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…
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.
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.