Health Check Yourself, Your Destination and Plan for the Worst!

Travelling outside of your own town or village has always been both an exciting adventure and a risky business. Every journey requires a huge amount of forethought and contingency planning if you are to return home safe and healthy. There are many things that you need to take into consideration and this includes the following:

  • What would you do if you lose your baggage, and or your travel documents?
  • How will you travel; by train, boat, plane or are you intending on driving yourself?
  • What will you do if something interrupts your journey?
  • What will you do if it’s delayed or cancelled?
  • Have you got enough money with you in case of an emergency?  Is it in the right currency?
  • What would happen to you if you come across pirates or robbers when you are visiting unfamiliar territory?
  • Where is your lifeline?
  • How would you contact them if the need should arise?
  • Where will you stay?
  • Can you trust that you are both comfortable and safe?

One of the first considerations to consider are the health hazards you may be exposing yourself to and what will you do if you fall ill or have an accident?

The best place to start your travel planning is on this site. because by following the advice provided, you would be as fine as you could be, even if you are faced with the worst case scenario becoming reality. You must also read the small print of your one-trip travel insurance so that you are aware of every detail contained therein.

Most people take out basic travel insurance which is often attached to a bank account, credit card or the policy is taken out as a matter of course at a travel agent’s recommendation with little extra thought. However, in reality, travel insurance is far too important to leave to chance or others.

The best advice you could be given is to start your travel planning to-do list with the two top items being as follows:

  • Arrange an appointment with your doctor to get all necessary vaccinations according to your destination
  • Take out travel insurance which should cover all foreseeable eventualities and misfortunes you may encounter

It is worth noting that a vaccination protocol may vary according to the place you are travelling to and that all the relevant information can be found on the NHS website and if necessary, it is crucial that you are vaccinated against the following:

  • Yellow fever
  • Typhoid
  • Hepatitis A

Thinking about necessary vaccinations may detract from the excitement and romance associated with international travel but if you do it early enough, you can then focus on the more positive and fun aspects of your journey.  In short, making an appointment with your GP must be a priority once you have decided on your destination, bearing in mind that you may need to have a course of vaccinations depending on your chosen destination.

It is also important to note that by failing to have the necessary and required vaccinations could invalidate your travel insurance cover. The reason being that if you ignore the recommended health precautions, your insurance policy may be negatively impacted.

There are three distinct types of health precautions to consider when travelling. The first being routine vaccinations against  illnesses like measles, mumps and German measles. The second being destination specific, yellow fever and hepatitis A, examples being when you travel to Russia or India. If you travel to Thailand, you may need anti-rabies shots if your agenda involves adventure travel, caving and other outdoor activities in remote areas of the country that put you more at risk of coming into contact with rabid animals.

The third type being compulsory vaccinations required by the country you are visiting and you may have to provide documentary proof at the border before you would be allowed to enter the country.

The best advice is to never assume you will be safe when you travel and to make sure you have all the required vaccinations and certificates with you.

You should also take a fully stocked first-aid kit with you when you travel and take extra care when you are away so that your time abroad is a healthy, enjoyable experience.

Edited Honey 17/1/2020