Whether you’re planning a mini-break in the UK or a three-week holiday abroad, you’ll want to stay safe and healthy while you’re away from home. Whilst any type of injury or illness should always be avoided at any time , it can be particularly upsetting if you’re hurt or unwell while you should be enjoying your much-anticipated holiday.
By following some straightforward travel advice and planning ahead, you can reduce the chances of injuries and illnesses, and look forward to your break in the sun.
Once you’ve chosen your destination, it’s time to find out whether you need to plan anything in advance. Depending on where you’re travelling, you may need immunisations, for example. In some cases, these immunisations must be given a few weeks or months before you travel, so it’s vital you make your appointments early and get the vaccines you need at the appropriate time.
In addition to this, every county has governmental websites which provide useful information to tourists or holidaymakers who are travelling to the area. This can range of weather information to areas to avoid, so make use of the information and identify safe destinations to visit.
Be Prepared for the Heat
Most people enjoy holidays in the sun, and there’s nothing better than relaxing on a sandy beach. However, too much sun can be dangerous, particularly if you’re not used to living in a hot climate. If you’re heading to a warm location this summer, make sure you have sunscreen or sunblock to hand. In addition to this, always wear a hat when you’re out in the sun as it can help to protect you from heat or sunstroke.
You’ll also want to stay well-hydrated when you’re in hot countries. Even if you’re not out sunbathing, make sure you drink enough water throughout the day. In some countries, drinking the tap water isn’t recommended, so you’ll need to have a ready supply of bottled water to drink. In addition to this, you may want to avoid having ice in your drink if you’re travelling to a destination in which the tap water isn’t drinkable.
When the temperature soars, you may notice that locals tend to stay indoors during peak hours, usually from midday to around 3 pm. Take the time to visit indoor, air-conditioned attractions or relax in your hotel until the heat is less intense.
If you’re currently taking any prescribed medication, you may need to visit your GP in order to get more medicine to ensure your health is not compromised on holiday. Most GPs will be happy to prescribe extra medication when you’re going on holiday, but you’ll need to ensure that you’ll be permitted to bring it to your destination. Every country has different rules regarding medication, and what’s available here may not be permitted in your host country. In some cases, you may need a medical certificate or documentation before you’ll be allowed to bring the medication into the country, so it’s important to check whether you need to bring any paperwork with you before you set off.
Of course, it isn’t just prescription medication which may be banned or heavily-regulated in other countries. Some medicines which are available over-the-counter in the UK aren’t as readily-available overseas, so check what you’re allowed to bring and get the relevant certification if it’s needed.
Get Travel Insurance
No matter where you’re heading, make sure you have an appropriate travel insurance policy in place. If an accident, injury or illness does occur while you’re away, a good travel insurance policy will cover the cost of the treatment you need. If you’re holidaying in Europe, you may already have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), and this may entitle you to some subsidised treatment. However, an EHIC doesn’t cover all medical costs, so travel insurance is still a must.
As well as providing cover for when you’re on holiday, many travel insurance policies also pay out if you need to cancel your holiday due to unforeseen circumstances, such as illness. This can help to recoup your costs if you’re forced to cancel your break, so it can be advantageous to take out a travel insurance policy as soon as you’ve booked your holiday.
Access Help When You Need It
However careful you are, it isn’t always possible to prevent accidents and injuries. If you are hurt whilst you’re on holiday, it’s important to know where to turn for assistance. In addition to accessing immediate help, such as medical treatment, you’ll need to know what your rights are so that you can take appropriate action.
If you’re caught up in traffic incident while you’re on holiday, for example, you may be eligible to make a road accident compensation claim. Providing the incident wasn’t your fault, you should be compensated for the injuries you’ve sustained, and taking legal action is the most effective way to get the compensation you’re owed.
Have Useful Numbers With You
Before you head off on your holiday, make sure you note down any useful numbers you may need. 999 is the emergency number in the UK, for example, but do you know the number for emergency assistance at your destination? Similarly, you may want to jot down the details of the UK Embassy in your host country. The 24-hour helpline run by the British Consulate can be an invaluable source of help when you’re abroad, and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office also provides assistance to British Nationals when they’re travelling abroad.
Prevention is better than a cure. With the right amount of preparation, you can help to reduce incidents of injury and illness while you’re away, and you can ensure that you’ll be able to access help if you do fall ill or get hurt in some way. By taking the time to prepare for your trip, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy your holiday.