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The ultimate traveller’s checklist
When it comes to travelling, it’s important to have fun but even more important to stay safe! And you’ll find everything you need right here… Travelling is a wonderful experience, one which more and more young people are choosing to undertake. In fact, between 200,000 and 250,000 people aged 16-25 take a gap year, with many using it to travel and see the world outside the UK. But there are a lot of things to do to make sure your trip is not only fun, but safe as well. Looking after your health and wellbeing is even more important when you’re abroad. At Express Travel Clinic, we’re concerned about keeping you safe on your travels, and that’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive list of everything you need to pack and do before you jet off into the big wide world. How are you getting there? Whether you’re driving or flying, there’s lots to consider before you begin your travels. If driving, make sure… You’ve changed your oil Your car maintenance is up to date You’ve confirmed your address You have up to date insurance You’ve got directions You’ve confirmed your check in at the other end You have a full tank of petrol You have plenty of snacks and drinks for the road! If flying, make sure… You’ve booked your flights You’ve booked accommodation You know your check-in times You’ve confirmed your flight times You’ve booked transport and pick-up at the other end You know when you need to be at the airport You’ve followed airline limits when it comes to luggage size and weight You’ve checked in your baggage You’ve checked in, whether at the airport or online beforehand What should you do in the days leading up to your trip? A week before, make sure… You’ve changed your currency You know what you’re going to wear/bring You’ve done your shopping – food, clothes, toiletries, storage Your clothes are washed and dried One or two days before, make sure… You’ve checked weather forecasts You’ve done a practice pack You’ve checked for prohibited items like razors or liquids You’ve preferably checked-in online You’ve printed your boarding pass You’ve given contact details and an address to a loved one On the day of travel, make sure… You’ve packed any last items – toiletries, food, books etc. You’ve packed flying necessities such as a boarding pass and passport You give yourself extra travel time in case of traffic What should you pack? Clothes: Trousers, shorts, dresses or skirts Shirts A jacket (just one – even if you’re going somewhere hot!) Underwear and socks Pyjamas A few pairs of shoes, but not too many! Swimwear Accessories – hat, sunglasses, jewellery etc. A plastic bag for dirty clothes Toiletries: Floss, toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash Skincare and moisturiser Sun protection creams in a variety of factors Deodorant and fragrance Razors Hair products, whether it be a brush, gel or hairspray Make-up Vitamins or medication Essentials: Wallet or purse, including I.D. Mobile phone (plus charger!) Camera Books Snacks A print out of all your booking confirmations Pen and paper Emergency contact details Money in the necessary currency What about your health? Your health is the most important thing you should be thinking about wherever you roam, and Express Travel Clinic can help treat and prevent any number of afflictions associated with travelling abroad – including rabies, typhoid, malaria and cholera. Make looking after your health the FIRST thing on your checklist before you travel. There are lots of treatments available at Express Travel Clinic, so don’t take any chances; take every precaution and get in touch today.
Is being out in the sun actually good for you?
The first signs of spring mean that most of us are already thinking about a summer holiday, and now you have even more reason to book a flight! For years we’ve been warned about the dangers of being out in the sun. Sunburn, heatstroke and even serious afflictions like skin cancer are all risk factors of sun overexposure. But what if we told you that lounging by the pool abroad might actually be good for you? At Express Travel Clinic, our aim is to make sure you’re safe on your travels. We want you to all have fun and look after yourself, and that’s why we’re here to explain some of the great benefits a little summer sunshine can have – taken in moderation and with adequate skin protection, of course. It’s a great source of calcium The sun can do wonders for our skin. It’s packed full of vitamin D – in fact, it provides us with over 90% of the vitamin D in our bodies. And what does vitamin D do? For one thing, it provides calcium to help strengthen our bones. A bit of sun can improve our bone density and our posture, particularly as we get older. It reduces the risk of heart disease Vitamin D is a wonder vitamin, and does all kind of good things for our bodies. One of these good things is reducing the risk of heart disease. Studies have shown that regularly exposing our bodies to UVB rays can lower blood pressure just as effectively as prescription medication. The British Medical Journal found that people are more likely to die from heart disease in the winter than in the summer, due to a lack of vitamin D. It relieves aches and pains When it’s cold, our muscles and joints tend to contract and become stiffer. This is where a little holiday warmth can help. Warm weather eases muscles and relieves tightness and discomfort, helping our bodies relax. This helps relieve the pain associated with inflammatory conditions like arthritis. It’s a mood lifter As a general rule, we tend to feel happier when it’s warm and sunny. There is a science behind this, as sunshine helps us release serotonin. Serotonin is our natural happiness drug, helping us cope with anxiety and depression and making us feel more energized. It also eases the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is a kind of depression specifically caused by lack of sunlight. It’s good for your skin Sunlight can help with the treatment of skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and acne, to the point where going out in the sun is often prescribed to sufferers. Sunshine and sea water are a great combination for fighting spots, giving you even more reason to jet off. It is important to remember, however, that your skin is a delicate and precious thing. Never stay out in the sun for hours on end without sun-cream and always ensure that you stick with a high SPF. It reduces the risk of cancers That’s right, sun exposure can reduce the risk of certain kinds of cancer. A study by the US National Cancer Institute found that the vitamin D in sunlight can reduce fatality in breast and colon cancer, with similar results being found for stomach, bladder and womb cancer. Obviously, you need to be sensible with sun exposure. Regularly applying sun cream and wearing hats and light clothing which covers your shoulders can help fend off the harmful consequences of too much sun like heatstroke and sunburn, which affected 72% of Brits last year. But it’s good to know that a bit of sunshine can do you good. Heading somewhere hot this summer? Get in touch with the Express Travel Clinic team and make sure that you have all the bases covered for your trip abroad. We offer a wide range of vaccines and advice on the best courses of treatment, wherever you’re heading.