Before you set off on your exciting holiday, check out Urban Health’s in depth guide on the items you need to pack to stay healthy during your trip.
Everyone longs for a perfect, stress-free holiday that’s free from unpleasant incidents or medical issues. However, as you know, unwelcome experiences are often an inevitable part of life. Fortunately, there is a very effective way to minimise problems that could potentially ruin your holiday — plan everything well in advance!
One of the foundational elements of a great holiday plan is a solid holiday checklist which you can use for reference to ensure that you’ve got everything settled and covered before you head off to your travel destination.
Travel documents, sufficient and appropriate clothing as well as a detailed travel itinerary are some of the items that should be on every globetrotter’s list of things to take. However, even seasoned travellers often forget to include medicine and other health-related essentials on their checklist. To ensure that you can set your mind at ease, we’ve pulled together a list of important medical items you should remember to take along with you on your next holiday.
#1 First Aid Kit
Create your first aid travel kit by including basic items that can be found in everyday first aid kits such as plasters, safety pins, antiseptic cream and so on. Then, depending on the destination you are heading to, make sure you include medication for allergies, constipation, diarrhoea and pain (such as those for toothaches or menstrual cramps).
Before you make a dash to the pharmacy though, think through your trip and the types of activities that you will be experiencing. When you do this, you can easily decide on the kinds of medications you should take along with you. For instance, if you are going on a cruise or a trip, which involves long and windy trails, packing medications for motion sickness (which can be found over the counter at many pharmacies) is definitely a good idea. Bear in mind that small portions of each type of medication should be enough as long as you are sure that it will last the duration of your holiday. If you already have a travel first aid kit, make sure you check the expiry date on all types of medication and creams so you can be confident that the contents of your kit are effective and safe to use.
#2 Travel Health Insurance
When travelling to a foreign country, having a reliable and comprehensive travel health insurance is definitely a good idea. You’ll be so glad that you made the effort to apply for one, if you happen have a health emergency in another country. While many general travel insurances tend to cover health insurance as well, you should never assume that yours does.
Make sure you check with your insurance provider that you’ve got your medical expenses covered when travelling as foreign medical care often comes at a hefty price. Aside from that, it is essential that you understand the details of your policy and the exact amount that you can claim. If you are in doubt, do not hesitate to clarify with your insurance provider.
If you are travelling overseas, you should take a little time to do some online research beforehand. Visit websites like www.netdoctor.co.uk/travel/vaccines which offer a comprehensive list of vaccinations that are needed in various countries around the world. Aside from that, take the extra step of personally checking with your healthcare professional if you need to be vaccinated against certain diseases when travelling to a particular destination.
It is recommended that you get vaccinated about three to four weeks before your travel date. This is where planning your holiday in advance, pays off as you will have plenty of time to protect yourself and your holiday companions from being infected with a dangerous, contagious disease. If several vaccinations are needed, check with your doctor if you can receive all vaccinations on the same day. Doing so will allow you to plan wisely and avoid unnecessary stress.
#4 Personal Medication
Having a sufficient amount of personal medication that you take regularly is absolutely crucial when you go on vacation. Be aware that different countries have different rules and regulations when it comes to bringing in medication when you enter the country.
As a rule of the thumb, when bringing along personal medication during your holiday, be sure to store them in their original containers. This step can help to ease the identification process conducted by airport security personnel and it will minimise the risk of having your medication confiscated. Alternatively, a copy of your prescription letter from your doctor can help if your medication is not in its original packaging. Most importantly, make sure you are completely honest and that you cooperate with security officers if you are questioned about the medication you are travelling with.
#5 Basic Necessities
Depending on the country you are travelling to, you may need to bring along some additional basic necessities during your holiday. For instance, if you are on a beach holiday and you’re planning to enjoy a good amount of time on the beach, you should pack items such as a sun block and sunglasses to protect your skin and eyes, respectively, from ultraviolet rays. Aside from that, if you are travelling to a country where cleanliness could be an issue, items such as hand sanitisers, anti-bacterial wipes and disposable toilet seat covers will help protect you from germs and bacteria.Also, if you’ve had family members or friends who have travelled to the destination you are heading to, don’t be shy about asking them for tips or advice on items you should bring along.
The point is that it doesn’t matter where you’re headed on your holiday — a beach destination, a city or up in the mountains — it is always important to pack a comprehensive medical travel kit. With just a little effort before your set off, you can be assured of a happy and healthy holiday!
Your Travel Checklist
Don’t worry if you don’t have time to create a list for your travel medical kit. Here’s a ready-to-use checklist you can cut out and use anytime!
- Travel documents (passport, air tickets, visa)
- Personal identification
- Itinerary printout
- Appropriate attire for the weather
- Comfortable footwear
- Cash and credit cards
- Health insurance card/document
- Emergency contact information
- First aid travel kit
- Health aids (such as your hearing aid, walking aid etc.)
- Personal medication
- Insect repellent (if needed)
- Sun block
- Electronics & gear (chargers, memory card, electrical outlet adapters)