an exotic destination with stunning landscapes and unique wildlife…chances are your children are still more interested in the latest Barbie or computer game. While you want to encourage kids to appreciate the culture around them, having some toys to keep them occupied isn’t always a bad idea. A camera is a wonderful prop as it encourages them to observe their surroundings and capture what interests them.

Research your destination

Celebrate your children’s curiosity by researching your holiday destination with them before you jet off. They’re a lot more likely to behave and take in their surroundings abroad if they have already established an interest in them. Identify local wildlife, cook signature dishes, explore the region on a map and watch films about the country in question.

Stay healthy

The last thing you want is a poorly child on your hands while you’re away from home. To stay healthy, ensure that your family eats a balanced diet and remains hydrated in hot temperatures. Visit a travel health clinic before you set off and get all of the recommended vaccinations. If antimalarial medication is required ask about a syrup form which is easier for children to swallow.

Pack suitable clothing

Spend time researching your destination’s climate and pack weather-appropriate clothing for your children. Comfy kids are happy kids! Make sure that new clothing fits properly and all shoes have been worn in before you go.

Choose fun activities

You’d probably love nothing more than to check out the local art gallery or relax with a glass of wine in a lush vineyard, right? For the whole family to have an amazing time, you really need to consider activities that will keep everyone entertained. Indulge your own inner child and lots more laughs are guaranteed. Head to the zoo, go on a boat ride or visit a theme park. Remember, they won’t stay this age forever!

So there you have it, our top tips for travelling with children. Plan ahead, pack carefully and organise fun excursions to guarantee you all have the best trip imaginable. You’ll want to do it all over again as soon as you return home!

Travelshop.ie have a wide selection of travel accessories especially designed for children to make your getaway as hassle-free as possible. Check out the children’s folding pillows, child-safe headphones and travel pops.

Those travelling with young children are strongly advised to book an appointment at a TMB clinic to ensure that their health requirements are being met. A number of vaccinations may be required depending on the destination. Speaking with a TMB consultant ensures that you and your family will remain healthy and happy overseas.

What vaccinations do I need for backpacking Southeast Asia?

What vaccinations do I need for backpacking Southeast Asia?

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Get advice about what vaccinations you require for your backpacking Southeast Asia trip

Southeast Asia has been dubbed backpacker heaven for decades thanks to its low prices, high temperatures and unique cultures, and its popularity isn’t declining any time soon. With eleven vibrant countries to explore and a lot of ground to cover, it can be hard to know where to start. Here are our favourite five places you really can’t miss on your backpacking Southeast Asia adventure and details of the vaccinations you need before setting off.

Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An is a small picturesque city that packs a big punch and is a favourite with backpackers of all ages and backgrounds. With its peaceful atmosphere, quaint harbour, incredible restaurants and general good vibes, it’s not hard to see why. Head here to get exquisite tailor-made clothes at a fraction of the price back home. Return time and time again on account of the friendly locals who go out of their way to lend a helping hand. There are also some stunning beaches nearby when you feel like catching some rays. All travellers heading to Vietnam should get tetanus, hepatitis A and typhoid vaccinations to ensure they are stay safe while they’re away.

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

No trip to Southeast Asia is complete without explorations of the largest religious monument in the world, Angkor Wat. Be transported to another world as you wander through ancient Khmer temples which perfectly embody creativity and spirituality. Despite the crowds of likeminded backpackers, it’s easy to find peace among the ruins and get a sense of what life was like thousands of years ago. Stay safe in Cambodia by getting your tetanus, hepatitis A and typhoid vaccinations before you go. Those going into rural areas are recommended to also get vaccinations for diphtheria, meningococcal meningitis, tuberculosis and Japanese B Encephalitis.

Mount Kimabalu, Malaysia

For an adventure you’ll never forget, climb majestic Mount Kimabalu. Deemed Southeast Asia’s tallest mountain, this peak makes for a challenging but rewarding trek. The fascinating flora and fauna in the area, including over 326 bird species and over 600 varieties of ferns, are reason enough to venture into its environs. Sooth your aching muscles in the geothermally heated Poring Hot Springs after you reach the summit. You require the same vaccinations for Malaysia as Vietnam and Cambodia – just make sure to also get hepatitis B if you’re planning a Mount Kimabalu trek.

Lake Inle, Myanmar

Taking a boat trip across Lake Inle is an unforgettable experience and one you should definitely add to your backpacking bucket list. It’s hard to tell where the lake meets the sky as everything is blue as far as the eye can see. Watch the local fishermen catch fish with their artistic technique and float by stilt-house villages, vibrant markets, Buddhist temples and floating gardens. Along with tetanus, hepatitis A and typhoid, it’s recommended that travellers to Inle Lake get hepatitis B and rabies vaccinations to ensure their safety.

Palawan, The Philippines

For the ultimate beach getaway, soak up the sun on the beautiful island of Palawan. What makes Palawan so special is its relative underdevelopment in comparison to other popular South East Asian islands like Phuket and Bali. Enjoy golden beaches, lush green mountains, unique rock formations, charming locals and incredible seafood. Make sure you get your tetanus, hepatitis A and typhoid vaccinations before you go.

Inspired to embark on your own Southeast Asia trip? This stunning subcontinent boasts vibrant cultures, gorgeous scenery, mouth-watering cuisine and some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. Wherever you end up going, you’ll sure to have an absolute blast. Take the necessary precautions before you travel to ensure you have the best time possible.

Those travelling to South East Asia are strongly advised to book an appointment at a local TMB clinic to find out which vaccinations they require and to get the best advice about how to travel safely.

If you’re a student take advantage of TMB’s fantastic student summer offer. Receive a special student travel package from only €115 which includes a 10% discount on recommended vaccines, consultation with a TMB doctor, Malaria prescription where recommended and a voucher for Travelshop.ie. Simply present your Student Travel Leapcard to avail of this great deal.

Gap Year Travel

Gap Year Travel

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Consider these gap year travel ideas if you fancy a break from reality

Filling out university application forms without really knowing what you want to do with your life? Or maybe you’re fed up with the monotonous 9 to 5? A gap year could be just what you need! No matter what age you are, sometimes the very best thing to do, both personally and professionally, is to take time out from your everyday life. Here are some gap year travel ideas to inspire you.

Volunteer

Be more than just a traveller and help to create a positive change in disadvantaged areas around the world. Whether you’re interested in conservation or humanitarian work, teaching or construction, you can be guaranteed that there’s a life-changing project crying out for an extra pair of hands. Volunteering allows you to settle into a community and really get to know the culture and locals, which won’t be as easy if you restrict yourself to the tourist trail. You’ll meet a lot of like-minded people and make some life-long friends. Plus, a volunteering stint looks great on your CV. Win-win!

Before jumping into your volunteering mission, make sure you do a lot of research so you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. Consider if social or environmental work is more up your street and what country caters for this. There are many different projects to choose between, from saving turtles in Costa Rica to working with an NGO in India. You’re investing a lot of your time and energy so choose one that you think you’ll find most enjoyable. Reading reviews from previous volunteers is a great way of getting an insight into volunteering life and making sure the company is legitimate.

Intern

Gain some incredible work experience and improve your skillset while you’re away. Internships abroad are a fantastic way of breaking up your travel time and helping you to stand out from the sea of job applicants when you return home. Combining travelling with an internship shows future employers that you are serious about your career and willing to push yourself out of your comfort zone to advance it. It’ll also help you to build up a network of international contacts which may come in very handy further down the road.

Internships abroad are usually unpaid although accommodation and food costs may be covered. Read your contract thoroughly before signing and get a second opinion if you have any doubts about the conditions of employment. You don’t want to be taken advantage of, particularly in a foreign country where you may not speak the language or have a decent support network. If you cannot find the kind of internship you are looking for, create opportunities for yourself. Approach foreign companies that you would like to work for with your CV and see if there are any intern positions opening up. You never know what might happen!

Backpack

The most popular gap year option is, without a doubt, backpacking. Nothing quite beats the excitement of exploring vibrant cultures, making new friends and enjoying life on the road. Competitive flight and accommodation options are making places like South East Asia, Central America and South America more accessible than ever before. It’s not just students who should consider taking the plunge. Backpacking has a host of benefits for travellers of all ages, professions and backgrounds.

Think carefully about where you want to go and how much this will cost before committing to a trip. Countries like Nepal and Peru are notoriously cheap to travel around but you must also factor in additional spending in the unlikely event that something goes wrong. Make sure you also have all of the recommended vaccinations and medication before travelling to avoid becoming ill while you’re away. A little preparation will guarantee you the trip of a lifetime!

The benefits of taking a gap year are clear so perhaps it’s time to bite the bullet and embark on your own personal adventure? Whether you choose to volunteer, intern or backpack, you’ll get a new perspective on things and return more focused on what you want to do in life.

Those thinking of taking a gap year are advised to book an appointment at a local TMB Clinic to find out which vaccinations they require for their destination of choice. Speaking with a TMB consultant also means that you receive the best advice about staying healthy and safe when you’re overseas.

Business Travel Tips

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Find out our top business travel tips to make sure you feel your best when you’re on a work trip

Travelling for business is a whole other ball game than doing so for pleasure. Sure, you might be jetting off to exotic locations but trying to keep on top of your workload in a strange environment can really take it out of you. Not to mention the evils of jet lag! Our top business travel tips will help you to prepare for your trip and feel your best when you’re away.

Eat healthily

It may sound pretty obvious, but take all the necessary measures to ensure your health is in tip top shape before you set off. It’s easy to rely on convenience food and caffeinated drinks when you’re on the move but these do nothing for your productivity levels. Drink lots of water, get your five a day and bring your vitamins!

Get vaccinations

Take the same precautions when travelling for business as you would on a trip with friends or family. Research your destination extensively and make sure you have the recommended vaccinations and medication. It’s also advisable to pack a small first aid kit with essentials such as disinfectant, painkillers and hydration sachets. Believe us, there’s nothing worse than getting sick when you’re in a foreign country and trying to make a good impression.

Work away from home

Have a few hours to spare in between meetings? Make the most of down time by catching up on your workload. Take advantage of the free wifi at airports and hotels and stay connected with your office colleagues. Delegate tasks to ensure you are not facing an unsurmountable workload when you return home.

Be nice to staff

You might be feeling a bit worn out or stressed but remember, kindness goes a long way. Smile at everyone you meet, from the airport’s security staff to your hotel receptionist. Not only will it make your whole trip more enjoyable, you might even be treated to some free upgrades.

Visit tourist attractions

Try to do at least one cultural thing on your business trip and get a sense of the country’s customs outside of the boardroom. Treat yourself to some traditional cuisine, strike up a conversation with a local or take a few hours to visit the number one tourist attraction. This will make your trip much more memorable and give you something to talk about when you’re back in the office.

Beat jet lag

Flying affects different people in different ways. If you travel for business a lot and constantly have to deal with changing time zones, it’s important to figure out what sleeping and eating patterns work best for you. Our top tips – stay hydrated on your flight and get as much sleep as you normally would. Avoid alcohol and opt for calming camomile tea or soothing warm milk instead.

Pack light

Travelling can be stressful so don’t add an overweight suitcase into the mix. If you’re just away for a few days, take hand luggage and only pack the basics. You won’t have to wait for your bag at your destination airport or be laden down with luggage for the duration of your stay. Look at your itinerary and choose suitable clothing for the weather and each day’s activities.

So there you have it, our top tips for business travellers. No matter how long you’re away for, stick by these to ensure your journey is as seamless as possible.

Business travellers are advised to book an appointment at a TMB Clinic to find out more about vaccinations they may require and to get the best advice about how to stay healthy while overseas. TMB Clinics have a range of special services for corporate travellers, including education seminars, pre-departure medical screening and post-exposure medical screening.

Backpacking Central America

Backpacking Central Americaphilipp-kammerer-6Mxb_mZ_Q8E-unsplash (2)Discover the best things to do while backpacking Central America, where it’s safe to travel and when to go

When you think of a backpacking Central America holiday what’s the first thing that pops into your head? Like us, do you find yourself daydreaming of turquoise waters, lush jungles, gorgeous wildlife, impressive Mayan ruins and lively markets? This beautiful subcontinent consists of seven countries, all boasting a unique history, culture and array of tourist hotspots. There’s a lot to love but what makes our backpacking Central America bucket list? Read on…

The Bay Islands in Honduras

Enjoy the slower pace of life on the stunning Bay Islands, located off Honduras’ northern coast. With the second largest barrier reef in the world, this is THE place to go to get your diving and snorkelling fix. Have your own ‘Finding Nemo’ adventure underwater with some of the most beautiful fish, coral and sea life you’ll ever see. Utila’s wide range of hostels and low-cost accommodation make it a firm favourite with backpackers, while families and those on a higher budget can take advantage of Roatan’s upmarket hotels and guesthouses. We’d recommend visiting during the summer months when you have the best chance of spotting beautiful whale sharks in Utila.

Lake Atitlan in Guatemala

Lose sense of reality and experience what has been described as the most amazing lake in the world. Lake Atitlan is seriously stunning and will leave you feeling breathless at its sheer vastness and beauty. Green hills and impressive volcanoes are scattered in the landscape making it postcard picture perfect. Soak up the indigenous culture and try some of the local cuisine in one of the Mayan villages surrounding the lake itself. There are also plenty of vibrant markets where you can pick up cheap textiles and crafts to remember your trip by. The best time to travel is between December and January when the vegetation is beautifully lush after the rainy season and you can get exceptional clear views of the lake.

León in Nicaragua

Nicaragua’s León is culture vulture heaven – a bohemian city of crumbling churches, impressive art collections, cosmopolitan restaurants and stunning colonial architecture. You won’t be able to avoid the city’s violent history as you encounter bullet holes and revolutionary murals adorning building walls at every turn. The atmosphere is lively with music and dance performances taking you into the early hours. Explore León Cathedral, the biggest in Central America, and take advantage of the rooftop views of the sprawling city and smoking volcanoes in the distance. Visit between November and May to make the most of the dry season.

Panama City in Panama

Travel to Central America’s most cosmopolitan city for a break like no other. While the time away wandering down cobblestoned streets and taking in the awe-inspiring colonial architecture. Visit the world-famous Panama canal, sip on delicious local coffee and wear an obligatory Panama hat. You definitely won’t be stuck for things to do! Take day trips from the city to the surrounding golden beaches and lush rainforests when you want a break from it all. Panama is the most Americanised of all the Central American countries, making it your ideal starting point if you’re feeling a bit nervous. We’d definitely recommend planning your trip for mid-February when you can experience the extravagance of Carnaval and be wowed by the colourful floats and entertainers that take to the streets.

Arenal National Park in Costa Rica

Make a trip to Arenal National Park in Costa Rica and prepare to have your mind blown! The incredible Arenal Volanco looms in the distance as you wind through quaint towns and take in the amazing scenery on the route leading to the Park. There are many easy-to-navigate trails which bring you through former lava fields and rainforests. Pick a spot for a picnic and take in the gorgeous views. Arenal is also a birdwatcher’s dream with over 850 bird species being identified within its borders. To make the most of your trip, consider one of the many exceptional guided tours on offer. When’s the best time to visit? Mid-December to April when there is plenty of sunshine and the Park looks even more incredible than usual.

Safety in Central America

If those five dream destinations don’t inspire you to pack your bags, we don’t know what will! You may have read some concerning reports of crime in Central America in general but it’s important to remember that these are the exception and not the rule. Stay in the recommended tourist areas to ensure you have the best trip possible.

So there you have it, our top picks for places to visit in Central America. For more ideas to add to your Central American bucket list check out blog posts from Viva Tropical and Indie Traveller. Whether you’re after an action-packed or relaxing getaway, this incredible subcontinent really does have something for everyone.

Those travelling to Central America are strongly advised to book an appointment at a local TMB Clinic to find out which vaccinations they require and get the best health and safety travelling tips. Illnesses such as typhoid, hepatitis A and rabies are rife in countries like Belize and El Salvador so it’s best to take all the necessary precautions before you travel.

Tips For Solo Travellers

Tips For Solo Travellers

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Planning a trip alone? Our tips for solo travellers should help you get prepared for your adventure.

After months of hemming and hawing you’ve finally decided to go for it and embark on your first solo trip. Exciting times ahead! Whether it’s for a weekend or a year, travelling solo takes courage and you need to be as prepared as possible. These tips for solo travellers will get you ready for your adventure and help you feel at ease.

Plan your trip:

Travellers are told time and time again that it’s best not to organise a trip too much and simply see where the wind takes you. While you may want to adjust your itinerary slightly depending on who you meet or where takes your fancy, it is definitely advisable to plan ahead as a solo traveller. Sorting out your accommodation and transport for the first stint of your journey will help to ease your mind before you set off. You can relax in the knowledge that, at the very least, you will be able to get from A to B and have a roof over your head. This leaves you with plenty of time to focus on the important stuff when your trip kicks off – meeting new people, embracing the local culture and making everyone at home mad with jealousy.

Meet other travellers:

Solo travel is fantastic because it gives you total independence – you can develop an itinerary that suits your interests and incorporates your dream destinations without having to consult anyone else.  The downside of this is that many solo travellers experience, at one time or another, feelings of loneliness. This doesn’t have to be the case. Make an effort to meet like-minded people while you travel and you’ll be too busy having fun to think about what everyone is up to back home. Staying in hostels is a sure-fire way to meet fellow solo travellers. If you’d like to mingle with locals join a Couchsurfing meetup group and discover hotspots off the beaten track. Eat With A Local is also a great website to check out if you want to indulge in some local cuisine while making new friends overseas.

Discover new hobbies:

Remember that book you kept putting down because of a work assignment or that photography project that never took off due to time constraints? Now’s your chance! Travelling solo gives you the opportunity to relinquish old interests and discover new ones. Outside of the 9-5 routine you’ll have plenty of time to focus on yourself and the things that make you happy. Signing up to group activities is effectively killing two birds with one stone – you meet fellow travellers while also focusing on your favourite pastime. Befriend a fellow foodie on that Italian cookery course, be pushed to your limits on that Peruvian trek or get your creative juices flowing on an Indian artists’ retreat.  The options really are endless!

Focus on the practicalities:

Minimise the chance of something going wrong by taking all of the necessary precautions before you go. Make sure you have all of the vaccinations you require for your destination of choice. Nasty illnesses such as diphtheria, rabies and typhoid are more commonplace than you’d think and your chances of catching these are much, much higher if you don’t get your vaccinations.  You really don’t want to find yourself in a foreign hospital bed feeling entirely alone. While you’re at it, get yourself decent travel insurance that covers all of the length of your trip, countries you will be visiting and any specific activities you might end up doing. This is an absolute must for solo travellers who do not have a support system at hand.

Stay connected:

Imagine what it was like for solo travellers before the age of the smart phone, tablet and widespread wifi. These days it’s easy to stay connected with friends and family all around the globe. Record your trip on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so loved ones at home can have a real insight into your everyday life on the road. Make the most of apps such as Backpackr, GonnaGo and Travlrapp to make new friends in the different countries you visit. And there’s nothing like the good old-fashioned blog to let you cement your journey in cyberspace.

Whether you’re making for the tropical islands of Thailand or interrailing your way across Europe, these useful tips will help to take the edge off your upcoming solo adventure. As clichéd as it sounds, travelling on your own will work wonders for your self-confidence and, with a little preparation, you’re sure to have an incredible time. Just don’t forget your selfie stick!

Solo travellers are advised to book an appointment at a TMB Clinic to find out more about vaccinations they may require and to get the best tips about how to travel safely.

Backpacking Tips

Backpacking Tips

Packing Tips for Travelling Abroad

Backpacking tips to get the most from your trip

It’s easy to get side-tracked when planning your first backpacking trip by thinking of nothing more than amazing beaches, vibrant cities and mouth-watering cuisine. Organising visas, travel insurance and vaccinations might seem like a hassle but this is necessary to ensure you have the best trip possible. Here are some backpacking tips you should consider before setting off on your journey.

Travel insurance

Yes, you really do need it! Travel insurance is essential for backpackers who will find themselves in an array of completely different environments. You definitely don’t want to end up covering the costs if your bag disappears from that overnight bus, your flight is cancelled or the local food has some unpleasant consequences on your health. At the very least, having travel insurance gives you, and your loved ones at home, peace of mind. There are several excellent price comparison sites online which allow you to easily see which policy is best suited to your trip and budget.

Vaccinations

Prevention is better than cure. Research the countries you will be visiting and make sure you get the recommended vaccinations. Developing countries such as Cambodia, Thailand, Mexico and Brazil are home to some nasty diseases such as typhoid, yellow fever or malaria. Getting jabs before you leave means that you’re a lot less likely to have your cut your trip short because of an illness. Being laid up in a foreign hospital where you don’t speak the language is not fun.

Tourist Visas

Thought you could just rock up and charm your way through security? Not always the case. You’ll need to look into the visa requirements for the places you want to backpack through. In some countries, such as Malaysia and Indonesia, you can get a visa on arrival. Others, like Myanmar and China, require a trip to the embassy before you arrive. While you’re at it, make sure you have cash in the correct currency to pay for your visa and that your passport is in date.

Backpacking Budget

Check out travel blogs to get a sense of how much it costs to backpack around your destinations of choice. You don’t want to have to cut your trip short or beg off your parents because of some careless planning. You’ll get a lot more bang for your buck in South East Asia or South America but it’s also important to factor in unexpected costs. Your phone charger might break, a must-do activity might be more expensive than anticipated and you may insist on ordering shots for the whole hostel when you’ve had a few too many.

Packing your backpack

Less really is more. Backpacking is tiring and it’s a whole lot tougher if you’re dragging around more weight than you need. It’s not uncommon for backpackers to ditch perfectly good clothing or unread books at the start of their journey, all because their shoulders ache and their backs can’t quite take it anymore. Just bring the basics! It’s easy to pick up toiletries and cheap clothing on the well-worn backpacking trail. There really is no need for that can of hairspray or extra pair of shoes. Check out blog posts from Hostelbookers and Nomadic Matt for more advice on how to pack your backpack.

There’s a lot to cover but getting these practicalities sorted means you can enjoy your trip and really get the most out of it. Travelling can be daunting but being well prepared will definitely help you to feel more secure and confident.

Vaccinations Cambodia

Vaccinations Cambodia

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What vaccinations will I need for Cambodia?

Cambodia is a country steeped in amazing history and gorgeous scenery, however, there are certain health risks to those who choose to travel there.

Prior to setting off to explore this amazing country, travellers should make sure they are properly vaccinated against any infections or diseases that have the potential to ruin their trip.

There are three different vaccinations that medical professionals strongly recommend for visitors to Cambodia to get. Find out more about these vaccinations below.

Tetanus Vaccination

One of the main characteristics of tetanus is severe and painful muscular contractions. These contractions occur particularly in the jaw and are one of the reasons that tetanus has become known as “lock jaw”. The bacteria that causes tetanus enters the body through deep wounds or cuts.  It then begins to attack the central nervous system. Tetanus can prove fatal in some cases so visitors to Cambodia should make the effort to protect against it. Another important thing to note about tetanus is that recovering from the disease does not prevent further attacks so patients will need active vaccination.

Hepatitis A Vaccination

Hepatitis A is caused by a virus that attacks the liver and is usually contracted through exposure to contaminated water and food. It is particularly prevalent in areas where there is poor sanitation, which is the case in many areas of Cambodia. Some of the symptoms of hepatitis a include tiredness, upset stomach, muscle pain, fever and a jaundiced look to the skin and eyes. Although sufferers normally recover after a few weeks, some people can have symptoms for up to six months. If you want to make sure you don’t suffer from any of these unpleasant symptoms on your Cambodian getaway, go and get vaccinated.

Typhoid Vaccination

The cause of this infection is a bacterium called S. typhi which can be picked up by eating contaminated food and drinking contaminated water. Like many other illnesses, countries without proper sanitation are at a higher risk of contracting typhoid. Fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation and headaches are some of the main symptoms of typhoid. If left untreated, these symptoms can get worse with some patients developing life threatening complications.  Vaccination is the best way to prevent against catching the infection.

Other vaccinations needed for Cambodia

Travellers considering heading off the beaten track in Cambodia should also consider vaccinating themselves against some other nasty diseases.

Those planning to head trekking are advised to vaccinate themselves against hepatitis B and rabies while anyone visiting more rural areas should vaccinate themselves against diphtheria and meningococcal meningitis. These more “off-the-beaten-track” locations tend to have less sanitation and can be far removed from any medical assistance so getting the correct vaccinations is crucial.

Although Cambodia is a safe place to visit, it is also advised that travellers check the Irish government Department of Foreign Affairs website and the UK government Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice website to make sure there are currently no major issues or events occurring that could impact on their trip.

Vaccinations India

Vaccinations India  
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What vaccinations do I need for India?

India is a very popular destination amongst those seeking adventure and is bursting full of amazing things to see and do. However, travelling to India does carry some health risks. Before setting off, travellers should make sure they are protected against any health hazards that could potentially ruin their trip.

Although there are no compulsory vaccinations required for entry to India, there are some that are strongly recommended. Find out what these vaccinations are below.

Tetanus Vaccination

The bacteria that causes tetanus is mainly found in soil, animal faces and dust. The bacteria enters the body through cuts or wounds and begins to release a toxin that affects nerves, muscles and motor neurons. This subsequently results in painful muscle spasms, particularly in the jaw. Other symptoms also include fever, sweating, increased heart rate and high blood pressure. Catching and surviving tetanus does not mean a person is immune from contracting it again so active immunization is needed.

Hepatitis A Vaccination

The hepatitis A virus attacks the liver leading to inflammation. It can cause sufferers to develop flu like symptoms as well as stomach pain. Jaundice is also a common symptom and is the reason why the disease is known to many as Yellow Jaundice. As India can have poor sanitation in certain areas, travellers are at a higher risk of catching the hepatitis A virus there through contaminated food and water. Although it is a short-term infection, the symptoms of hepatitis A can be unpleasant so getting vaccinated is crucial.

Typhoid Vaccination

Typhoid is contracted from eating contaminated food and water and the often poor sanitation systems in India puts travellers to the country at risk. The classic symptoms of Typhoid are fever, poor appetite, headaches, body aches and diarrhoea, although, some people may present with no symptoms at all. Some patients continue to be carriers of the disease after they have been cured and are often responsible for new outbreaks. Thanks to antibiotics, the mortality rate of Typhoid is low.

Poliomyelitis Vaccination

This is a viral infection that is spread most frequently through the faecal-oral route. The virus then multiplies in the intestine and can cause symptoms such as fever, diarrhoea, vomiting, sore throat, headaches and muscle pains. Severe cases may also lead to paralysis which can be permanent. It is important to note that 90-95% of those infected show no symptoms at all yet these people are still capable of passing the infection on to others. There is currently no cure for polio and it can only be prevented through vaccination.

Other vaccinations required for India

Aside from the above mentioned vaccinations, those venturing to more rural areas, or those who are planning on going trekking, should also consider protecting themselves against a number of other diseases.

More rural parts of India will pose even more threat to travellers’ health so they should consider immunizing themselves against Diphtheria, Tuberculosis, Meningococcal Meningitis and Japanese B Encephalitis.

Anybody considering taking on India’s fantastic trekking routes should also take the time to protect themselves against hepatitis B and rabies.

It is recommended that travellers to these types of areas attend the clinic to get their vaccines earlier than the suggested four to six weeks prior to departure to ensure there is enough time to finish the immunization courses.

TMB also suggest anyone planning a trip to India to consult the Irish government Department of Foreign Affairs website and the UK government Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice website to check the country’s safety status.

India is a magical destination and most travellers should not run in to any problems once they take the suggestions made above on-board.

Vaccinations Brazil

Vaccinations Brazil

brazil Want to know what vaccinations you need for Brazil?

Make sure your trip isn’t ruined by any nasty illness and get the vaccinations you need to protect against any potential health risks.

Brazil is a vast country with many different health and safety factors at play across its different regions. Whether you’re travelling to vibrant Rio or the magical Amazon rainforest, you will need to take the time to vaccinate yourself against any potentially harmful diseases.

Check out Tropical Medical Bureau’s list of recommended vaccinations for Brazil below.

Yellow Fever Vaccination

This vaccination is required for Brazil as it has previously caused epidemics in the Americas. Categorized as an acute viral haemorrhagic disease, Yellow Fever can be potentially fatal if left untreated. The virus itself is spread by mosquitoes and there are an estimated 200,000 cases every year. The word “yellow” in the name refers to the yellow jaundiced appearance that can affect some patients. There is an incubation period of three to six weeks and symptoms range from muscle pain and nausea to a slow pulse and a high fever.

Hepatitis A Vaccination

This a viral liver disease that has an estimated 1.4 million cases every year. Although the disease can kill, most patients recover after a few months of unpleasant illness. Hepatitis A is normally contracted through ingesting contaminated food or water and can also be picked up through direct contact with an infected person. Travellers to areas of Brazil without proper sanitation facilities are at the most risk as faecal matter may cause contamination of water and food. The symptoms of hepatitis A commonly present like flu and patients can also develop jaundice.

Tetanus Vaccination

There are around 1 million cases of tetanus around the world every year and the disease can be lethal in those who have not been immunised. The disease is picked up through cuts or puncture wounds and affects the nervous system, this then leads to painful muscle contractions. In particular, these muscles spasms occur in the jaw which has led to tetanus becoming commonly known as “lockjaw”.  Having and recovering from tetanus does not prevent from further attacks and patients will need to receive active vaccination.

Typhoid Vaccination

This is a bacterial disease that is caught through the consumption of contaminated food or drink. It can take up to three weeks for symptoms to develop after the disease has been caught. These symptoms can range from fever, diarrhoea, and constipation to headaches and a slowing heart rate.  Typhoid is typically treated with antibiotics, however, even after somebody has recovered, they may still pass the disease on to others.

Other vaccinations required for Brazil 

There are other vaccinations that may be needed for Brazil depending on which areas you are planning to travel to. If you are planning on trekking, you may need to be protected against hepatitis B and rabies, while anybody heading to more rural areas may need a vaccination for Tuberculosis, Meningococcal Meningitis and Diphtheria.

Visitors to Brazil should remember that it is a large country with varying levels of medical care which can be less than ideal outside of the main tourist areas. To help combat this, TMB offer a 24/7 emergency help line for registered patients which can prove vital for anyone travelling in rural areas.

It is also advised that anyone visiting Brazil takes the time to inform themselves of the country’s political and safety situation by logging on to the Irish government Department of Foreign Affairs website and the UK government Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice website.

Most travellers to Brazil should not experience any problems with their health providing they take any necessary measures advised by a medical professional.

 

Vaccinations Thailand

Vaccinations Thailand

thailand 2

Wondering what vaccinations you need for Thailand?

If you are planning to travel to Thailand, it is important to make yourself aware of the health risks and vaccinations you may require before you leave. Even though there are no compulsory vaccines for entry to Thailand from Ireland, it is still highly recommended that travellers get certain vaccinations approximately four to six weeks before they leave. These are the vaccinations needed for Thailand that are recommended by the Tropical Medical Bureau.

Tetanus vaccination:

The bacteria that causes tetanus is found in soil and animal faeces and gains entry to humans through cuts in the skin. The initial signs and symptoms include muscle spasms (particularly of the jaw muscles), neck pain, and sore throat. These symptoms may then progress to difficulty eating or swallowing, body spasms, rapid heart rate, fluctuating blood pressure and excessive secretions. Up to 50% of patients can die from this condition so it is important to protect against it wherever possible by receiving a Tetanus vaccination, prior to your trip to Thailand.

Typhoid vaccination:

The typhoid vaccination protects against a bacterial disease that is transmitted through contaminated food and water. Insects may also transfer the disease by carrying contaminated material to food that is eaten by humans. The incubation period for typhoid is in the region of 10 to 14 days after infection and its main symptoms are severe headaches and fever. Patients may also develop diarrhoea and constipation. Typhoid is very contagious and if treatment is not commenced early, some patients may perforate their intestinal wall.

Hepatitis A vaccination:

Hepatitis is most commonly known as Yellow Jaundice in Ireland due to the yellow discolouration it causes in patients. It is caused by a small RNA virus which is easily transferred through water and filtration systems due to its size. Aside from water, the disease is mainly transmitted through contaminated fingers and food. Once inside the body, the virus invades liver cells causing flu like symptoms to develop. Although hepatitis A is not life-threatening, infected persons can feel its effects for up to six months and may be off work for up to two months – protect yourself before you travel to Thailand by receiving a Hepatitis A vaccination.

Rabies vaccination:

The rabies vaccination is not recommended for all travellers to Thailand, however, those planning on trekking or staying for longer periods should seek to protect themselves against it. The main way it is contracted is through the bite of a warm-blooded animal. In many patients, no symptoms occur until the final days of the disease when they may experience fever, headaches and numbness.

Hepatitis B vaccination:

Like the rabies vaccination, the hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for travellers who are planning to stay in Thailand longer, or those who are going trekking. It is believed that hepatitis B is about 100 times more infectious to humans than HIV. It is usually contracted through contact with body fluids but insects can also play a part in transmission of the disease. At the beginning stages, patients develop flu-like symptoms such as headaches and joint pain. The majority of people do recover, although, they will be long-term carriers of the disease with the potential to infect others.

Other vaccinations for Thailand

Aside from the diseases mentioned above, anyone wishing to travel to more rural areas may also need to vaccinate themselves against tuberculosis, meningococcal meningitis, Japanese B encephalitis and malaria.

Most travellers will have a fantastic time on their holiday to Thailand and experience all of the incredible things the country has to offer. However, remembering that sickness and infection can occur is important and making sure you’re vaccinated could be the difference between having the holiday of a lifetime or one you would rather forget.

Travellers should also make sure they the check safety and political status of the country they are planning to travel to. The Irish government Department of Foreign Affairs website and the UK government Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice website are two great sources for this kind of information.