Travel Health Tips


Staying healthy and illness free whilst on a business trip or on holidays can make or break a trip. Our travel health tips offer some useful travel health advice and tips for travellers to consider. Our tips include important advice and considerations prior to starting your trip to ensuring you stay illness free during your trip and care to be taken after your return from your trip. Whilst our travel advice offers plenty of useful tips on a wide range of aspects to travel health, it should be noted each traveller’s circumstances and health considerations are different and there may be health considerations that are specific to your particular circumstances. However we hope you find the health tips below of use and that it helps remind you of actions to take for your trip:

Travel Health Advice & Tips

Before You Go
Travel Insurance and European Health Insurance Card
During Your Journey
While You Are on Your Trip
When You Return

Before You Go

Vaccinations and Medications

Check with your GP if you need to take any vaccinations for your trip. There may be preventative tablets to take such as for Malaria. It is wise to see the GP or the local health centre six weeks prior to departure or as early as possible as there may be vaccinations and preventative tablets courses that need to be taken a set amount of time before you travel. If you are travelling to areas in the world that require vaccinations before you travel, it is highly recommended that you make it a priority to ensure you have taken all the required vaccinations and have a full supply of preventative tablets.

The vaccinations will help prevent a range of diseases that are not prevalent in the UK, failure to have the vaccinations and preventative tablets can put you at much higher risk of catching diseases that can result in health complications and death. The NHS Fit for Travel website gives travellers useful advise on the vaccination, malaria and disease advice for individual countries around the world.

Check with your GP if you are fit to travel if you have any medical conditions/complications or are on medication.

For any medications check that they are legal in the country/countries you are going to visit. There are different standards and requirements in different countries and medications legal in some countries are deemed illegal elsewhere, you can check with the local British Embassy/High Commission for further advice.

If you have pre-existing medical conditions ensure your travel insurance provider is aware of them and they are prepared to cover you for them. If pre-existing conditions are not declared to your travel insurance provider and you require treatment on your policy whilst abroad it is likely to invalidate your travel insurance.

Ensure you have a letter from your doctor and any prescriptions you need.

Health Check

If you need a health check or other medical work such as dental work etc, it is advisable to get this done before you start your trip. This ensures you have not put off something that could flare up whilst you are abroad, but also means you are less likely to have to seek medical treatment abroad, where it can be expensive and in some cases not up to EU standards.

Travel Insurance and European Health Insurance Card

Ensure you have comprehensive travel insurance that includes cover for skiing, extreme sports and other pursuits if you are going to be taking part in those. Check your travel insurance policy covers the region of the world you are travelling to, many annual travel insurance policies have different premiums for travel within Europe, travel around the world excluding the USA and Canada and travel around the world including the USA and Canada.

Ensure your travel insurance is valid and will not run out during your trip, if you are travelling with the European Economic Area take a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) in addition to your full travel insurance, to benefit from state provided health treatment should you require it.

It is always useful to learn a few phrases of the local language especially those related to any medical condition and/or medication you may have.

Take the same precautions with your health and medications that you would do in the UK. Relaxing on holiday or a busy business trip can mean it is easy to take less care than you would normally, it is important to maintain standards and not miss anything important relating to your health care and medication.

During Your Journey

Wear loose fitting clothing whilst travelling you your destination. It is useful to keep a change of clothes in your hand luggage, in case you are ill or your main luggage is lost or stolen you are not totally without clothes.

Ensure you regularly do stretching exercises such as for your arms, legs, ankles and neck to avoid problems with circulation, this is very important for longer journeys. Try to walk around the plane/train if possible at regular intervals, if that is not possible, you can do regular stretching exercises sitting in your seat also.

Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and avoid drinking too much alcohol and caffeine.

Carry hand sanitisers (i.e. gels and anti-bacterial wipes) and use regularly including before you eat/handle food; to ensure your hands stay clean and lessen the chances to picking up germs and viruses. Hand sanitisers are a very useful option to have where it may not be possible to thoroughly clean your hands with soap and water or where you cannot trust the quality of the water.

While You Are on Your Trip

Drink enough water to avoid dehydration particularly in hot climates.

Eat and drink in moderation, over-indulging with too much food or drink can lead to illness.

Do not eat or drink from areas/places where you are not sure of the food hygiene standard.

Check if you can drink tap water, if you cannot or if in doubt, it is safer to stick to bottled water from reliable sources. Beware of bottled water that appears as if it has been tampered with or is on sale in places you cannot trust.

If you cannot drink tap water, beware of using tap water for brushing teeth, in this situation use bottled water for brushing teeth too.

Carry hand sanitisers and use regularly especially before eating/handling food.

Keep handy the local numbers for the emergency services and the local hospital or medical facilities.

The sun usually strongest between 11am and 3pm, use the strongest sun cream to avoid burning and avoid extended exposure to the sun especially during these hours.

When You Return

Ensure you continue with medication and/or preventative tablets for the recommended period after you return from your trip, i.e. Malaria tablets may require continuing the course for a period of time after your return. Check if this applies to any medication/tablets you are required to take.

If you need booster doses of vaccinations note it down in your diary and ensure you take the booster doses within the allowable time frame.

If you feel unwell go and see your GP, there may be a time lag before some conditions/illnesses manifest themselves. To be on the safe visit your doctor.

Checking the travel health tips are a good way of ensuring you remind yourself with things to do prior to your trip and are well prepared during your journey and whilst your are on your trips. In addition to our travel health related tips you may wish to consult the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website has travel health information for individual countries and provides a valuable resource with up to date travel health information and tips.

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Disclaimer: The information given in on this website is given in good faith and to the best of our knowledge. If there are any discrepancies in no way do we intend to mislead. Important travel details and arrangements should be confirmed and verified with the relevant authorities.
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