how to prevent yourself from Becoming Sick 
on Holiday

Travelling can be great fun and it gives us the chance to explore new places, maybe soak up some sun, and almost always allows us to get some much-needed rest. While most of us go on holiday and come home feeling refreshed and invigorated, an unlucky few may become ill or injured, so it is important to know what to do if you suddenly become sick while on holiday.

Most countries offer excellent healthcare, so if you do become ill or have an accident, it should be relatively straightforward to find a doctor. Cities and large towns usually have hospitals or health centres, and many hotels also provide the services of a medical professional who can assess the situation and will advise whether hospital treatment is required.

Travel Insurance and Health Insurance Cards

Anybody travelling overseas is advised to take out travel insurance before they leave. Travel insurance policies provide medical cover should there be a health issue, which can be vital in countries that charge heavily for healthcare, such as in the US. A good travel insurance policy will not only cover the costs of medical treatment but it will also take care of the cost of flying home early should this be necessary. Travel insurance is available for all kinds of holidays,

including winter sports breaks and activity holidays, so it is important to shop around and find a reputable policy provider who can provide all of the cover you may need.

If you plan to travel within Europe, apply for a European Health Insurance Card before you leave. This useful card gives holders the right to access state-provided healthcare, covering all necessary treatment until you can return home. It will also include routine maternity care and pre-existing medical conditions, and while it is not an alternative to travel insurance and will not cover the costs of private treatment, it is very useful to have.

Vaccinations and Health Checks

To narrow the risk of suffering from health problems while on holiday, arrange an appointment with your doctor for a simple health check beforehand.

They will be able to advise you of noticeable health issues and give you useful advice as well as any treatment required. A trip to your doctor will also give you the chance to stock up on any prescription medicines that you will need to take with you on holiday, as well as written verification that these medications are essential to your wellbeing.

A doctor will also be able to administer any vaccinations you might require before entering certain countries. These could include vaccinations for cholera, diphtheria, rabies, and yellow fever, depending on the holiday destination. It is also sensible to ensure that your tetanus vaccination is up-to-date, as booster injections are required every ten years.

First Aid Kit and Precautions

While many illnesses and injuries are severe enough to require the services of a medical professional, it is possible to treat yourself for minor health issues if you’re ill abroad. This is when a first aid kit proves its worth, holding plasters and bandages for minor wounds, aspirin or paracetamol for headaches and pain relief, and dehydration drinks to replenish the body with electrolytes after severe diarrhoea. Other useful items include a tick-removing tool, skin disinfectant and a soothing cream for burns, and some anti-histamine tablets in case of insect bites and skin rashes. Travellers heading to hot countries must ensure that they are carrying a suitable sun cream, as sunburn can be extremely painful. Aloe Vera gel is particularly useful for relieving the discomfort of mild sunburn, and it is wise to take a hat and long-sleeved shirts to cover up with when the sun is at its strongest. Also, consider taking insect repellent with you, as insect bites can be painful, especially if they become infected.

By taking precautions and having a sensible attitude to travel, the chances of suffering from holiday sickness or sickness abroad are drastically reduced, leaving you able to fully enjoy your holiday. And if the worst does happen and you’re holiday is ruined by a bout of illness or food poisoning abroad, you should most definitely look into filing holiday accident claims or a holiday illness claim, with a reputable company.

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