In sickness and In health

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We don’t often think about things going wrong on holiday. We think of sun, sea, cocktails and relaxation, we tend to conveniently forget about the pitfalls. It depends where you’re going on holiday, but it’s worth finding out prior to travelling whether you need any immunisations. For the most part, this isn’t needed, and you can carry on dreaming of cocktails and sunshine without the temporary blip, however if you’re heading a little further afield, say Kenya, South America or India, you may need to do a little pre-travel health screening.

Equally, if you’re heading somewhere rural, say villages inland in Turkey, you may need immunisations, whereas to travel to the more coastal popular resorts, you may not, so head to your GP to find out. Alternatively, the NHS choices website gives lots of useful information.

pre-travel health

None of this need put an unnecessary downer on your holiday planning, as even if you do need immunisations, it literally takes minutes, and you’re good to go. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Being in tip-top health prior to getting on the plane is always useful, not always possible, however getting enough sleep and rest before you travel will help combat low immune systems to a degree. A great way to do this, by adding comfort into the whole shebang, is by staying the night at one of the many airport hotels nationwide, meaning no need to get up in the middle of the night to travel to the terminal for that early flight. I regularly stay at one of the Manchester Airport hotels on offer, as my flights have a nasty habit of being scarily early, and I’ve found this to be fantastic answer to this problem, not to mention starting my holiday early! It’s a lot cheaper than you would imagine too. If you’re flying from the capital I hear the Sofitel at Gatwick airport is a great choice.

Another consideration to take into account is malaria. Don’t panic at the mention of it! If you’re travelling to a zone that is considered a malaria risk, you’ll need to take malaria tablets whilst you’re there, and usually for a period of time beforehand too, but again, check with your GP.

Something many of us forget about is sun health, and whilst that bright light in the sky is one of the main reasons we travel overseas, it also has its health pitfalls. We should be all too aware of the damaging effects of UV rays, and the huge importance of wearing sun screen with appropriate SPF, and topping up regularly. Many of us forget to put enough on, or go in the sea and then forget to top up. I can’t stress enough how important sun health is, and the damaging effects are so avoidable! Keep slapping on that lotion, top it up regularly, wear a hat and drink plenty of water – it’s so easy!

Stomach upsets are one of the main complaints from holidays abroad, and for the most part it can’t be avoided, however there are some things you can do to at least minimise the risk. Do not drink the water! We are not used to it, and it will give you a rather unpleasant few hours, so stick to the bottled stuff – I even brush my teeth in bottled water. Be careful of ice cubes and salads and fruit washed in tap water too, although in tourist resort this isn’t usually too much of a problem.

Its common sense at the end of the day, but that often goes out of the window when we board a plane! Keep these steps in mind, and your holiday should be happy and indeed, healthy.

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