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Why do we need a new flu vaccine every year?

The Flue 5

Why do we need a new flu vaccine every year?

It is 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! Here, we share why you should get the new flu vaccination 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%! There really is nothing worse than suffering through the flu. 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. For one, it reduces the severity of your illness. As well, 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! Nobody wants that!

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 at TMB recommend that you receive a flu shot each year. For more information on the benefits of the flu shot, please visit our website or your local TMB clinic. 

How to do a digital detox while on holidays

How to do a digital detox while on holidays

Phone detox

 

Holidays 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!Japan

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!Map

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! phone

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?

the different types of travellers

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!

the different types of travellers

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!

the different types of travellers

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!

the different types of travellersA 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!

the different types of travellers

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.

the different types of travellersIf 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.

How to prevent the flu

Avoid the flu

How to prevent the flu this winter

Wondering how to prevent the flu? You’ve come to the right place! It’s that time of the year again, folks. The days are getting shorter, the weather is noticeably colder and you may find yourself sniffling or struggling to get warm in the evenings. For some, this period marks the beginning of a dreaded malady – the flu! 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. Follow our expert health advice below on ways to avoid catching the flu this year!

Wash your hands

Stay clean and keep the bugs at bay. This may seem like common sense but you’d be surprised how many people become ill over the winter due to bad hygiene. Our top tip is to regularly wash your hands using warm water and soap. Hands are breeding sites for germs so keeping these clean is the first step in preventing colds and the flu.

Avoiding the flu 2

It is a good idea to bring hand sanitizer in your bag to kill any germs on the go.

Keep surfaces clean

Whether it’s your desk in work or your countertop at home, ensure all surfaces are disinfected frequently, to prevent the spread of the flu virus. This doesn’t have to be a back-breaking job. Use disinfectant wipes to quickly get rid of dirt and grime.

Flu vaccination

Getting a flu vaccination between September and October each year greatly reduces your risk of becoming sick. This is particularly advisable for the elderly, international travellers and other high-risk categories.

Avoid the flu 3

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

Avoid people with the flu

It may seem harsh but if your colleague or loved one is ill, try to keep as much distance as possible. Flu germs are highly contagious, spreading like wildfire from the infected. There is no point in both suffering because you are too polite to put yourself first.

Exercise regularly

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.

exercise

Get your heart pumping with a cardio workout to strengthen your body and defences.

Plenty of Vitamin C

Some say it’s an old wife’s tale, others swear by it. Whatever your thoughts, there’s no harm at all in upping your intake of Vitamin C over the winter months. Vitamin C-rich foods, such as citrus fruits, are well-known for protecting against immune system deficiencies. Take a supplement to ensure you are getting the recommended daily allowance.

So you want to know how to prevent the flu? The bottom line is that prevention is key! Ensure your body is in tip-top condition by maintaining excellent personal hygiene, exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet. To make things easier for yourself, invest in a flu vaccination and blaze your way through those winter months!

Health

Worried about getting the flu? Call into your local TMB clinic to find out more about the flu vaccination, which only costs €25.

5 shocking myths about the flu

5 shocking myths about the flu

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.

ctaching the fluIf 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.unwell

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. 

6 safety tips for using public transport when travelling

public transportThere’s no better way to get to know somewhere new than exploring it like a local, and most time that means taking public transport. Public transport is an incredible way to get around, it’s affordable, reliable, better for the environment and, most of the time, easy to use. Even with all of the benefits of public transport, it’s still important to always be aware of your surroundings and to make sure that you are being safe on your holidays. So, here are our top 6 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.

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.

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.

5 Best rainy season holiday destinations

5 best destinations during the rainy seasonTravelling 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.

5 best destinations during the rainy seasonInstead, 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.

5 best destinations during the rainy seasonBut 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.5 best destinations during the rainy season

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

Best backpacking destinations 1Backpacking 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.

Best backpacking destinationsThe 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.Best backpacking destinations 1

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.Best backpacking destinations 2

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.Best backpacking destinations 3 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.

Best backpacking destinations 4With 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

Best cities for foodie.JPG 2One 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.

Best cities for foodie

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.

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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.

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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

Tips for purchasing the right Travel Insurance CoverSo, 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 tripTips for Purchasing the Right Travel Insurance Cover 4

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

Tips for Purchasing the Right Travel Insurance Cover 3Read 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

Tips for Purchasing the Right Travel Insurance Cover 2

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

Tips for Purchasing the Right Travel Insurance Cover

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

Airport Tips

Airport 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.

Airport Tips 4

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.

Airport Tips 3Ring 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.

Businessman Sleeping in an Airplane --- Image by © Creasource/Corbis

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

diving

Diving 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. Diving in the worldThe 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.Diving in the world

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

Unusual honeymoon destinationsStill 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. Honeymoon destinations

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 is 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. South Africa

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

 

TMB student travel bundle offerFantastic 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

South AmericaIf 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.festival

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.

Mexico Museum

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. india 2Not 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

Best group holiday destinations 1Travelling 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.Best group holiday destinations 3JPG

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.India 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

Travelling as a coupleWhy every couple should travel before marriage

Travel is a great way to really get to know your other half. It broadens the mind and is the best way to widen your horizons together. Though there are plenty of opportunities to travel after marriage, we think that it’s good to take an adventure with your partner before the big day too. Here is a list of reasons why every couple should travel before marriage.

To make memories

Create fantastic memories even before you are married. Dating life is different than married life and your adventures are likely to be special too. If you know your partner is the one, travelling is the perfect chance to go on a unique adventure and make long-lasting memories. Plus, this is a terrific way to gather spectacular pictures together for the wedding video montage.

To learn how to compromise

A big part of marriage is to know how to compromise. When you and your partner travel together it is inevitable that you will be confronted with situations that will challenge the two of you. This will force you to make decisions as a team. The test here is how well you both compromise.  Travel is a great way to learn how to meet your partner halfway when making decisions.  This quality is vital for any marriage to work. With travel, you can learn this skill before you get married to help you live happily ever after.

couples

To lighten your bucket list

We all have our bucket list for travel. Going into married life with a completely unchecked list might put some pressure on you and your spouse. Travelling with your partner before marriage gives you the opportunity to put yourselves first.  You often have fewer obligations and more free time before you get married.  Make sure to take advantage of this special period together.

To focus on one another

If you are looking towards marriage, your significant other will eventually be your travel buddy for life. It is important to get to know one another as deeply as you can before the big day. Without the distractions of everyday life, you will have the opportunity to discover additional traits and interests of your partner. This will help you to feel closer to him or her before your big day.

Capture

 

It is not too late

If you are reading this and you are married, don’t think that it is too late! There are many benefits to travelling before marriage, but there are also lots of amazing possibilities 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.

Travel Health

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

how to make friends while travellinHow 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.

How to make friends while travelling

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.how to make friends while travelling

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

Valentine's Day

Have 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.

Valentine's Day

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. Valentine's Day

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

How to unwind on holidaysHow 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.

How to unwind on holidays

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.

How to unwind on holidaysThe 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

retreats in Thailand

Best detox spas and retreats in Thailand -Detox Thailand 

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.retreats in Thailand

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. retreats in Thailand

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.

retreats in Thailand

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

Skiing Holiday TipsSkiing 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.

skiing holiday tips

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.

skiing holiday tips

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.

Visiting friends and relatives overseas

Visiting relatives

Travel health advice for visiting friends and relatives overseas

Christmas is a very popular time to travel with many people returning home to celebrate with loved ones. Such travel has never been easier or more affordable, thanks to the multitude of low-fare airlines on the market and cheap international flights.

Unfortunately, this easy accessibility has increased the risk of diseases moving from country to country. Many travellers visiting friends and relatives overseas do not consider the potential health risks involved.

It’s easy to understand the need to return to one’s homeland – to share stories and create new memories. Adults and children visiting friends and relatives overseas where serious diseases prevail need special care. Take heed of our travel health advice to ensure you remain healthy and safe during your festive break.

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.

travel health advice overseas travel

Travelling with children

Heading back to your home country with your little ones this Christmas? Extra care is needed to ensure they 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 for the festivities. 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 useful while you travel for Christmas. For more travel health tips and advice call your local TMB travel health clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals.

Christmas Travel Tips

Christmas Travel Tips

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

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!

Christmas Travel Tips

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.

Christmas Travel Tips

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.

Christmas Travel Tips

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

Travel tips for travelling while pregnant

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.

Travel tips for travelling while pregnant

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.

Travel tips for travelling while pregnant

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

 

Travel health tips for seniors

 

Travel 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 health tips for seniors

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!

Travel health tips for seniors

Keep others in the loop

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.

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.

How to stay fit while travelling

How to stay fit while travelling

 

How to stay fit while travelling

Staying fit while abroad may not be top of your priority list. However, feeling healthy and happy in your own skin always enhances any travel experience!

Whether it’s jetting off on your next big adventure or heading on a business trip, the change in schedule can throw off anyone’s fitness routine. Keeping fit while traveling can be as easy as just opening your eyes to the options. Wherever you go in the world there is always some physical activity you can do. These tips on how to stay fit while travelling, will help you to feel healthy and energized throughout your journey.

Walking tours

Try your best to walk as much as you can when travelling. Whether you are in a metropolitan city or a tropical island there is usually somewhere safe you can walk. Walking is a great way to burn off a few calories, to keep your metabolism moving and to relax the mind. It’s a workout that does not feel like exercise as it allows you to also explore your new location.

Practice yoga

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, helps travellers to stay fit when abroad. Practice your own yoga routine in the morning or see if there’s a local class available on your travels. Practicing yoga while abroad will truly enrich your travel experience and is a great way to stay in shape.

How to stay fit while travelling

Go Swimming

If your destination is near the sea or pool, there are many things you can do in the water to stay fit. In warm climates, there is nothing better than cooling down with a swim. Swimming laps is always a fantastic full body workout. However, if this isn’t for you why not get in the sea and have some fun slashing about or jumping over waves.

Go hiking

Take in the amazing scenery and fresh air of your destination with a hike. Hiking is one of the best ways to stay fit when travelling. It is a great cardio exercise and a good way to connect with nature.  Make sure you have the right footwear and that you pick up the pace to get that heart rate up! It is also important to take a bottle of water with you to keep hydrated at all times.

Travel Health

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.

How to check if a travel agency is legitimate

How to check if a travel agency is legitimateFind 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.

How to check if a travel agency is legitimate

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 choose insect repellent

How to choose insect repellent How to choose insect repellent

Our top tips on how to choose insect repellent

Whether you are young or old travelling to distant lands or just out to your back garden, you should be thinking about the different kinds of insect repellent that you need.

Insect bites can put a dampener on any holiday, especially the bites that leave itchiness and redness on the skin for days. Depending on where you travel, insect repellent can be a necessity as some insect bites could cause harm and illness. This is why knowing how to choose insect repellent based on your needs is so important.

How to choose insect repellent: DEET or Non-DEET 

It is important to know the difference between DEET insect repellents and Non-DEET insect repellents when choosing the right repellent for you.

What is DEET?

DEET is simply the common name for N.N-Diethyl-m-toluamide. It has been used as an effective insect repellent since it was invented in the 1940s. 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.  A product containing up to 30% DEET usually lasts for six hours, and up to 10% (recommended for kids age six months to 12 years) can last three hours.

Why do people choose to not use Non-DEET?

People with sensitive skin or babies under six months, you can use Non-DEET insect repellent that relies on natural ingredients, like eucalyptus or oil of lemon, to deter insects.

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

How to choose insect repellent

How to choose insect repellent: Lotion or spray

Knowing how to choose your insect repellent goes deeper than the ingredients in the product; the application of your repellent is also very important.

Although not everyone likes the feeling of cream, it is a good source of protection as you can control where it’s going.  However, a spray can be used on both your clothes and your skin, increasing your protection.

Our top insect repellent tip is to reapply the product when necessary, (which will be written on the label), or if you have been swimming or sweating.

If you do not like to use product on their skin, there are candles and lamps that release repellent, and they do help (although avoid inhaling them). However, remember because they are only around you and not on you, they won’t do the whole job, as an application directly to your skin is always the most effective.

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, telling you all you need to know about vaccinations and insect bite prevention.

How to budget for 6 months travelling

Budget for 6 months travelling

How 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!Budget for 6 months travelling

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.Budget for 6 months travelling

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

10 best places to travel alone10 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.10 best places to travel alone

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!10-best-places-to-travel-alone

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.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.  10 best places to travel alone

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.
10 best places to travel alone

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

How to stay healthy on the roadHow 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.How to stay healthy on the road

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.How to stay healthy on the road

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.
How to stay healthy on the road

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!How to stay healthy on the road

 

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

learn from travelling, travelling with kids, childhood development, building confidence in kids, travelling as a family

5 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.

learn from travelling, travelling with kids, childhood development, building confidence in kids, travelling as a family

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.

learn from travelling, travelling with kids, childhood development, building confidence in kids, travelling as a family

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

Best places to visit in South America

Best 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.

Columbia

 

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.   Chili

 

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.

Peru

Travel health

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

6th year holiday costs

How 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.6th year holiday costs

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. 6th year holiday costs

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.

6th year holiday costs

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

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.

Driving Garden 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!

Driving Garden-Route

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

ways to prevent food poisoning

Top 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.ways to prevent food poisoning

 

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.

ways to prevent food poisoning

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

Airport layovers

Airport 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.

Airport layovers

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.

Airport layovers

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.Airport layovers

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

Preventing problems when travelling with friends 1Preventing 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.

Preventing problems when travelling with friends2

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.

Preventing problems when travelling with friends 3

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 islands in Thailand for backpackers

Best Islands in Thailand for Backpackers 1Best 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 sun.

Whether 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 hoping experience, here is a run down of what our customers have voted the best islands in Thailand for backpackers.

 

Best Islands in Thailand for Backpackers 2

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 specialties 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!

Best Islands in Thailand for backpackers 3

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 offers 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 with TMB’s amazing student travel offer. The TMB Summer Student Travel Deal covers all of your travel medical needs from only €133. This great price means that you can save your money to help make lifelong memories on your travels!

Best holiday destinations for students

best holiday destinations for students 3

Explore 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!

best holiday destinations for students 1

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.

best holiday destinations for students 2

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

Tips for travelling with a toddler on a plane

Tips 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.

Tips for travelling with a toddler on a plane

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.

Tips for travelling with a toddler on a plane

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

Dubai travel tips 2

Dubai 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.

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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.

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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

safari in South Africa

Safari 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.

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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.

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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

flu outbreak 1

Beware 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.

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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.

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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.

Packing tips for travelling abroad

packing tips

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 Europe, Asia, or India, 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 travelling to one or many destinations 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.

 

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.

Top tips for choosing a yoga retreat

top tips for choosing a yoga retreat

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.

top tips for choosing a yoga retreat

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

monsoon season in South East Asia

Travelling 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 in Southeast Asia

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.

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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

Travelling alone

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Travelling alone

 

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.Travelling alone

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.