All posts by TMB

Best detox spas and retreats in Thailand

kike-vega-F2qh3yjz6Jk-unsplash (1)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.

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

New Leaf Detox – weight loss retreat

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

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

Banyan Tree – Luxury spa

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

Museflower Retreat – mindfulness retreat

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

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

Travel Health

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

Skiing Holiday Tips

maarten-duineveld-pmfJcN7RGiw-unsplashSkiing Holiday Tips

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

Rent equipment

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

Dress appropriately

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

Beware of the sun

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

Get skiing lessons

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

Exercise before you go

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

Get travel insurance

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

Travel Health

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

Christmas Travel Tips

Christmas Travel Tips

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Take advantage of our Christmas travel tips

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

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

Secure your bookings

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

Plan connecting flights carefully

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

Think about vaccinations

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

Be digital – Christmas Travel Tips

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

Be careful with food and drinks

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

Solo travellers

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

 

Be smart with your Christmas gifts

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

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

Travel Health

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

Travel tips for travelling while pregnant

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

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

Visit the doctor first

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

Time your trip right

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

Wear comfortable clothing

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

Check the airline requirements

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

Pick your flight seat strategically

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

Stretch – travelling while pregnant

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

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

Wear a seat belt

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

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

Stay hydrated

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

Travel Health

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

Travel health tips for seniors

 

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

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

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

Consult with your doctor before you travel

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

Have your medication on you at all times

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

Get the right vaccinations

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

Take your time – Travel health tips for seniors

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

Travel insurance

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

Keep your valuables secure while travelling

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

Watch what you eat

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

Inquire about senior discounts

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

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

Travel Health

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

How to check if a travel agency is legitimate

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

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

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

Check that the travel agency is licensed

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

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

Check the value for money

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

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

Phone a friend

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

Make sure you’ve got the right paperwork

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

Travel health

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

How to budget for 6 months travelling

Packing Tips for Travelling AbroadHow to budget for 6 months travelling

Discover how to budget for 6 months travelling

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

Choose your destinations with your budget in mind

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

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

Flights

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

Visas

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

Travel insurance

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

Vaccinations

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

What to bring – Budget for 6 months travelling

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

Accommodation

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

Transportation

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

Food

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

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

Travel health

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

10 best places to travel alone

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

Discover the 10 best places to travel alone

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

Peru

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

Argentina

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

Alaska

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

China, Hong Kong

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

Cuba

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

Thailand – 10 best places to travel alone

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

Costa Rica

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

Brazil

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

Australia, Sydney

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

Travel health

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

How to stay healthy on the road

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

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

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

Hydration is key

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

Pack smart snacks

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

Get stretching

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

Be careful in the sun

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

Sleep

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

Keep clean

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

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

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

Study basic first aid

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

Get advice before you travel

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

5 lessons kids can learn from travelling

travel after coronavirus5 lessons kids can learn from travelling

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

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

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

Gain a new perspective

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

Learn about themselves

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

Build confidence

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

Appreciate new cultures

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

Break out of their comfort zone

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

So, get those bags packed – the world awaits!

Travel health

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

Best places to visit in South America

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

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

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

Columbia

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

Brazil

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

brazil

Argentina

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

Chile

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

Peru

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

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

How to reduce 6th year holiday costs

Group TravelHow to reduce 6th year holiday costs

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

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

Create a holiday budget and stick to it

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

Pack essentials

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

Weigh and measure your luggage

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

Avail of student discounts

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

Take advantage of free WiFi

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

Choose to eat in – 6th year holiday costs

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

Travel health

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

Driving the Garden Route – Safety Dos and Don’ts

Driving the Garden Route – Safety Dos and Don’ts

How to stay safe while driving the Garden Route

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

Be prepared

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

Safest ways to travel

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

Safest places to see  – Driving the Garden Route

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

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

Foods to eat or not to eat

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

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

Travel Health

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

Top 5 ways to prevent food poisoning while travelling

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

Follow our top 5 ways to prevent food poisoning while travelling

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

Avoid uncooked food

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

Bottled water

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

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

Avoid ice

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

Eat where it is busy and where locals are dining

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

Be cautious of dairy

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

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

Food poisoning treatment

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

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

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

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

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

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

Come prepared

Prepare by bringing along supplies as a source of entertainment. Some airports have Wi-Fi restrictions so try not to be dependent on them. Whether you bring your laptop, tablet or smartphone, make sure to load it up with your favourite movies, books and music in advance. Netflix also have some movies and series that you can download and later watch offline. Whatever device you choose, it is important to bring chargers to keep your electronics going.

Pack a change of clothes, a small deodorant and baby wipes in your hand luggage. Airport layovers are better when you feel comfortable and refreshed.

Exercise

It is easy to feel tired and sluggish between flights. After sitting on a plane for hours, it is important to do some exercise when you can. If you are not shy, bring a yoga mat and find a quiet area in the airport to do some stretches. This will help you to use the time and to feel revitalised. If yoga isn’t for you, take a stroll or brisk walk around the airport. Some airports such as San Francisco International Airport offer fitness centres or free yoga rooms – make sure to do your research to see what is available.

 

Get a lounge pass – airport layovers

Many international airports offer lounge passes to purchase. Whether you are alone or with someone, a lounge pass is a good investment. Teas, coffees and food can be expensive at airports. Not only is a lounge a great place to relax, but food and beverages are included. A Lounge pass will help you to feel refreshed and ready for that fabulous holiday or business trip that’s ahead of you.

Sleep

Overnight airport layovers are the right time to catch up on some sleep. If you are lucky to have a travelling partner, find a comfortable area and take turns sleeping. This means someone can watch the bags at all times. If you are alone, wear a waist bag under your clothes. This will ensure your cards, money, passport and any other important documents are safe.

Some big airports, such as Amsterdam have a Yotel inside their terminals. If you would like a bed and a shower without the hassle of leaving the airport, this is perfect for you. Visit the airports website to check if there is a Yotel near you!

Can you leave the airport on a layover?

Whether you can leave the airport depends on a number of factors. You will have to go through customs and immigration if you want to leave the airport. Make sure you have the appropriate visa, documents and time to get in and out of the country without stress.

If it is suitable for you to leave the airport, take advantage of this and go on a little adventure. Do some research on the city you are in, maybe you want to visit a museum, ancient ruins or you just want to try the local food. Some airlines offer complimentary excursions to their guests, so make sure to ask a member of their staff about all your options.

Travel health

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

 

 

Preventing problems when travelling with friends

Group TravelPreventing problems when travelling with friends

Follow our simple tips to help make the most out of travelling with your friends.

Nothing strengthens a friendship like making memories of exploring some new and exciting places together. A trip away with friends can be the most wonderful experience but it can also be stressful and tense at times. Travelling with someone for the first time can truly make or break the friendship. Whether you are planning a trip with your best friends or new friends it is important to put in some time and effort to ensure the trip runs smoothly for everyone. Preventing problems when travelling with your friends is easy if you follow our few simple tips in advance of your adventure.

Outline your holiday goals

Before you and your friends confirm any airline or accommodations bookings, it is important to consider what everyone wants to accomplish. Get together to discuss the trip and establish if you have the same type of holiday in mind. Individuals should talk about their needs, goals and preferences to measure if they are compatible travellers. One friend may be adventurous, social and interested in cultures. The other may be more of an introvert, loves shopping and staying by the poolside. It is crucial to recognize that even your closest of friends may not be the best travel partners for you.

Make an itinerary

Do you like to get up early or sleep in? A discussion about day-to-day routines is vital. It is a good idea to make an itinerary in advance to eliminate the possibility of future disputes. Individuals should lay out what their expectations are for the type of holiday they have selected. There is no point having your heart set on scuba diving in Asia or on  jungle treks in South America if your friends want to just lay on the beach all day. Tell your friends what you want to do, discuss your objectives and make your plan.

Remember it is perfectly fine to break away from the group. Include some ‘me time’ in your itinerary.

Consider budgets –  Preventing problems when travelling with friends

Money can be a sensitive subject but it is important to consider everyone’s budget to avoid any conflict later. Are you the type of traveller who likes to splurge on accommodation and expensive meals? What you may consider affordable may not be the same as your friends, so make sure to be specific. Talk about the level of luxury you are willing to pay for to eliminate awkward situations in the future.

Health awareness

One of the benefits of travelling with your friends is having someone you can trust by your side at all times. It is essential when travelling with friends to be honest with any health issues you have. If you have any allergies to food, animals or medicines make sure to inform them. Similarly, if you have a pre-existing medical condition, discuss it a friend in the case of any emergencies.

Organisation

Preventing problems when travelling with friends begins with organisation. It is crucial for everyone to be equally prepared for the trip and this is particularly important when packing. Discuss what is necessary for your trip. Carrying a heavy rucksack is difficult if travelling through South East Asia or South America. Make your luggage lighter by sharing the load with your friends.

Thinking of travelling with friends this summer? Pay a visit to your local TMB clinic before travelling, find out about the recommended vaccinations for your chosen destination.

Best holiday destinations for students

Group TravelExplore the world with our 2017 best holiday destinations for students.

It has never been easier to travel and our list of the best holiday destinations for students will help you gain experience before heading into the real world! Students nowadays are not shy to travel, they do not lack confidence, on the contrary, most like to be independent and to gain a real sense of freedom away from parents, books and lecture halls.

TMB want to help you stay safe and well while abroad! Our amazing student travel offer for Summer 2017 covers all of your travel medicine needs – from consultations to vaccinations and even some very handy travel accessories from only €133! With this amazing student travel deal, there is no excuse not to travel! Explore new horizons and see the world with some of our best holiday destinations for students.

Thailand

Thailand is undoubtedly one of the best holiday destinations for students and is on almost everyone’s bucket list today. This beautiful and sunny destination has so much to offer students at an affordable cost. With mountains to climb, beaches to sunbathe on, jungles to trek and world-class cities to explore, there is no wonder why thousands of students visit Thailand every summer.

Thailand offers students a variety of attractions and activities to see and do. Whether you want to let loose and party, see the stunning cultural and historical sites, or do both, the choice is yours in Thailand. Koh Phi Phi, is well worth a visit. This island has a reputation as a party island but it is also a remarkable place to see. Here, you can visit Maya Bay, where you can get that picture-perfect Instagram shot! The Beach movie was filmed on this idyllic island. Another spot to see is Chiang Mai. Recognised as one of Thailand’s cultural hubs, it is home to many temples and landmarks. Don’t miss the Elephant Nature Park – a wonderful sanctuary devoted to rescuing elephants across Northern Thailand. You will be able to spend a day learning about elephants, bathing and feeding them for a unique and rewarding experience.

Thailand may be slightly further afield but it is very accessible today so don’t waste any time and start planning your next adventure with our new TMB student travel deal!

India

A new popular holiday destination for students is India. Tour villages, visit some of the most beautiful ancient historical monuments in the world and see the Triangle Taj Mahal for a holiday like no other. India is perfect for students who want to discover a different part of the world. A trip to the great Himalayas national Park is highly recommended for students who love the great outdoors.

India is such a big country, it may seem daunting for students to plan this trip, luckily we have already put together some India Travel Tips as a guide to make planning your dream holiday easy. Now all that remains is to find a cheap flight, and be on your way.

Peru

Peru is one of the most exciting and best holiday destinations for students who love to experience the culture of times past. It holds many historical remains of the Inca empire, one of the most fascinating civilizations in history.

The Inca Trail is one of the top five treks in the world and has become a very sought-after challenge with students. It is included as one of the New Seven Wonders of the world. Experience first-hand the breath-taking mountain scenery, subtropical jungle, ancient ruins and tunnels and the famous Inca paving stones. The trek itself finishes at the magnificent Machu Picchu. Reaching Machu Picchu is a mind-blowing experience and an incredible achievement to have under your belt.

Peru is also a great destination for aspiring surfers on a budget, or students who want to experience traditional sightseeing and the beach life in one trip. Peru offers something different for students with boundless activities and sites to see.

Travel health

With summer only around the corner, it is time to start planning your next adventure! Those students travelling to any of our top student destinations are strongly advised to book an appointment at a local TMB clinic and speak to a trained professional about the vaccinations required, which is included in our fantastic student offer for Summer 2017.

 

Tips for travelling with a toddler on a plane

eva-darron-oCdVtGFeDC0-unsplashTips for travelling with a toddler on a plane

Parents from around the world often worry about flying with their children so we’ve put together some of our to tips for travelling with a toddler on a plane.

With summer approaching, there is no better time to start preparing for your trip abroad. We are here to help! Our top tips for travelling with a toddler on a plane will ensure a stress-free journey for you and your child.

Flying with a toddler on your lap

Until your little one’s second birthday, your child is legally allowed fly for free on your lap. Toddlers are completely mobile, intolerant, and incapable of all reasoning at the most inconvenient moments.

Regardless of how well behaved your toddler may be, flying with him/her on your lap is not an easy task. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you are flying with a partner, older children or friend, they can give you a break while keeping your little-one entertained. If you are on your own, don’t panic, there is often a flight attendant or kind person willing to engage with your toddler.

Book nonstop flights when possible

This may seem obvious but the cheaper connecting flights may not be worth the hassle. It is impossible to predict how your child will find their flying experience. Whether they are restless, frightened or experiencing travel sickness or ear pain, you don’t want them to have to through this twice or more. It is worth the investment to book direct flights when possible to avoid extra distress.

A connecting flight is sometimes the only option depending on your destination. The key to a successful layover is not to waste this period by allowing your toddler to nap. It is a good time to let your toddler get the wiggles out. Flight gates are often crammed with people. Go find an isolated area and let your toddler run around and burn off some energy before boarding.

Request an aisle seat

Trying to keep a lively toddler on your lap for a long flight is a tough endeavour. Don’t be tempted by the window seat views, this position will present you with problems later on. Toddlers need to move and have easy access to the toilets. An aisle seat can give you freedom and space.  Plan to spend some time in the aisle getting a little exercise. It is important to stay out of flight attendant’s’ way, walk and take toilet breaks between the food and beverages service times.

Carry essentials – tips for travelling with a toddler on a plane

The right carry-on bag can make your journey a lot easier. A canvas tote or backpack with convenient zipped departments will hold everything you might need to reach quickly. A first aid kit is vital for any journey. Pack away the essentials and any medication that you or your child may require throughout the duration of the flight. Plasters, antihistamines and painkillers can save a lot of stress later on.

Snacks

Avoid sweets, this is one of our top tips for travelling with a toddler on a plane. Resist the temptation to spoil them on a long journey. Pack a mixture of savoury snacks like cheese cubes, breadsticks, fruit and raisins to avoid an uncontrollable sugar rush. The air conditioning on a plane can cause dehydration, make sure you and your little one drink plenty of water.

The cups on airplanes are not toddler friendly. Bring a spill-resistant drinking bottle such as a straw cup to avoid awkward spillages on you or even the person sitting next to you. A small bottle can be tucked into the seat pocket in front of you.

Bring extra supplies

Preparation and organisation are one of our crucial tips for travelling with a toddler on a plane. Entertainment, like colouring and sticker books, drawing paper and other small toys are great for keeping your little one amused and preoccupied during the flight.

If your toddler is still at the nappy stage don’t forget to pack spares in your carry-on. Baby wipes can be used for multiple purposes including washing hands, wiping down tables and of course cleaning your baby’s bottom. You don’t want to forget them.

Travel health

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

Dubai travel tips – things to know before visiting

wael-hneini-QJKEa9n3yN8-unsplashDubai travel tips – things to know before visiting

Make the most out of your adventure with our Dubai travel tips.

Dubai, leaping up from the Arabian desert is a diverse city that boasts a variety of wonderful attractions. There is a lot more to Dubai than fabulous hotels and extraordinary skyscrapers. The city is full of ambition from extravagant malls to some of the most modern constructions and the largest artificial islands in the world! If you have never been to this incredible destination our Dubai travel tips will help you to make the most out of your visit.

Weather

The best time to visit Dubai is between October and April. Enjoy clear skies with warm temperatures that hover around 27 degrees Celsius. This weather is perfect for exploring the cities magnificent outdoor wonders like Dubai Miracle Garden. The summer months are not quite as welcoming with temperatures usually reaching up to 50 degree Celsius. Travelling around can be incredibly unpleasant with extreme heat and humidity. The city prepares for the heat with running air-conditioning in most buildings and transport vehicles but a trip during the peak season does make for a more enjoyable trip.

What clothing to wear

A sun hat, sun glasses and sun screen are the essentials for maximum sun protection in Dubai. The sun is very intense and can be tiring. Wear light clothing and avoid dark colours that attract sunlight.

Dubai welcomes people from across the globe. While Dubai has an incredibly relaxed atmosphere, it is important to remember that it is an Islamic state and certain sensibilities should be respected. Revealing too much skin can offend the locals and can be considered a criminal offense. Beachwear and bikinis should be limited to hotel swimming pools. Dress to impress but avoid any trouble by dressing appropriately also. This is one of the Dubai travel tips you don’t want to forget.

Clubs and alcohol – Dubai travel tips

There is an endless list of fantastic bars and clubs in Dubai city, however some clubs are not licenced to sale alcohol. If you are looking to enjoy an alcoholic drink or two make sure to do your research on each venue to avoid disappointment. There is a zero tolerance for drunk and disorderly behaviour in this city. Enjoy the cities glamourous scene by drinking only in places where alcohol is permitted.

Transport

Walking in Dubai is restricted by the heat and lack of pedestrian pathways. The city is vast and quite spread out with large roads and motorways in-between. Driving in Dubai is not for the fainthearted and with little public transport available the best option to get around is by taxi. All taxis in Dubai are metered and can be ordered or hailed from the street. The cost of a taxi is reasonable but try to avoid travelling during the peak times.

Visiting the desert

A trip to the desert can be an amazing experience. From sand boarding to group drumming sessions to star watching, there is something for everyone. The dessert endures extreme climate conditions so it is important bring a few basics to avoid any complications. Carry a bottle of water with you always. It is vital to stay hydrated so drink plenty of H2O throughout the day. Be prepared for any situation with your own first aid kit. This can carry disinfectant spray, sun cream, burn cream and any personal medication you may need.

Travel Health

Thinking of travelling to Dubai? Pay a visit to your local TMB clinic before travelling, find out about the recommended vaccinations for Dubai and get expert advice on how to avoid falling ill on your travels.

Safari in South Africa – the ultimate guide to wildlife

safariSafari in South Africa  – the ultimate guide to wildlife

A safari in South Africa offers a trip through the wilderness that allows you to enjoy all of the natural beauty this amazing destination offers.

It is all about the thrilling and exciting activities such as driving through the jungle, coming face to face with wild animals, hiking and experiencing the rich flora and fauna of the exotic region.

South Africa has a lot of places to offer to wildlife lovers from around the world. If you are one of those real wildlife safari enthusiasts, then a safari in South Africa is the right place for you.

Choose the right wildlife safari for you

The first step in planning your safari in South Africa should be to choose the type of safari you would like to go on. Whether you are backpacking alone, travelling with a family, or looking for a romantic honeymoon safari, there are many different types of safaris to decide on. A safari in South Africa gives you countless options, experience a mobile safari, beach safari, birding safari, honeymoon safari or an adventure and activities safari. South Africa has it all, so do your research and find what type of safari best suits you.

South Africa’s wildlife

The “Big 5” is a term used to describe Africa’s most dangerous, yet most popular, game animals and consists of the lion, leopard, elephant, Cape buffalo and the black rhino. The white rhino is also included today due to the rarity of seeing the endangered black rhino. Although most of us have seen and heard of these animals from books and documentaries, there is nothing quite like seeing these magnificent creatures in the flesh.

As well as being home to the “Big 5” safaris, South Africa is a fantastic place to spot some of the most interesting and rare species of birds and reptiles. To enhance your experience, it is a good idea to learn a bit about these animals before your trip.

Destinations for safari in South Africa

Africa is the world’s second largest continent with extraordinary nature just waiting to be discovered. Its landscape is incredibly diverse with lush green plains, vibrant marshland, and dessert land. South Africa hosts various safari destinations that offer many types of accommodation. From affordable bush camps (Botswana safari) to luxury safari lodges by the ocean (Mozambique safari) there is an endless list of destinations to meet everyone’s needs.

Budget

Whether you are travelling alone or in a group you must decide on your budget. A safari in South Africa is not cheap but it can be affordable. You can choose to go on an all-inclusive safari holiday or do the planning and organising yourself – the choice is yours. Before you go you must consider vaccinationsvisas, travel insurance and safari essentials. Preparation is key when trying to stick to a budget.

The essentials for safari in South Africa

Carrying a medical kit is vital for a safari in South Africa. It should be on top of the priorities list in case of emergencies. Always make sure to bring your kit along with you each day and add any personal medication that you need.

It is crucial to bring suitable clothing to suit all weather conditions of your chosen destination. Comfort and quality are important for your safari adventure. Do not forget your camera, capture spectacular moments, and make your memories last forever with stunning photographs.

Remember travel adapters, memory cards and an extra set of batteries if needed for any of your electrical equipment.

Travel health

Thinking of going on a safari in South Africa? Book an appointment at one of TMB’s 20 clinics nationwide to speak with a qualified consultant who will offer advice on how to stay safe while away and information about all the required vaccinations.

Beware of flu outbreak across Ireland

how to prevent the fluBeware of flu outbreak across Ireland

Due to recent flu outbreak, hospitals throughout Ireland are reporting a significant rise in the amount of people being admitted with winter-related illnesses.

According to the latest figures released by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSPC), who are in charge of monitoring the spread of infectious diseases, the amount of people falling ill with flu-like symptoms has tripled throughout Ireland in the last five weeks.

Flu outbreak

Most commonly known as the flu, Influenza is an acute viral infection that spreads easily from person to person which can cause annual epidemics during the winter months.

It may be a common complaint but the flu remains a force to be reckoned with – anyone who has experienced its nasty symptoms, which include high fever, a cough, stuffy nose, fatigue and nausea, can testify to this.

The HSPC has warned that this increase in cases is expected to continue until the end of February with Minister for Health Simon Harrison describing it as a very challenging time for Ireland’s health service.

How to prevent the flu

If you are concerned about contracting the flu there are ways to prevent it. Some precautions that you can take everyday are washing your hands regularly, keeping surfaces clean and upping your intake of Vitamin C
over the winter months.

However, the most effective way to protect against the Influenza virus is to get your flu vaccination. Tropical Medical Bureau offer these important vaccinations at their clinics nationwide.

Dr Graham Fry, Medical Director of TMB, says, “It is extremely advisable for those who are susceptible to infection, such as elderly people and those with conditions such as asthma, to protect themselves with a flu vaccination, especially considering the recent flu outbreak. It is also recommended for international travellers, due to crowded conditions at airports and on-board planes.”

The flu vaccination at TMB costs just €25 or €15 as part of a course of vaccinations. There are also group and corporate rates available as well as on-site vaccination services for groups of 20 or more. If you would like to learn more about our group or corporate flu services visit www.tmb.ie/services/group.

For further information or to book an appointment, please contact Tropical Medical Bureau on 1850 487674 or visit www.tmb.ie.

Top tips for choosing a yoga retreat

kike-vega-F2qh3yjz6Jk-unsplash (1)Top tips for choosing a yoga retreat

Enjoy a lifestyle of health and wellness by taking some time out and using these top tips for choosing a yoga retreat abroad. Sometimes it is necessary to remove ourselves from our busy lives to give ourselves the permission to truly relax.

Choosing a Yoga Retreat – Location

There are yoga retreats all over the world, so it is up to you whether you want something by the beach or the mountains. You may be a yogi who enjoys the ocean front view or a nature-lover who likes to be deep in the wilderness, the choice is yours. Location is important because it is the place you will stay for the duration of the retreat. Go to Europe or take the leap to Brazil, Mexico, or India for a tropical experience that is second to none.

Type of Yoga

When choosing your yoga retreat, it is important to know what style of yoga you will be practicing and the levels of yoga they cater for. Research is vital, you want to choose a retreat that suits you and your needs. Some forms of yoga are aimed at fitness, some are aimed at relaxation and others are aimed to integrate body, mind, and inner energies. There are a mystifying range of yoga types from Bikram, Anusara, Ashtanga and more, so if the style of one retreat doesn’t suit you, then keep looking.

Coach and Guide

When you think of a retreat you may think of group sessions between 10 or more but there are always other options. Ask what your intentions are from this experience, whether you want to get your life direction in order, let go of old emotions or you just want to try something new. The right yoga coach can make your experience even better than anticipated. You may want to experience private classes with your own coach who will work with you closely to achieve your goals. You could be happy to get group classes where you learn together and make new friends. Think about what you want and pick a retreat that offers the right coaching for you.

Tips for Choosing a Yoga Retreat – Duration

Are you looking for quality or quantity? Think of the length of the retreat. Consider how much yoga you will practice and what you want to achieve. Some retreats will offer only one class a day, while others offer 2 classes daily and mini-workshops. You may be a person who needs time to adjust and adapt a new routine or a quick learner who falls right into place. Try to be realistic and choose the right retreat duration for you.

Price

A yoga retreat is not cheap but it can be affordable depending on how and where you choose to do it. You may be a yogi who enjoys the luxury retreat with stunning views, private studios, exceptional service with gourmet cuisine and treatments at hand. You may be on the other end of the spectrum and want to be out in the wilderness camping, enjoying the simplicity of nature. When it comes to a budget, you can cut out extra costs by bringing your own materials or by booking an all-inclusive retreat.

Travel Health

We hope you enjoyed our tips for choosing a yoga retreat. Thinking of a yoga retreat abroad? Visit us at one of our TMB clinics and speak to a qualified professional about the different vaccinations you may require.

Travelling during rainy season in Southeast Asia

cambodiaTravelling during rainy season in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is one of the most exciting places to travel to in the world.

With better prices, smaller crowds and this guide, travelling  during rainy season in Southeast Asia can actually be more enjoyable and valuable than going during peak season. Just ensure you are properly prepared before you go!

When is monsoon season?

Monsoon season in Southeast Asia runs from the beginning of July to late September which might have you thinking of constant heat and sunshine, but you must not forget that during this season rainfall is common there too. Expect a warm and humid tropical climate with bursts of rainfall and overcast skies.

Travelling During Rainy Season – Prepare

Whether you are travelling to Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam or Malaysia you should look up the expected weather in each destination in advance. Some regions like Thailand just receive outbursts of rainfall and experience clear blue skies and sunshine for the rest of the day during monsoon season. On the other hand, sometimes countries can have continuous days of sunshine with no or little rainfall, so don’t miss out and plan your travels to get the most out of your trip. Keep up to date with the latest travel news to avoid any disturbances during the monsoon season, such as severe flooding.

Travelling during rainy season – Clothing

With warm temperatures, sunshine and downpours of rain it can be difficult to know what to wear when travelling during rainy season in Southeast Asia.  Pack light and loose clothing to help you stay cool during a sunny day. If there is a sudden outburst of rain you will quickly dry in no time when the sun come out again. Wear sandals or boots with good grip to help you walk around any slippery streets after downpours.

Don’t forget to have a safe place to put your phone or other gadgets to prevent any water damage. Whether you are lying by a beach, on a boat or there is a sudden outburst of rain, a water-resistant bag is a must have during the monsoon season.

Bring mosquito repellent

The warm and humid topical climate is a big attraction for mosquitoes especially during the monsoon season with the addition of some rainfall. Mosquitoes can carry malaria and other diseases that can be harmful. Bring plenty of mosquito repellent to project yourself from being bitten. A portable net over your bed at night is a great way to reduce your chances of getting bitten.

Plan your day

Organisation is key when travelling during the monsoon season. Know when the rainfall periods are due each day and plan to eat or relax at that time. Plan to sight-see and explore during the dry spells to get the most out of your holiday.

Whether you are taking a boat, bus or car allow for extra time in your schedule, slippery roads and uneasy water can cause delays. The natural landscape and wildlife of Southeast Asia is second to none so soak it all up. Unlike flora during the dry season, the landscape is green and lush rather than brown and parched. With less tourists, once you plan your day out right you can have an even better experience and enjoy the sights without the peak season crowds.

Travel Health

If you are travelling during rainy season in South East Asia it is really important that you look after your travel health and are up to date with all your travel vaccinations.

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

Travelling alone – reasons for a solo adventure

philipp-kammerer-6Mxb_mZ_Q8E-unsplash (2)Top reasons for travelling alone

While it is a wonderful experience to travel with family and friends there is something special about travelling alone.

Solo travel is your very own adventure that can be one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do in your life. Whether you are single, in a relationship, introverted or extroverted travelling alone is for you!

Meet New People

The key to meeting new people is to keep an open mind while keeping safety in mind, especially when in unfamiliar land. When you travel with family and friends, while it is a lot of fun, it is difficult to interact outside your group of familiar faces. Travelling alone can be a great opportunity to engage with the locals and make new friends. Whether you have an extroverted or introverted nature you will see yourself reaching out more to socialise with others. The interactions you will make as a solo traveller will be deep and fulfilling as you appreciate the company of others more. Book yourself onto a tour with a group of fellow solo travellers where you can all share your experiences.

Time for Reflection

Take some important ‘me-time’ and go on your own adventure. It can be difficult for us to slow down in our fast paced lives. Travelling alone can be a great opportunity to de-stress and rediscover the true you. Travelling alone encourages you to engage in new activities in new places, and gives you time to both think, reflect and perhaps break some bad habits.

No drama

When there is more than one person traveling, you must be considerate of one another and willing to compromise throughout your holiday. This can work out well, but sometimes if things don’t go to plan the entire trip can be ruined. As a solo traveller you decide what your schedule is and what is on that day’s agenda. While travelling alone you avoid possibilities of drama and gain a great sense of liberation.

Travelling alone is empowering

A successful solo holiday can inspire you in all aspects of your life. Traveling alone may seem daunting at first. We fear the unknown and are sometimes terrified of trying something new. Traveling alone challenges your fears and insecurities. You will gain a great sense of achievement once you have completed your own journey and this feeling of empowerment with stay with. Our fear exists for our own protection but we must not let it control us. Challenging yourself and travelling alone is a great first step to never letting fear hold you back in life.

Simple logistics

Is there something you have wanted to try that no one is willing to do with you? Maybe you have dreamt of climbing the Himalayas in India, snorkelling in Thailand or even simply eating the local burritos in Mexico. Sometimes, whether you are single or not, you may find yourself unable to find a travel partner who is free to willing to go on this adventure with you. Don’t sacrifice your dreams when you’re perfectly capable of doing them alone. There is no time like the present, don’t wait around for a travel partner, pack your bags and go!

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

Winter sports holidays – the do’s and don’ts!

maarten-duineveld-pmfJcN7RGiw-unsplashWinter sports holidays – the do’s and don’ts!  

If you are planning a winter sports holiday you are bound to be excited about the thought of hitting the slopes and leaving all of your worries behind. Or, you may be staying at home and planning on trying some winter sports out here. However, with all sports come risks.

Whether you are jetting off to Austria or France, or visiting Galway or Dublin, here are the top ten tips for having fun and staying safe while partaking in exciting winter sports!

  1. With the risk of injuring yourself being high, when compared to a beach holiday, it is advisable to take out a travel insurance plan which will cover you for all winter sports activities that you plan to take part in.
  2. To make sure you’re prepared for the weather conditions, stay up to date with the weather forecasts for your planned destination a few weeks prior to your departure date.
  3. Remember, the higher you climb, the less oxygen there is to breathe. If you begin to feel sick, be sure to ascend the slope slowly and perhaps stay at a lower elevation the night before you ski so your body can adjust to the lower oxygen concentrations.
  4. Après Ski is a big part of any skiing holiday, however, drinking too much alcohol, coffee or tea is not advised as they can contribute to dehydration. If you are planning to ski, it is recommended that you drink at least eight, 8-ounce glasses of liquid a day.
  5. Your wardrobe can be fashionable as well as functional on your winter sports holiday. Wear tight fitting clothing to avoid the risk of your garments becoming caught in ski lifts. Always wear the appropriate clothing for each activity you plan on taking part in.
  6. When skiing, always wear sunglasses to avoid getting painful sunburn on your eyes. It also recommended to wear a sunscreen with a rating of at least SPF 35. Every 1,000 feet you ascend is equal to at least a 5% increase in UV intensity.
  7. If you have a tendency to develop frost bite or chill blains, be prepared and pack any remedies that you may need.
  8. Be safe and be seen! Wear colourful clothes when you are on the slopes so you can be seen by other skiers.
  9. In case of emergency, always carry an emergency kit that at a minimum contains a whistle, your mobile and an aluminium wrap. Always tell your friends of your plans so they can find you in an emergency.
  10. If you plan to take to the ice and are not a professional skater, keep it simple. Fancy footwork can too easily result in twisted ankles & head injuries.

Travel Health

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

Travelling over 50 – top tips for Silver Surfers

Travelling over 50 – top tips for Silver Surfers

It is a common misconception that travelling over 50 is not advisable. However, with the combination of the free time of retirement years and available resources thanks to years of working, what better way to celebrate than by taking that trip that you always dreamed of?

The truth is, once you take the necessary precautions, your twilight years are the perfect time to travel, now that you are older, wiser and have spent a lifetime waiting for the chance.

Teva-darron-oCdVtGFeDC0-unsplaships for travelling over 50:

    • Carefully consider the level of physical activity you are willing to reach – for some, trekking or hiking across vast mountain ranges is easily achieved but for others it means shortness of breath, tightness across the chest or perhaps the aggravation of severe osteoarthritis.
    • Visit your local TMB clinic or your GP for a general health check and to discuss your trip before booking or paying for your holiday. Your doctor can assess your general health and advise you on what obstacles you may face health-wise on your planned trip.
    • If you are planning on travelling with a group, try to ensure that you have the same things in mind and are of a similar fitness level. You do not want to feel pressurised into doing activities that you might not be physically fit for or comfortable with.
    • For the older traveller, their previous possible Hepatitis A exposure (‘yellow jaundice’) should be checked but, beside this one specific vaccine, the other risks remain very similar. Tetanus exposure, Hepatitis B exposure or exposure to rabies are all items of consideration.
    • Travellers in the older age bracket are more likely to have an underlying health condition which could be exacerbated by long-haul travel. It is essential to know that your insurance policy will cover local medical care. You should discuss your specific requirements with a specialised travel insurance broker. Being honest in declaration is very important as this may have serious financial consequences should your policy be called into action.
    • If you are on prescribed medications, ensuring that they are clearly marked should mean you will have no difficulty at customs. It may be helpful to have a doctors letter confirming that the medications are essential. You should always have a sufficient supply for your entire time abroad. A small sensible first aid kit may be a useful addition especially for those who will be walking a fair deal.

Take care of your health

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

How to combat culture shock

Group Travel

How to combat culture shock

Travelling to a different country is exciting and fun, but how does the excursionist deal with the new set of challenges that can lead to culture shock?

Culture Shock is the feelings one experiences after leaving their familiar culture to live in another cultural environment. These feelings can include anxiety, confusion and doubt. Even the most open-minded adventurers among us are not immune to culture shock, so it is important to plan ahead and recognize culture shock when you feel it.

Travellers want to overcome culture shock and put anxiety in its place: out of sight and out of mind. But to be able to conquer it, it’s important to understand the stages of culture shock. This could be as mild as developing an ear for Boston accents, or as vexing as learning a completely different set of social norms in China. There are four crucial stages that every traveller faces.

Culture Shock Stage 1 – Honeymoon Period

You have just arrived in your new country. This day has been anticipated for weeks now, and you are finally there. You immediately notice the aspects of your new country that were pictured in your head. The differences from this country to your own are fascinating. There is a feeling of euphoria from entering this new place and you are in awe of your new surroundings. The wanderlust traveller inside of you is stimulated and you feel enriched.

Stage 2 – Culture Shock

Moving forward, the differences create an impression. The euphoria you have experienced disappears and the exciting-and-new feelings go away. Feelings of confusion, detachment or stress are brought on, and you realize everything familiar and cozy about home is not easily accessible.  The grocery store doesn’t have your familiar brands and your doctor didn’t move countries with you.

Stage 3 – Adjusting to Culture Shock

Cue the Hollywood Time Lapse – You begin to learn how to adjust over a period of time. You are learning new customs, making friends and developing a routine.

Stage 4 – Adaption

Gradually the feelings of stress brought on by culture shock will dissipate as you adjust to your new country. You become more confident and your anxiety fades. The unfamiliar begins to become familiar. Lifestyle has been adjusted to be balanced with the country’s own cultural norms. You can begin to enjoy and appreciate the cultural differences.

How to deal with culture shock – top tips

  • Research your area

Read about the different social norms, laws and personality types of your country. You might still make a culture faux pas at first, but research can help to avoid offending anyone.

  • Don’t isolate yourself

It might be stressful, but don’t retreat to your bedroom all day. Go easy on yourself; you will learn a lot about your new environment quicker than you think.

  • Do something that feels familiar regularly

Consistently communicate with loved ones. Set up Skype dates so you can communicate face to face. Download WhatsApp so you can communicate without racking up international phone bills.  Find a coffee shop in town to read your favourite book. Keep doing your favourite activities that make you who you are.

  • Exercise, get plenty of sleep and keep your body healthy

Keep up with your healthy habits while abroad! Try to fit in your normal workout schedule in your new routine. Find a nearby park to run in or join a local gym. Or, download the free Workout Trainer App that has in-app workouts to help you stay in shape. Leave yourself time to get plenty of rest and have regular meals.

  • Have a sense of humour

This is our favourite tip and just might be your most important daily reminder. You might make a social faux pas and feel silly. Laugh it off! It’s part of the experience of going abroad. Enjoy being in a new land and try to enjoy your silly mistakes.

Travel Tips

We know that travelling can be stressful, so cross one thing off of your To-Do list by booking an appointment with Tropical Medical Bureau. Handle all of your vaccinations and get more travel advice so you can focus on your exciting trip to a different culture.

It’s time to schedule your winter flu vaccination

how to prevent the flu
Time to schedule your winter flu vaccination

Winter is quickly approaching, with the days getting noticeably shorter and the weather a lot colder. For many people this means one thing – the flu!

Most commonly known as the flu, Influenza is an acute viral infection that spreads easily from person to person which can cause annual epidemics during the winter months.

It may be a fairly common illness but that doesn’t make the flu any less unpleasant! Its nasty symptoms include high fever, a cough, stuffy nose, fatigue and nausea.

How to prevent the flu

There are many ways to try and avoid the flu. Wash your hands regularly, get your fill of Vitamin-C rich food, such as fruits and vegetables and use disinfectant wipes to keep all surfaces clean to help to prevent the spread of the flu virus.

However, the most effective way to protect against the Influenza virus is to get your flu vaccination. Tropical Medical Bureau offer these important vaccinations at all of their clinics nationwide.

Flu Vaccination

Tropical Medical Bureau offer discounts for bookings of more than ten people for vaccinations and consultations at their clinics nationwide. You can also avail of on-site flu vaccination services for groups of 25 or more at no additional cost, ensuring there is minimal disruption to a working day.

The flu vaccination at TMB cost just €25 or €15 as part of a course of vaccinations. There are also group and corporate rates available as well as on-site vaccination services for groups of 20 or more. If you would like to learn more about our group or corporate flu services visit www.tmb.ie/services/group.

Dr Graham Fry, Medical Director of TMB, says, “It is extremely advisable for those who are susceptible to infection, such as elderly people and those with conditions such as asthma and bronchitis, as well as international travellers, due to crowded conditions at airports and on board planes, to ensure they are vaccinated.”

Alison Curran, Groups Liaison says “We encourage groups, companies and organisations of 25 or more to use our group on-site vaccination service to ensure they don’t fall victim to high rates of absenteeism this winter due to Influenza.”

The flu vaccination is specific to each winter and should be taken during October for maximum protection. The vaccination is available at all Tropical Medical Bureau clinics nationwide.

For further information or to book an appointment, please contact the Tropical Medical Bureau on 1850 487674 or visit www.tmb.ie

Health risks with returning travellers

eva-darron-oCdVtGFeDC0-unsplashHealth risks with returning travellers

With the summer coming to an end, thousands of returning travellers, coming back to Ireland from their breaks abroad.

Although Ireland is considered a very healthy country with a low risk of diseases spreading through vectors, such as mosquitos and sand flies, returning travellers coming home could be carrying illnesses which pose potential risks to themselves and others.

Many Irish people may not be aware of the significant risks associated with traveling to some of the hotter regions of the world. There is also a common misconception that diseases can only be picked up in exotic destinations. However, even returning  travellers from countries close to home can pose a threat.

Developing symptoms

It is important to note that not all illnesses have immediate symptoms and some can develop slowly over time. Therefore, even if you are not sick immediately, returning travellers should be wary of symptoms that develop over your first few days back home.

Whether they are arriving from an exotic location or from a more traditional holiday destination, it is extremely important for holidaymakers to be aware of their health upon their return. It is also crucial that if travellers returning home are not feeling well, that they seek medical help as soon as possible to out rule any imported diseases.

To help make sure you’re illness free upon your return, Tropical Medical Bureau offers a post-holiday screening service as well as a 24-hour hotline for existing customers.

Travel Health

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

Vaccinations for Rio 2016 – Not too late to vaccinate

brazil

Vaccinations for Rio 2016 – Not too late to vaccinate

If you’re heading to watch the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro during August 2016 you are surely in for a spectacular display of sporting greatness. However, there are some things to consider beforehand, including your vaccinations for Rio 2016, to ensure your trip is truly one of a lifetime. The last thing you want is to be bed-ridden and miss out on the sporting performances due to illness.

Never too late to vaccinate

If you are travelling to the Games next month but have yet to receive your required/recommended vaccinations for Rio 2016 you still have time. While it is recommended that you receive your vaccinations 4-6 weeks prior to travelling, it is better to get them late than not at all.

All travellers to Brazil are advised to have vaccination cover against Yellow Fever and it is wise to also strongly consider some other vaccines including Tetanus, Hepatitis A and Typhoid. While in Brazil, if you plan on travelling to any of the Malaria at-risk regions it is essential that you take the recommended anti-malarial tablets as prescribed and also try to avoid mosquito bites as much as possible. If you have not already received your vaccinations you should book your consultation now.

Zika Virus and Rio 2016

The Zika Virus has been a prominent concern in the lead up to the Olympics, with many athletes choosing to drop-out of their respective events to avoid the risk of contracting the virus. However, in the countries that have been affected by Zika, such as Brazil, there is not a 100% risk of contracting the disease.

 

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The Zika Virus is primarily spread by mosquitoes (though sexual transmission has increasingly been documented) and many cases are asymptomatic; with only 20% of those infected actually developing symptoms sufficient enough to cause problems. Before you go, ensure you have plenty of insect repellent packed. Tropical Medical Bureau insect repellent can be picked up in TMB clinics, Lloyds Pharmacies, Dunnes Stores and Tesco nationwide, as well as Dublin Airport.

If you are travelling to Brazil, where the Zika Virus is present, then women are advised not to get pregnant until at least eight weeks after returning. Male travellers who are not showing any symptoms should not have unprotected sex during the trip or in the eight weeks following their return. If men do have symptoms of Zika, they should not have unprotected sex for the duration of the pregnancy.

Unfortunately, there is no vaccine against Zika viral infection, similar to many other mosquito borne diseases. While there is no specific treatment for those infected usually all that is required is for the individual’s own body defences to get to work. The main protection against the Zika Virus is to avoid mosquito bites in known at-risk regions of the world.

If you receive the correct vaccinations for Rio 2016 before you travel and take the proper precautions while in Brazil, you should be able to enjoy the Olympic Games in perfect health.

However, if you do become unwell while in Rio de Janeiro or upon your return, Tropical Medical Bureau offers a 24/7 emergency hotline for existing patients.

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

Studying Abroad – Tips for students

Group TravelStudying Abroad

Studying abroad or interning abroad can be the most eye opening and rewarding time in a student’s life so it is very important to get the most out of your experience.
Whether you are enrolled in a school in a foreign land for a semester, or working as an intern for a company abroad, spending some time studying abroad is an incredibly exciting time for a student.

However, being in a different country for a long period of time can become overwhelming for many students, some who have never been away from home before. Preparing properly can help the wanderlust student study abroad in confidence. Research relevant courses, exchange programmes and funding entitlements you may have.

Studying Abroad Tips – Papers, papers, papers  

Don’t be the one person that is all packed up and ready to go but gets rejected by airport security! Make sure you have the proper documentation a few weeks before departure including a passport that should be valid for a minimum of six months beyond the date of travel, and visas. Failure to do so can take days to resolve and will take away from your experience abroad. Having more than one copy of your passport could save you from the losing-your-passport-panic-attack. It is also important to fill in the emergency information page of your passport! Going through customs in airports or getting student discounts often require a letter of intent from your university. Talk to your professor or teacher about getting a few copies before you leave your trip.

Studying Abroad Tips – Staying Healthy

With all of the excitement of going abroad, it’s easy to overlook the importance of having all of the tools to stay healthy in your new country. Students want to have the best experience possible and explore the new terrain, so be sure to do it without fear of catching a nasty illness. Book your vaccination consultation approx. six weeks before your departure. Be sure to take advantage of great deals and rates available for students. At Tropical Medical Bureau you can get your consultation, vaccinations, prescriptions and some travel extras from only €134. Also make sure you have plenty of medication that you may require while abroad, as it may not be available there.

Studying Abroad Tips – Combating Culture Shock

Culture Shock is the feelings one experiences after leaving their familiar culture to live in another cultural or social environment. These feelings can include anxiety, confusion and doubt. Culture shock is a very normal feeling for students traveling abroad and can vary in severity, but with the right mindset it can be overcome.

Before going abroad, do some research and read up on the area you will be living in. Expect that there will be differences from your home country and what you have pictured. Don’t be surprised if it’s not exactly what you thought it would be like. Allow yourself to adjust to the time zone and get into a normal sleeping and eating routine. If you are using public transportation, become familiar with the routes you need to take. And have a sense of humor! If the culture was just like your own, what is the point of studying abroad?

Studying Abroad Tips – Staying Safe

Although the buddy system seems elementary, students have strength in numbers. Keep yourself and your friends safe by trying to always travel together. Never leave your bags on the back of chairs or on the ground and always keep them close to your body when traveling. If you are consuming alcohol, drink sensibly and don’t leave your drink unattended and be aware of your surroundings. Have fun, but don’t lose your mind! A wild night of drinking can quickly turn into a stolen purse or a nasty hangover.

Studying Abroad Tips – Explore!

While in another country, get the most out of your experience by traveling! Book flights in advance as prices go up closer to departure. If you are staying in hostels purchase a lock for your bag. Strike up a conversation with a local and find out more about the parts of the country they love. Tourist attractions are a great way to see many of the countries highlights, but can also be overcrowded and overpriced. Live like the locals and find some local favorite spots. Bring a camera and a journal so you can remember your trip for years to come!

Travel Health

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

The Zika Virus and Rory McIlroy

Zika Virus and Rory McIlroy

With the 2016 Olympics taking place in Rio de Janeiro later this summer, concerns have been raised over the dangers of the Zika Virus and how it may affect those travelling to the games.

Irish golfer Rory McIlroy has announced that he is withdrawing from consideration from the Olympics due to his personal concerns with the Zika Virus in South America, adding to these worries.

Zika Virus and Pregnancy

The main concern with travellers is if they or their partner are planning to get pregnant within the next 6 to 12 months. If the answer is ‘no’ then Zika is of limited importance as, in the vast majority of cases, it is a mild viral illness, usually lasting just a few days and with little to no significant consequences. The exception to this general rule is where pregnancy may be a factor.

In the countries that have been affected there is not a 100% risk of contracting the disease. However, most patients considering pregnancy would prefer to avoid the potential worry and concern at a time when they should be enjoying the whole pregnancy process.

Then, in the cases where someone does become pregnant after exposure, or potential exposure, to Zika the risk of having a child with microcephaly remains small and is by no means a 100% certainty.

If you are travelling to areas where the Zika Virus is present, such as Brazil, then women are advised not to get pregnant until at least eight weeks after returning. Male travellers who are not showing any symptoms should not have unprotected sex during the trip or in the eight weeks following their return. If men do have symptoms of Zika, they should not have unprotected sex for six months.ekamelev-sZIjgg4Peu0-unsplash

What is the Zika Virus?

The Zika Virus is primarily spread by mosquitoes, though sexual transmission has increasingly been documented, and many cases are asymptomatic; with only 20% of those infected actually developing symptoms sufficient enough to cause problems.

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

Zika Virus 1

Dr Graham Fry, Medical Director Tropical Medical Bureau

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr Graham Fry, Medical Director of Tropical Medical Bureau, has said of the Zika Virus, “There is no vaccine against Zika viral infection, similar to many other mosquito borne diseases. While there is no specific treatment for those infected usually all that is required is for the individual’s own body defences to get to work. The main protection against the Zika Virus is to avoid mosquito bites in known at-risk regions of the world.”

Various tests are now available through TMB clinics to assess any potential exposure and this service is being used by a number of patients for a variety of different reasons, such as for those undergoing IVF or planning pregnancy within months of exposure or potential exposure.

Dr Graham Fry is available for comment/interview. Please contact michelle@travelmedia.ie.

To book an appointment, please contact the Tropical Medical Bureau on 1850 487674 or visit www.tmb.ie.

Advice for volunteering abroad this summer

safariAdvice for volunteering abroad this summer

Ensure you look after yourself when volunteering abroad this summer. Volunteering abroad is a life-changing experience but there are many aspects to consider before offering up your time to help others. As well as being enriching and getting the chance to do your part for people in need, volunteering abroad comes with many responsibilities, not just to those you are helping but to yourself. It is important that you look after your own health and needs while you are away, devoting your time to those less fortunate.

Choose an issue close to your heart

The best place to start is by looking for a group that works with issues about which you feel particularly strong about. While volunteering for any organisation in need is very admirable, working with a group that is close to your heart will make you even more passionate about your work. Take some time, look at what is needed where and choose yours wisely. There are many organisations who put together volunteering packages to help get you on your way.

Volunteering Abroad – Research your destination

It is very difficult to maintain any level of fitness while overseas. Make sure you research your destination so you can see what you need to do to stay healthy. One thing you can do is to ensure that you always have access to clean drinking water by bringing water purification tablets.

Consider what you have to offer

When choosing where to devote your time, take the skills that you have to offer into consideration. Play to your strengths and use your time volunteering wisely by using the talents that you already have. For example if you are good with computers or technology or have a knack for working with children then you might be able to slot into a role without too much training beforehand.

Put the organisation’s needs first

While you may have a particular idea of what role you would like to take on, it is wise to look at the organisation as a whole and see exactly what their needs are first. In some instances what groups need most are more hands on deck such as drivers, cleaners, cooks. Every little helps!

 

Don’t take on too much

Sun exposure and lack of clean water may lead to dehydration especially if the workload is heavy. Pace yourself and don’t take on too much at once. Exciting as the experience is, homesickness often strikes so the support of your new colleagues is essential.

Take care of your health

It’s no fun being sick overseas so many organisations insist on a medical certification confirming that you are in good general health. Make sure that your required vaccines are up-to-date and issues relating to malaria prophylaxis are clearly understood.

 

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

Leaving Cert holidays – How to make the most of yours!

Group Travel

Leaving Cert holidays – How to make the most of yours!

With the summer drawing slowly closer many Leaving Cert students are looking at booking their post-exams getaway.
Leaving Cert holidays are practically a rite of passage these days, with most students looking to blow-off steam for a week or two following what is undoubtedly some of the most stressful weeks in their young lives.

However, for many young people this will be their first holiday abroad without supervision which will also be a great concern to a lot of parents.

Prepare yourself before you leave and avoid any common disasters while you are away. Post leaving cert holidays are meant to relieve the stress built up over such a tough year so take the time to make sure you have everything sorted beforehand and let it be the escape you deserve.

 

Leaving Cert Holidays – Checklist

Tropical Medical Bureau have compiled a handy list of top tips for those heading on post leaving cert holidays to make sure you make the most of your holiday.

  1. Check that your passport is up-to-date; ideally it should be valid for a minimum of six months beyond the date of travel. Also, always bring a photocopied version with you.
  2. Make sure you always have the number and address of the hotel or apartment you are staying in on you at all times. If you get separated from your friends, you will be able to travel back safely to the accommodation.
  3. Purchase a decent money belt, many tourist destinations that are popular with students are bound to have pick pockets.
  4. Make sure you have received all required vaccinations for the country you are visiting. TMB have released a special package for students for Summer 2016 meaning you can get your vaccinations, consultation and a tailor-made prescription from only €134.
  5. Organise and pack a mini First Aid kit, some medication may be difficult to purchase abroad.
  6. Not only should you use sunscreen, you should also apply insect repellent to help protect from painful bites. The TMB has its own range of insect repellents, including DEET-Free Repellent and Bug Bands, available in all TMB Clinics, DocMorris & Lloyds Pharmacies throughout Ireland or on Travelshop.ie.
  7. If you suffer from any allergies, make sure you and your friends know how to handle an allergic reaction.
  8. Be aware of reducing alcohol intake, especially in a hot climate, as this can lead to serious dehydration. Stay hydrated and drink water continuously. If you have concerns about the state of a country’s water, the TMB also has its own range of water purification tablets.
  9. Travel Insurance is a necessity; make sure to check your policies to see if you are covered when taking part in outdoor activities, such as water sports.
  10. Always keep your drink covered and on your person to prevent the risk of it being spiked or tampered with.
  11. Always adopt safe sexual practices to avoid the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. International travellers are at great risk of contracting STDs, including HIV, if they have been sexually exposed to persons with any of these diseases.

 

Travel health

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

Don’t underestimate the Irish weather!

ways to prevent skin cancerDon’t underestimate the Irish weather!

During the summer months the Irish weather tends be very unpredictable so we are usually quite unprepared for it.
Our desperate need for our hit of Vitamin D means that we throw caution to the wind and embrace the rare warm Irish weather, attempting to make the most of it before it disappears again.

However, there are some very important things to think about when the sun does show its head, that you might not consider.

We all get very excited when the Irish weather finally picks up in the summer months and try to embrace it as much as we can before it disappears again. What we forget is that the sun is still harmful and that there’s still a need to protect ourselves, even on home ground.

Always wear sunscreen

Always wear sunscreen when exposed to the sun. The sun’s rays can be just as strong whether you are on a beach in the Costa del Sol or in a park in Ireland so make sure you avoid the lobster look by staying protected! Take a tip from Baz…

Stay hydrated

If you’re making the most of the Irish weather by going along to an outdoor gig, heading for a hike up the Wicklow Mountains, or simply planning to spend the day active outdoors, make sure you stay hydrated with plenty of water to ensure you can make the most of your day. This particularly applies if you’re planning on enjoying a few alcoholic drinks in the sunshine. If you have tickets for all or any of the great Irish festivals on offer this year then make sure you pace yourself when drinking to make sure you get the most out of the day.

Beware of bugs

Protect yourself against bug bites. While we may not have to concern ourselves with insects carrying deadly diseases, Irish insects can and will still bite exposed areas causing your skin to become irritated. Pick up a good insect repellent, like the TMB’s DEET 55 and 100 or their DEET free repellent and bugbands to keep nasty biting bugs at bay. If you do get bitten, pick up some bug relief spray from selected Lloyds Pharmacies or Dunnes Stores nationwide or on Travelshop.ie to ease the pain.

Beware of amateur chefs

When breaking out the barbeque this summer, make sure you cook your food all the way through and do not leave food lying unattended, especially outdoors, as this could lead to severe cases of food poisoning. The summer may only last a few days – you don’t want to miss out due to a dodgy burger!

Don’t drink and dive

Do not swim while under the influence of alcohol. On the rare occasion that the sun comes out and people flock to Irish beaches, stay clear of drinking alcohol before swimming. Having alcohol in your system when entering the cold water can lead to serious issues such as hypothermia, disorientation, difficulty breathing and impairs your coordination.

Be prepared

While it seems amazing when the sun does actually come out to play, chances are it won’t stick around for long. Always be prepared for it to disappear as quickly as it appeared and have a jacket to hand to keep you warm.

Travel health

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

Prevent disaster with a holiday checklist

Packing Tips for Travelling Abroad

Prevent disaster with a holiday checklist

It’s always a good idea to have a holiday checklist to hand when getting ready for a trip.

The flights are booked, the accommodation is sorted and the bags are packed. But have you remembered everything?

When planning a holiday, be it a beach getaway, a city break or a safari, people tend to get swept away by dreaming of their upcoming break and important details may be overlooked. If you forget an essential detail such as a vaccine or even ensuring your passport is in date, your dream could be shattered! That’s where a good holiday checklist comes in handy…

Here are the top ten holiday checklist items from Tropical Medical Bureau to ensure you don’t forget the important things ahead of your next adventure!

  1. Is your passport in date? It may seem like an obvious one but some countries require your passport to be valid for a minimum of six months beyond the date of travel. Don’t get caught out at customs!
  2. Have you had all required vaccines? Many people assume that vaccines are not needed for certain regions but you should always double check. For some countries certain vaccines are required such as Yellow Fever or Meningitis. Others such as the Rabies vaccine are recommended dependent on country.
  3. Do you suffer from any allergies? Make sure you are prepared for an allergic reaction while abroad.
  4. Be sure to stock up on any medication that you may require while away as it may not be available in your chosen destination.
  5. Make sure your luggage does not exceed the weight limit for the airline you are travelling with. Some airlines have a lower limit than others so be sure to check and avoid facing heavy charges or having to abandon your favourite pair of heels at the airport!
  6. Plan your route before you leave, do not leave deciding on where to go for when you arrive. Plan ahead for at least the first three days until you can get your bearings.
  7. Know where to go if something goes wrong. While you are away, Tropical Medical Bureau offers a 24/7 emergency phone line. Patients can use this service to contact TMB while overseas if they have any sickness. TMB also have an international network of clinics.
  8. Thoroughly research the area where you will be travelling to. It will be a significant help to arrive with knowledge of the area and any public transport that you may need to use.
  9. Learn the local language. Learning off an entire dictionary may not be plausible but picking up a few key words and phrases will come in very handy when trying to communicate.
  10. If you are feeling unwell upon your return, it could be something you picked up while you were away. Tropical Medical Bureau offers a full check-up upon your return if you are concerned about having contracted an illness.

It is always a given that something will go wrong while on holidays, but at least with a holiday checklist you have the essentials covered and will be prepared to deal with it when it does. If you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail!

Travel health

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

Top Honeymoon Tips

top-tips-for-booking-summer-holiday

Top Honeymoon Tips

These top honeymoon tips will ensure yours is the perfect way to start your life as a married couple, full of romance and love and wining and dining.

Whether you are planning a romantic beach trip, an exciting safari or a whirlwind city break, people tend to get swept away by dreaming of their upcoming nuptials and important details may be overlooked.

It is very easy to get caught up in the excitement of a wedding but it is also very important to plan your honeymoon perfectly. It is supposed to be the best holiday of your life and that is what we want to help you have. Forgetting an essential detail such as a vaccine or even ensuring your passport is in date, your dream could be shattered.

Top Honeymoon Tips – Documentation

The last thing you want is for your honeymoon to be ruined due to a simple practicality. Don’t get too swept up in the romance and use your married name on your tickets unless your passport reflects the change. Any brides eager to use their married name for the flights – don’t as you may not be allowed on the plane.

If you’re travelling to the USA it’s also very important that your passport meets the new ESTA requirements. Also, make sure you have someone responsible at home to send in your marriage registration form to the General Register Office while you’re away – that form has to go in within one month of the ceremony for the marriage to be registered. Make sure your luggage does not exceed the weight limit for the airline you are travelling with. Some airlines have a lower limit than others so be sure to check and avoid facing heavy charges.

Top Honeymoon Tips – Travel Health

For many honeymooners this trip will be a once in a lifetime adventure somewhere you have never been before. Somewhere beautifully exotic and exciting and completely different from home. Therefore, you need to ensure you’re protected against any nasty illnesses – the last thing you want is to spend the first days of married life in a foreign hospital. Head to www.tmb.ie and book your vaccination consultation a few months in advance of the wedding giving you one less thing to worry about closer to the date. Also, make sure to stock up on any medication that you may require while away as it may not be available there.

Remember where you are

Dining on the local cuisine along the shore might be very romantic but steer clear of ordering shellfish when abroad to avoid the most common romantic malady. Also, be sure to pack the suncream – looking like a lobster won’t turn anybody on, even if they have sworn in sickness and in health! It always helps to pack some reliable insect repellent too – nobody wants to be an irritated newly wed!

Don’t be too spontaneous

One of our most overlooked top honeymoon tips is to plan your trip before you leave. Although it’s tempting when you have so many wedding related decisions to make, do not leave deciding on where to go for when you arrive. Plan ahead for at least the first three days until you can get your bearings. Having to sleep in a hostel room with ten backpackers tends to kill the romance!

Relax, relax, relax!

One of the most important top honeymoon tips is to relax! Where possible it’s a good idea to have a day at home after the wedding festivities before you head off on honeymoon – this means the stress of packing can be postponed until then and might help the ‘I forgot the passport/tickets’ scenario! You should also try to take a few days off at the start of the trip and leave the adventures and activities for a couple of days in. This will help you relax after all the planning and organising of the wedding so you can enjoy your honeymoon properly.

Travel health

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

Hostel Tips

Hostel Tips

Budget travellers, take heed of our top hostel tips

Staying in hostels is a fantastic way of meeting like-minded travellers, especially if you’re travelling solo. Sharing a room and bathroom with lots of other strangers does, however, bring its own challenges and it’s best to be as prepared as possible before you arrive. Our advice for budget travellers and hostel tips will set you on your way…anete-lusina-GOZxrAlNIt4-unsplash

 

 

 

 

 

Hostel Tips – Before you Go

Read reviews

Hostel standards are improving all the time and you can now find boutique hostels with excellent facilities all over Europe, Southeast Asia and Central America. That being said, there are some dodgy hostels in the mix so it’s best to do your homework before passing over your credit card details. Read reviews on hostelworld.com or hostelbookers.com to find out exactly what the rooms, employees and vibes are like.

Pack carefully

Bringing a few essential items can transform your hostel stay from a nightmare into a dream. Ear plugs and an eye mask will ensure you get a decent night’s sleep, even if other guests aren’t as conscientious as you. Electrical plugs can be scarce in hostels so having a multi-plug adaptor allows you to charge several devices at once. If you are heading to destinations with lots of mosquitos, it’s worthwhile packing a lightweight mosquito net to hang over your bed while you sleep. The last thing you want is to wake up with dozens of nasty bites!

Hostel Tips – While You are Away

Avoid making lots of noise

Be respectful of your fellow travellers. If you’re heading out for the night, make sure your pyjamas and toiletries are ready on your bed so you don’t have to rustle about when you get in. Likewise, if you need to be up at the crack of dawn to catch a flight, pack your belongings beforehand and use a torch to find your way around instead of the main light. There are no excuses for chatting to fellow jetsetters once the lights go out – the common room and local bar are for socialising.

Beware of your belongings

It’s easy to make friends in hostels as you share stories of previous adventures and bond over the local culture. Not everyone’s intentions may be the same, however, and it’s important to be wary of your belongings at all times. Secure your valuables and passport in a locker or behind reception. Theft is a common occurrence in hostels – don’t let it happen to you!

Talk to fellow travellers

One of the best things about staying in hostels, and travelling in general, is the chance to meet people from all walks of life. Be open-minded during your stay and strike up a conversation with those staying in your dorm. In this way, you’ll get a taste of cultures from all over the world, not just that of the country you are visiting.

Tidy your stuff

Don’t be that annoying person that takes over half the dorm room with dirty laundry, wet towels or piles of books. Space is nearly always an issue in hostels where up to twenty people may have to share the same living space. Tidy away your things in your assigned locker and store what you can under your bunk.

Get your own space

It’s only natural that you’ll fancy a night on your own every now and again, even if you are having an amazing time with your new hostel friends. Don’t be afraid to check into your own room, if only to Skype your loved ones or watch your favourite TV show in peace. Getting some ‘me’ time allows you to recharge and fully embrace your travel experiences.

Don’t let horror stories put you off! Staying in hostels is a fantastic way of making friends on your travels and keeping within your budget. Our top hostel tips and advice for budget travellers will ensure your stay goes smoothly from start to finish.

Travel Health Tips

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

 

Budget Travel Tips

Budget Travel Tips

Save money on your holiday with our budget travel tips

Fancy an exotic adventure but worried your savings won’t stretch very far? Thanks to the multitude of low-fare airlines on the market right now, jetting off to the golden sands of Thailand, the Mayan temples of Peru or the bright lights of India has never been cheaper or easier. But what about when you touch down? Take heed of our expert budget travel tips and enjoy a fulfilling getaway, without having to rob a bank first!

averie-woodard-5d20kdvFCfA-unsplash

Travel during low season

Flights, accommodation and tours are always going to be more affordable during off-peak times, which usually coincide with monsoon season in Southeast Asia and South America. Be prepared for a little rain and enjoy massive savings. It also helps to be flexible about the day and time you travel – fly mid-week or very early in the morning to nab yourself an amazing deal.

Take hand luggage

Budget travel tips don’t come much better than this in terms of saving money. OK, we know this might not be possible if you’re off on a six-month backpacking trip but only bringing hand luggage will save you lots of money, especially if you plan on flying in between several destinations on your trip. Wash clothes on the go, dump books you’ve read and refrain from buying souvenirs. Your wallet will be heavier and your backpack lighter – win-win!

Think wisely about food

If you’re staying in a hostel or rented accommodation, use the facilities to cook a delicious meal after your day’s activities. When you’re out and about grab street food (being careful to avoid any dodgy vendors) or make yourself a picnic with tasty produce from a local supermarket. It’s nice to eat out every now and again but avoid restaurants in touristy areas that are likely to hike up the prices for foreigners.

Research destinations carefully

Be smart about where you travel to and think of all the costs involved after the flight-booking stage. You might love the idea of exploring Japan or Scandinavia but these destinations can be tough for penny-pinching travellers. It might be best to consider other places instead, such as Southeast Asia. Thailand and Vietnam continue to be a massive hit with backpackers thanks to its gorgeous landscapes, fascinating cultures and “cheap cheap” prices.

Take local transport

This is one of our top budget travel tips. Do as the locals do and catch the bus. Not only is this a great way of cutting costs, it also allows you to interact with your destination’s inhabitants and experience its culture first-hand. Better yet, walk, walk, walk! Night buses and trains are a cheaper alternative to daytime transport and allow you to also save on accommodation. Remember to be careful of your belongings on board and only book with reputable companies.

Do your homework

There’s no point in depriving yourself of the wonderful activities and sights that make your destination unique. You just have to do a little research to ensure you get the best price. Suss out museum passes when you arrive in a new city, which can save you money in the long run. Chances are there are lots of free activities you can also try on your trip – maybe even free walking and cycling tours.

Be wary at the airport

How often do you hear horror stories of individuals being scammed the moment they step off the plane in a new country? It’s important that you do your homework and know what to expect when you land. Don’t fall for taxi drivers that demand extortionate prices – there’s likely to be a cheap bus or train into the city.

Budget, budget, budget

Keep a log of your expenditure in a notebook or using a handy mobile app. This might seem a bit excessive at first but you’ll quickly get into the swing of. Trust us, your bank balance will seem a lot less scary when you know exactly where your money is going.

Get travel insurance

Don’t be tempted to scrimp on travel insurance before you travel. The upfront cost might seem like a lot but this will give you peace of mind throughout your trip. Nothing will kill your budget more than unforeseen hospital costs or having to replace lost luggage. Travelshop.ie have great rates on travel insurance to see you through your trip.

Consider volunteering

Volunteering is a fantastic way of making a difference, soaking up an exciting new culture and saving money at the same time. Research programmes where you work in exchange for food and accommodation. Wwoofing (Willing Workers On Organic Farms) is great for those who want to get into nature and enjoy an enriched backpacking experience.

See, with our great budget travel tips it’s not that difficult to save money abroad when you put your mind to it. Think before you spend and you’re sure to cut costs on accommodation, transport and food. Don’t worry if you go over budget every now and again. A couple of cheap and cheerful beach days and things are sure to balance out. Plus, you’re sure to meet dozens of like-minded travellers in the same boat. The only thing left is your plan your economical adventure!

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

Malaysia Travel Tips

Malaysia Travel Tips

Make the most out of your Southeast Asia adventure with our Malaysia travel tips

Discover the wealth of beautiful landscapes – lush rainforests, golden beaches and bustling cities – in Malaysia for a getaway like no other. It’s quick and extremely cheap to fly between destinations, thanks to the multitude of low-fare airlines on the market. This means that even if you only have a couple of weeks to spare you can still experience all of Malaysia’s highlights. Here are our top Malaysia travel tips – where to go and how to stay healthy in each destination.

Explore Taman Negara National Park

Be wowed by the tropical vegetation and majestic wildlife that call Taman Negara National Park home. This breath-taking park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers. Encounter lizards, monkeys, elephants, tigers, leopards, rhinos and exotic birds on your trip. Those heading to Taman Negara National Park are strongly advised to get your hepatitis B and rabies vaccinations before travelling. The last thing you want is to end up with a potentially fatal disease because of a bite from a cheeky creature in the jungle.

Sample street food in Penang

Malaysia is famous the world over for its scrumptious eats – rice noodles, flatbread, stuffed pancakes and street barbeques to name but a few! Head to Penang for the very best dishes – the fusion of Indian, Thai and Chinese flavours will make your mouth water. Sampling street food is great for the palette (not to mention your wallet!) – just be careful about which dishes you try. Choose vendors that prepare food in a hygienic way and avoid fish and meat to reduce the risk of food poisoning.

Climb majestic Mount Kinabalu

If you’re heading to Borneo, consider trekking to the summit of Mount Kinabalu, the highest peak in Southeast Asia. It really is an overwhelming achievement to make it to the top of this awe-inspiring mountain. Watching the sunrise from above the clouds is like something from a dream. Although the route is laden with tourists, don’t underestimate the strength and endurance required for the climb. Work on your fitness levels before your trip and invest in a decent pair of hiking boots.

 

Visit tea plantations in the Cameron Highlands

We Irish love our tea so it’s only natural that the Cameron Highlands make our list of top places to visit in Malaysia. The region is very popular thanks to its cool temperatures and lush vegetation, as well as the abundance of fine tea. Visit a butterfly farm, trek through the jungle and enjoy a cuppa, or three! It’s best to visit the Cameron Highlands during the dry season when the risk of landslides is low. If you’re planning an adventurous trek then it’s best to get your meningcoccal meningitis, tuberculosis and Japanese B encephalitis vaccinations before you go.

Malaysia is a stunning destination with something to please all kinds of holiday-makers, whether you fancy relaxation or adventure, ancient sights or modern amenities. Pay a visit to your local TMB clinic before travelling and get expert advice about how to avoid falling ill on your travels.

Group Travel Tips

Group Travel Tips

Be confident with our group travel tips

Travelling with a large group of friends can be a lot of fun – think post Leaving Cert holidays, skiing trips to the Alps, group beach breaks and longer backpacking adventures. It can also be pretty stressful at times, when opinions clash and everyone just wants a bit of space from each other. Don’t be put off – our group travel tips will ensure you have the best time imaginable, without killing each other!Group Travel

Choosing your companions

Think long and hard about which friends will make for the best travel companions. It may seem obvious but it’s important to travel with like-minded people who will be up for doing the same things as you. You might love meeting your old school friend for Sunday brunch or heading for a drink with your colleague but they might not be the best people to spend very long periods of time with. Travelling can be very tiring so choose to travel with a group of people who aren’t very high maintenance and have a ‘can do’ attitude.

Group Travel Tips – Be respectful

When travelling in a group, everyone needs to take responsibility for their own belongings, flight details, visas, passports, vaccinations and so on. It’s unfair for one person to have to carry the burden for everyone else. You should be respectful of each other at all times, making sure you are not late for group activities and listen carefully to everyone’s ideas.

Plan your budget

Sorthing this issue out before you leave is one of our top group travel tips. Money can be a sensitive topic but it’s essential you discuss this before jetting off on your adventure. One person’s idea of a budget might seem extravagant to someone else and vice versa. Set guidelines for food, accommodation and activities so you’re all on the same page. You don’t want to have to dip into your overdraft because you were too polite to speak up on day one!

Talk to each other

Establishing a clear channel of communication is of utmost importance. Encourage your fellow jetsetters to let you know if anything is bothering them so these issues can be resolved as quickly as possible. Travelling can bring out the best and worst in people – chances are you aren’t the best version of yourself after a 24 hour train journey or uncomfortable night’s sleep in a dingy hostel. Consider how your actions affect the rest of the group and listen to your pals with an open ear.

Get some alone time

Don’t be afraid to break off from the crowd if there’s an activity you want to try, sight you want to see or you simply fancy some alone time. Compromise is the name of the game when it comes to group travel but remember that this is your well-earned holiday too. Explain your decision to the group and make plans to meet up later. Chances are everyone else feels the same way.

Get ready for your group adventure with our top travel tips. The most important thing is to be honest with your travel companions, and yourself, about your preferences and budget. Be open to your friends’ suggestions too – your holiday will be all the more exciting because of it!

TMB has a range of group travel health services which will help you to organise your group’s travel plans. These include discounts for groups of 10 or more, on-site consultation for groups of 25 or more, safety guidelines specific to your trip and education seminars. Get in touch with the experts at TMB to find out more about group travel health.

Indonesia Travel Tips

Indonesia Travel Tips

Get ready for the holiday of a lifetime with our Indonesia travel tips

With over 17,000 islands, 300 languages and a wealth of jaw-dropping sights, Indonesia really has to be seen to be believed. This beautiful country is home to incredible landscapes, from dense jungles and lush rice paddies to tropical beaches and majestic peaks, as well as some of Southeast Asia’s friendliest people. Enjoy the rich diversity of this humble destination with thanks to our top Indonesia travel tipsways to prevent skin cancer.

Indonesia Travel Tips – Travel health

It is recommended that you consider vaccination cover against a number of serious illnesses, including hepatitis A, typhoid, tetanus and poliomyelitis, before entering Indonesia. Those who plan on exploring rural areas, such as Java’s Green Canyon or Sulawesi’s Bantimurung Karst Mountains, are also advised to get hepatitis B, Japanese B encephalitis and rabies vaccinations. Find out more about the recommended vaccinations for Indonesia.

Think about the weather

Aside from Christmas and New Year’s, Indonesia’s low season runs from October until April. You can pick up some excellent deals on tours and accommodation over this period but be prepared for a little rain. Fortunately, the rains are usually limited to brief downpours so you can still see all this gorgeous country has to offer without too much inconvenience.

Be cautious of wild animals

Stray dogs, cats and monkeys may look cute but they also carry potentially fatal diseases. This is why it’s highly recommended that you get rabies, tetanus and hepatitis B immunisations before travelling to Indonesia. If you’re heading to Ubud’s Monkey Forest, leave your valuables at home or secured in a closed backpack. These cheeky creatures are famous for their thievery!

Indonesia Travel Tips – Respect religious traditions

Indonesia is a very spiritual country and it is likely that you will encounter a religious ceremony over the course of your stay. Be respectful of locals by wearing modest clothing and behave appropriately when visiting Hindu temples. An important point to note and one of our top Indonesia travel tips is that Indonesians leave offerings (canang sari) made out of palm leaf, flowers and herbs to the Creator on the street each morning. Be careful not to step on these and make sure you don’t interrupt any religious processions that take place.

It’s quite common for travellers to add on a stint in Bali and the Gili Islands at the end of their Southeast Asia backpacking trip and not experience the other amazing sights that Indonesia has to offer. Bali packs a big punch and draws millions of tourists each year – its golden temples, golden beaches and vibrant paddy fields are like something out of a dream. If you have time, however, check out the cultural delights of Yogyakarta, conquer Mt Bromo, unwind at Lake Toba and get up close and personal with the Komodo Dragon.

Accommodation in Indonesia

Homestays are common in Indonesia and are an excellent way of soaking up the local culture. Usually guests are provided with their own room, bathroom and breakfast for a very good price. Your money goes directly to the local people and you’re guaranteed lifelong experiences not found in a hostel or hotel. Win-win!

So a synopsis of our top Indonesia travel tips – Take advantage of these top tips and say ‘selamat’ (‘hello’) to intriguing Indonesia. Book an appointment at your nearest TMB clinic to find out more about the vaccinations you require, be respectful of local traditions and open to the wealth of wonderful experiences this fantastic destination has to offer. An unforgettable holiday is guaranteed!

Travel Health Tips

Travel health tips

Avoid illness with our top travel health tips

Whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure, it’s essential that you think ahead about your health and safety. At TMB we’re well used to easing the fears of future travellers and offering expert advice to see them on their way. From common occurrences like diarrhoea and vomiting to more obscure parasitic illnesses, TMB’s Director of Nursing, Siobhan Grehan has seen it all. Here are Siobhan’s top travel health tips to keep you safe and healthy on your overseas adventure…philipp-kammerer-6Mxb_mZ_Q8E-unsplash (2)

Take your health seriously

It’s important to take responsibility for your health before you travel and spend time researching the different vaccinations you require. The TMB website is a great source of information – you can easily see what vaccinations are recommended depending on the country you are visiting and activities you will be doing. You cannot enter certain countries without proof of a specific vaccination, for example you need to show a yellow fever vaccination certificate to get into many places in Africa. These countries have their own interests at heart however, not yours. It is also highly recommended that you get immunisations that protect against other serious illnesses.

Travel Health Tips – Be prepared with food and drink

The most important thing is to expect the unexpected when you’re travelling. Keep dry salty snacks, such as crackers, energy bars or nuts, at the bottom of your bag. You may find yourself in a situation where you don’t have food or the meals on offer are not prepared in a hygienic way. Take your own bottle of water with you each day and use purification tablets if you are unsure about water quality. The last thing you want is a bout of food poisoning!

Email important information

Scan and email yourself a copy of your passport so you have easy access at all times. In the unfortunate event that this is lost or stolen, the process of getting a replacement will be much quicker. Likewise, don’t just photocopy your yellow fever certificate, insurance policy, car hire agreement and other important documents – keep online copies in a special folder in your email inbox.

Respect other cultures

One of the most amazing things about travelling is that it allows you to experience new cultures and ways of life. It’s important to respect the traditions, beliefs and dress code of your destination’s inhabitants. Our top travel health tip for if you find yourself in a situation where it would be culturally incorrect to accept dodgy-looking food, then politely decline on the grounds that you have an allergy.

Bring disinfectant

It’s very common for backpackers in Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia to engage in outdoor activities that may result in cuts and scrapes. This is why having a tetanus booster before you travel is recommended. If you get a cut, keep it dry and use antibacterial cream to reduce the risk of infection and cellulitis. We recommend Fucibet, which is available on prescription and also works well for infected insect bites.

Education is key

Getting your recommended vaccinations should only take up one half of your travel consultation. It’s just as important to educate yourself about how to avoid mosquito bites, the source of malaria and dengue fever. TMB sell high-quality insect repellent, bug bands and mosquito nets to keep the bugs at bay. You must also learn how to identify unsafe food and water on your travels and minimise the risk of diarrhoea and vomiting.

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

Argentina Travel Tips

Argentina Travel Tips

Stay safe and healthy with our Argentina travel tips

No matter what your budget or background may be, travelling to Argentina promises a variety of enriching experiences. Whether you’re on a lengthy South America backpacking stint or a much shorter getaway, Argentina is sure to enthral and delight. Take advantage of our Argentina travel tips to get to grips with this gorgeous destination and make the most of your stay.

 

 

 

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With its jaw-dropping scenery, cosmopolitan cities and rich history, this intoxicating country is often described as seeming more European than South American – but with a sultry Latin American twist. Watch the world go by in a chic café in Buenos Aires or explore the alpine forests near La Cumbrecita and you’ll see that this destination is quite unlike anywhere else on the continent.

Argentina Travel Tips – Staying healthy

Before you step foot in Argentina you need to be thinking about your health. A quick trip to your local TMB clinic is all that’s needed to ensure you have all of your recommended vaccinations for Argentina, such as tetanus, hepatitis A and typhoid, before travelling.

In the unlikely event that you do fall ill overseas, fear not. Argentina’s public healthcare system is very good and it’s easy to get an appointment with a local doctor. Saying that, it’s important to get decent travel insurance before travelling. Check that your policy covers all of the exciting activities you plan on trying.

Safety in Buenos Aires

No trip to Argentina is complete without a stay in bustling Buenos Aires – the city’s residents are amongst the friendliest you will ever meet and keen to show off their vibrant home. Like any other city in South America, or indeed Europe, it’s best to have common sense while exploring Buenos Aires and to keep your wits about you, especially if you are travelling alone.

Holiday-makers are sure to fall in love with the city’s charming architecture, tantalising tango shows and legendary nightlife. While the chances of encountering petty crime are very unlikely, it’s best to know your bearings before setting off on your day’s adventures. Use a map to keep track of your location and ensure you don’t waste time getting lost.

Protect your belongings

It’s easy to see why Argentina is such a hit with backpackers – you can enjoy a wonderful array of activities and experience the country’s fascinating culture without breaking the bank. For peace of mind, it’s advisable to keep valuable accessories and equipment at home. You don’t want to be worrying about losing that beloved diamond ring or having your new camera stolen on your trip. We’d also recommend locking your passport in a hotel safe or security box, and keeping a photocopy on you at all times.

Argentina Travel Tips – Stay safe at night

One of our top Argentia travel tips is for solo travellers,  if you can, join forces with a group of like-minded tourists to explore this stunning country when the sun goes down. Experiencing Argentina’s exhilarating music and dance scene after hours is a must but it’s best to get taxis to your destination and only head to recommended venues.

A trip to Argentina is a feast for the senses – mouth-watering cuisine, rich wine, stunning landscapes, welcoming locals, entrancing music and mesmerising dancing. Be cautious on your getaway but remember the most important thing – soak up the unique culture and have fun! Lifelong memories await you once you’ve journeyed to this exhilarating destination.

We hope you find our Argentina travel tips useful, please check out our blog for more travel health advice and destination tips. For further information on your medical needs or further safety tips, book an appointment at a local TMB travel health clinic.

India Travel Tips

India Travel TipsTaj Mahal

India travel tips including where to go and how to stay healthy

If you’re a first timer about to embark on an adventure in India, chances are the prospect is a tad daunting. Chaotic and bewildering, this beautiful country can be a lot to handle if you aren’t prepared and don’t know what to expect. With dozens of different regions and a billion locals, it’s tricky knowing which destinations you should pack into your getaway. Fear not, our expert India travel tips will ensure you don’t miss a trick on your adventure.

Plan your itinerary

Top of the list of our India travel tips  – don’t try to fit in too much into a short space of time. India isn’t going anywhere and you can always come back for more at a later date. Choose your itinerary wisely, factoring in travel time between each destination. A fail-proof route is the classic Golden Triangle, which comprises of dazzling Delhi, amazing Agra and pink-hued Jaipur. If you’re fancy a more relaxing break, head to Goa’s golden beaches or the quiet Kerala backwaters.

Escape the masses

When you think of India, chances are you imagine sprawling, bustling cities. Within moments of stepping off the plane you’ll come to realise that there is much, much more to this stunning country than chaos and noise – unparalleled hospitality, intriguing history, colourful culture. That being said, it’s definitely worth visiting India’s smaller villages and gorgeous natural areas where you can enjoy total escapism. If you have time, factor in a trip to the beautiful Yumthang Valley, majestic Nohkalikai Falls or dreamy Kerala in the south.

Choose food wisely

Many Indians are vegetarian, meaning there are a host of wonderful veggie options to take your fancy. Choosing vegetarian meals reduces your risk of suffering from ‘Delhi belly’, which you definitely want to avoid! If you decide to eat meat, make sure it has been cooked thoroughly and comes from a hygienic eatery. Picking restaurants that are packed with locals is usually a good bet. Remember – when in doubt, leave it out!

Be careful with water

Only drink sterilised water on your getaway – as India travel tips go this really is critical! Tap water often contains bacteria and viruses, sure to cause you an unwanted bout of sickness. Avoid ice or any food that has been washed in water, such as salad or fruit. Purification tablets are easy to carry around and alleviate the risk of contamination. If you buy bottled water make sure that the seal hasn’t been tampered with.

Patience is a virtue

Things don’t always run on time in India so be patient when your new friend is running late or your train hasn’t shown up. You’ll come to understand that this is all part of India’s alluring charm and something you’ll miss when you’re back in that Monday board meeting bang on 9am. Use waiting time to people watch and get a greater insight into the local way of life.

Respect the culture

Dress conservatively to avoid drawing unwanted attention to yourself and respect the traditions and beliefs of locals. Covering arms and legs is a simple step towards respecting India’s relatively modest culture, as is removing your shoes before entering someone’s home or a temple. Check out the bustling markets of Udaipur or Agra and pick up elegant, modest items to see you through your trip.

Beware of pickpockets

As in any major cities in the world, pickpocketing is a problem in India. Be aware of your belongings at all time, especially when travelling on overnight buses or trains, and avoid carrying large quantities of money with you. There’s no need for that fancy watch or diamond earrings on your Indian escape so leave these at home.

Get excited

Travelling to India is sensory overload – an explosion of bright sights, explosive tastes and warm feelings at every turn. It’s difficult to summarise exactly what makes India so special – you simply have to go there and experience it for yourself to grasp what a wonderfully diverse and friendly country it is. You’ve undoubtedly heard a few travel horror stories of late but don’t let this put you off! India is full of generous, caring people, ready to show off their magnificent country and culture.

TMB’s India travel tips would not be complete without some travel health advice. It’s important to prepare yourself before travelling – to pack carefully and get all of the recommended vaccinations for India – but don’t worry about your getaway itself. You’re guaranteed to have an incredible time!

Those travelling to India are strongly advised to book an appointment at a local TMB clinic and speak to a trained professional about the vaccinations required.

China Travel Tips

China Travel Tipschina

 

 

 

 

 

 

China travel tips to help you plan an unforgettable adventure

Travelling to China can often be a little overwhelming. As the third largest country in the world, there’s a lot of ground to cover and it can be hard to know where to begin, especially if you only have a limited amount of time. The hustle and bustle can also take a while to get used to and it’s not uncommon to experience culture shock on arrival. Fear not – our China travel tips will help you to venture into the unknown and tackle the world’s most populated destination.

Plan your itinerary

It’s really hard to fathom just how massive China is until you get there. The country itself is unbelievably vast, and so too are its cities, mountains and jungles. You could easily spend a month in Beijing and only skim the surface of what it has to offer. Travelling between the major cities and provinces takes time and it’s necessary to factor this into your planning. Avoid spending half your trip on overnight trains or buses by focusing your itinerary – choose one or two provinces that you like the sound of and explore these properly.

Nature lovers should head to Guangxi, with its lush rice terraces and majestic karst peaks, or Sichuan, which boasts picturesque Ming-Dynasty villages and gorgeous mountain scenery. History buffs will want to check out the Terracotta Army in Xi’an while city slickers won’t want to leave cosmopolitan Shanghai. Take time to research travel hotspots to ensure you chose the perfect destination for you.

China travel tips – language skills

For many, the trickiest thing about travelling to China is the language barrier. Unlike Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, where you commonly find English signs and locals who speak English, this is not the case in China. And while you may have a few words of French or German rolled up your sleeve, Mandarin is, for most, an extremely difficult tongue to grasp. Before you head off spend some time learning the basics and pick up a trusty phrase book. There are lots of fantastic language learning and dictionary apps out at the moment such as Duolingo and Pleco, so one of our top travel tips for China is to  take advantage of these.

Check the weather

Because of its enormous size, China has wide-ranging climatic conditions throughout the year. Temperatures and weather conditions vary greatly from region to region – something to bear in mind when you’re planning your getaway. Generally speaking, spring and autumn are the best times to travel as the temperatures are pleasant but not overbearing, and there is little rainfall. Before deciding where you want to visit, check the weather conditions of each city and province. You don’t want your trip to be ruined because you’re too cold or hot to actually do anything!

China travel tips – health advice

Most important of our China travel tips is to prepare yourself for your Chinese adventure by heading to your local TMB clinic and getting the recommended vaccinations. All travellers should be vaccinated against tetanus, hepatitis A and typhoid, while those who plan on conquering Yellow Mountain or venturing into rural areas should also get diphtheria, meningococcal meningitis, tuberculosis and Japanese B encephalitis immunisations. Altitude sickness is the biggest health risk to tourists in Tibet so make sure you acclimatise in stages and stay hydrated. If you’re trekking it’s also worth investing in decent gear, such as a waterproof jacket and high-quality hiking boots.

No matter where you decide to go – north, south, east or west – an abundance of enthralling sights, stunning landscapes and friendly locals await. Not to mention the out-of-this-world food! Plan your itinerary and prepare yourself physically before jetting off to ensure you have the most amazing time possible.

Live like a Local

Live like a Localaverie-woodard-5d20kdvFCfA-unsplash

Tips and tricks to live like a local on holiday

Getting off the beaten track and soaking up a completely different culture can transform your holiday into a truly life-changing experience. With limited time on your hands and language restrictions, this can sometimes be a little tricky to do. It’s often easier to stick with the hordes of other tourists and tick the main sights off your list then take a chance on a random town, an unknown delicacy or a lengthy train journey. To help you venture into the unknown we’ve compiled some top tips on how to live like a local overseas…

Eat local food

Sampling local cuisine is a must on your getaway. Often the most memorable travelling experiences involve unique and exciting local food – noodles in China, pad thai in Thailand, burritos in Mexico and gelato in Italy. A good bet is to head where the locals do and order a selection of dishes to share. If you have time why not sign up for a traditional cooking class where you can learn how to use exotic herbs and spices? Recreate signature dishes and impress your pals at dinner parties back home!

Use public transport

Live like a local and take public transport. It may be easier to hop on a plane in between destinations or to catch a cab on your way out at night, but this means that you’ll miss out on excellent people watching opportunities. Throw yourself into the hustle and bustle of everyday life in your destination and catch the bus instead. If you’re not sure where you’re heading, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Speak the language

The number one hurdle for many travellers is the language barrier, particularly if you are in a country like China or Russia where very few people speak English. Spend time before you head off learning some local phrases. “Hello”, “Thank you”, “Where is the station?” and “How much is it?” may bring you back to your school days but will inevitably prove useful on your trip. Knowing a few words of the local tongue also allows you to interact with your destination’s inhabitants. Buying a local newspaper each day helps you to practice your language skills, get an insight into what’s going on and fit in with the crowd.

Research festivals

A fantastic way to understand local culture and make new friends is to head to a festival. Think getting colour-bombed at Holi in India, drenched at the Songkran Water Festival in Thailand or dancing along at vibrant Carnival in Brazil. Festivals help us to understand the beliefs and traditions of countries we visit, as well as being a whole load of fun. Research what’s going on in your destination and see how you can fit this into your trip. It’ll undoubtedly make your getaway all the more meaningful.

Enjoy your own company

Use your holiday as an opportunity to do exactly what you want to do. Travelling with friends is always fun but chances are you see them all the time at home anyway. If there’s something you really want to do – a water sport you want to try, a park you want to visit, a class you want to take – don’t be afraid to break off from the group and go it alone. It’s worth being a little selfish and putting yourself first on your trip. Keep in mind our tips for solo travellers and remember, you don’t know when you’ll be back!

So there you have it, some pointers on how to have an authentic and enriched travel experience – to live like a local. Ditch the guidebook for even a few hours and see where you end up. Try some delicacies and speak with locals whenever you can to create unique memories to last a lifetime. Believe us, you won’t regret it!

Brazil Travel Tips

Brazil Travel Tips

agustin-diaz-7F65HDP0-E0-unsplashMake the most of your South American getaway with our Brazil travel tips

Dance the night away at an all-night street party, venture into the depths of the lush Amazon rainforest, experience gorgeous colonial architecture, learn the art of capoeira or show off your football skills– this is what holidays to Brazil are all about. There is plenty to put  a smile on your face in this thrilling destination, which also happens to be the largest country in South America. Whether you’re off on a two-week tour or packing much more into a longer backpacking stint, it can be a little tricky knowing where to begin. Check out these top Brazil travel tips to ensure you get the most from your holiday and stay safe and healthy each step of the way.

Rio de Janeiro

No trip to Brazil is complete without spending some time in Rio de Janeiro, surely one of the most colourful and vibrant cities in the world. If you can coincide your trip with Carnival, when samba troops and pageant groups take to the streets, better yet! Head up Corcovado to get a selfie with the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue and take in the spellbinding view of the city, beaches and surrounding vegetation – truly incredible!

The Pantanal and Iguazu Falls

Top of the list of our Brazil travel tips stem from the country’s unique natural heritage. Wildlife lovers simply must make time for the Pantanal, the largest wetlands in the world, located in the west of the country. Over 11,000 species call this area home, including the rare Marsh Deer and Hyacinth Macaw. Cameras definitely at the ready! Another must-visit natural site is the astounding Iguazu Falls, which have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Be wowed by the power and magnificence of these waterfalls, which stretch for over 3km! If you’re heading into rural areas remember that you will need additional travel vaccinations for Brazil.

Salvador

Salvador, or the ‘capital of happiness’, is the ultimate destination for letting go of all your worries. With bright colonial architecture, gold-laden churches and fascinating museums, there is plenty of distraction in this cultural haven. Beach bums can head to the exquisite coastline found just outside the city, where there are countless palm tree-lined, golden beaches. Throw in a few cocktails and you’ve got yourself the perfect holiday destination.

Travel health advice

Don’t let your Brazil backpacking adventure be tainted or, worse yet, cut short because of sickness. It’s important to prepare yourself for your getaway by packing travel essentials like a first aid kit, insect repellent and sun cream, and ensuring you have all of the recommended vaccinations for Brazil. All travellers to Brazil should get yellow fever, tetanus, hepatitis A and typhoid immunisations. If you’re heading into rural areas, then make sure you also get vaccinated against diphtheria, meningococcal meningitis and tuberculosis. It is also essential that you protect yourself against malaria and take anti-malarial tablets over the duration of your holiday.

When to go

Brazil lies in the tropics and therefore enjoys warm temperatures throughout the year – particularly in comparison to our mild summers and dull winters. Because of its vastness, the climate tends to vary depending on where you are. For example, in Rio de Janeiro and the South there is more rain between October to May while in the Northeast the sun shines bright all year round. No matter when you travel you’re sure to enjoy all Brazil has to offer, although you may have to pack a rain jacket for some destinations. Even though prices are higher and the country is undoubtedly busier, we’d recommend fitting Carnival, held before Ash Wednesday, into your trip. There really is nothing quite like it!

So there you have it, some top tips to ensure you have the most magical and exciting Brazilian escapade possible. Spend a little time thinking about exactly what you want to experience and where you fancy heading, as well as getting yourself physically ready for your getaway. Just one other thing – can we come too?

Those travelling to South America are strongly advised to book an appointment at one of the many TMB travel health clinics to find out which vaccinations they require and to get the best advice about how to travel safely.

How to Prevent Food Poisoning

How to Prevent Food Poisoninghow to stay fit while travellingExpert advice on how to prevent food poisoning when you’re travelling

What could be worse than a bout of food poisoning on your much-anticipated getaway? Not a whole lot. The risks of catching a dose of salmonella or listeria are generally higher when you’re abroad, particularly in developing countries which may lack the same hygiene regulations as we have here in Ireland. No matter where you jet off to, it’s wise to be extra cautious about where and what you eat. Follow the below advice on how to prevent food poisoning and enjoy a healthy, happy holiday.

Choose restaurants carefully

The internet is your best friend when it comes to dining overseas, it is a particularly useful tool when looking for ways to avoid food poisoning on your travels. It may sometimes be a little difficult to determine whether an establishment is hygienic or not so read reviews from other travellers before you go. Heading to touristy areas is generally a safe bet – here you’re more likely to find eateries that want to maintain a positive reputation and so tend to be cleaner.

Beware of street food

In many destinations, sampling local delicacies on the street is part and parcel of the experience. It’s well worth trying pad thai in Bangkok or a döner kebab in Istanbul but make sure you are careful about which vendors you choose. Street food stalls generally don’t require licenses and are therefore not subject to inspection, they are a riskier option if you are trying to avoid food poisoning. Head to vendors that are popular with locals and tourists alike and have no obvious signs of contamination.

Make sensible food choices

Frolicking about in an exotic location might have you feeling extra adventurous but don’t let this affect your rationale when it comes to food. It’s best to stick to dishes that have been cooked thoroughly and still hot when you purchase. This will mean that contaminants and bacteria have likely been destroyed. One way to prevent food poisoning when travelling is to stick to the mantra when in doubt, leave it out.

Avoid suspicious dishes

It’s generally advised to avoid seafood or raw dairy products when you’re travelling. Fish and shellfish may contain contaminants from local waters and are more prone to undercooking than their meat counterparts. Milk, cheese and yoghurt might have internal bacteria which could lead to nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Not very nice!

Drink clean water

Holiday-makers often make the mistake of being lax about what they drink when they’re away. When considering how to prevent food poisoning when travelling, paying attention to the quality of water and other beverages you intake is just as important as doing so with food. Drink bottled or filtered water at all times, and check the seals on bottles to make sure that they haven’t been tampered with. Use purification tablets when you’re unsure about water quality and remember to use bottled water when brushing your teeth.

Maintain good personal hygiene

Food poisoning is not always a result of an unhygienic eatery or undercooked meal – you also have a part to play. Be extra vigilant and clean when you’re on the road, making sure to wash your hands thoroughly before every meal. Using hand sanitizer should kill any nasty viruses or bacteria before you eat. It might be tough but also avoid touching your face or mouth when you’re travelling.

Don’t spend half your trip running to your bathroom – follow our top tips on how to prevent food poisoning on your travels. Stay away from dodgy dishes and questionable water and you’re half the way. Maintain excellent personal hygiene and you’re there! And if you do suffer from food poisoning, fear not! Take care and you should be right as rain again in a few days.

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

How to Beat Jet Lag

How to Beat Jet Lagtravel after coronavirus

 

 

Expert advice on how to beat jet lag and avoid feeling frazzled on holiday

Jet lag, the demon of long-haul travel, refers to disturbed sleeping and eating patterns, weakness and disorientation experienced on arrival in your destination. Journeying through different time zones can wreak havoc with your mind and body, seriously affecting how you feel for the first few days of your holiday or business trip. No one wants to be a zombie after their flight! Here we discuss how to beat jet lag and ensure you’re in top form to enjoy your getaway.

Rest up before you go

Flying halfway across the world is as stressful as it is exciting. Chances are you have lots to sort out before you go – visas, vaccinations, finances, packing and maybe even a goodbye party or two. You may feel like embracing holiday mode early but having too many wild plans will cause you to feel worn out and exhausted before you even set off. Spend the days before your journey relaxing and catching up on sleep so you are both physically and mentally prepared.

Flight behaviour

If you’re going to arrive at your destination during the day, avoid the temptation to cram in as many in-flight blockbusters and free peanuts as possible. Getting a much-needed slumber on the plane will help you feel refreshed on arrival. Use an eye mask and ear plugs to drown out the sound of other passengers and announcements. Catching some zzz’s can be difficult if you’re uncomfortable so don’t wear jeans, three piece suit or tight dress on the flight – you can always change on arrival if you’re worried about looking unprofessional.

Stay hydrated

Dehydration can drastically intensify the effects of jet lag. Plenty of water throughout the flight will help to keep body in top condition. Avoid the temptation to drink caffeinated drinks and alcohol before, during or after your flight. Sure, a few glasses of wine sounds like a great way to get the holiday started early but this will only further dehydrate your body and result in a disrupted sleep. Likewise, too much coffee may mean that you have even more difficulty adjusting to your destination’s time zone.

Embrace local sleeping patterns

It may be hard but try your best to go to bed at the same time as locals when you arrive at your destination. Dozing off at 3pm and waking up late at night will do nothing for your body in the long run. Aim to get as many hours sleep as you usually do at home. This will help you to adjust to the new time zone as quickly as possible. If you’re really struggling, a short nap during the day should see you through.

So there you have it, our top tips to avoid jet lag. Be good to your body and it will be good to you. Rest up before you go and make the effort to embrace local sleeping and eating patterns. An amazing getaway is waiting for you when you wake up!