Travel health tips

Travel health tips

Being organised could make the difference between enjoying your holiday and illness ruining it for everyone.


If you’re travelling within the European Economic Area (EEA) you can get a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which offers you access to treatment more like that you would expect at home, and reduced-cost medical treatment. You can apply or renew cards for each member of your family for free via www.ehic.org.uk

Think ahead and order enough of any medicines your family requires such as inhalers, to last you while you are away. Make sure you are up to date with the latest limits on what can go in hand luggage if you will be passing through airport security.

It’s easy to get lazy with good habits when you’re away. Be extra vigilant about handwashing while travelling on trains, buses, at airports etc.

Once you’ve arrived at your destination, take simple precautions to avoid tummy upsets. Don’t be tempted by street vendors, even if the locals are all munching happily. If you have concerns about the water don’t choose foods like salads. If you can see the food being cooked it is a good sign, cooking kills bacteria.

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Most importantly, don’t let anyone in the family take silly risks. Pool safety, for example: you wouldn’t let your children play chase around a swimming pool at home because it can get too slippery, and as an adult you wouldn’t have a drink before going for a swim, would you?

Savvy tip
If the worst comes to the worst, you’ll be glad of your travel insurance. Read the small print before you choose your policy to ensure that it covers any sports or activities you’re planning to try, and that the insurers will get you home without quibbling if you need major treatment. Check our tips on savvy travel insurance.

Pass it on – safe holiday eating
Check out our guide to eating and drinking without getting sick – Healthy holiday eating.

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Great tips. Bring a printed list with you of medications and emergency contact numbers for each member of the party who needs to carry them. If someone in your party needs a wheelchair or just tires easily from walking, many places of interest now provide free wheelchairs, from museums to the Eden Project. You can check on line or ask when you arrive.

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