Here’s what to do before, during and after your travels in order to stay safe

Summer is finally here, and for many people this only means one thing – your travel plans are firmly on the horizon. A summer holiday acts as a well-deserved break for many of us, but when travelling to unfamiliar territory it’s vital that you take all the necessary precautions to stay safe and healthy.

Not taking the appropriate health and safety measures before, during and after your holiday can not only put a dampener on your travels, but can also have potentially serious and long term consequences for your overall wellbeing.

To help you ensure your safety abroad, here’s a helpful tick list to run through before you go, while you’re away and after you return back home.

Before you go, you should…

Get insured. Travel insurance will ensure that if something does go wrong, at least you’re covered for it. Find a plan which covers all the activities you want to complete.

Research the area. Never land in a new country without having thoroughly research it first. You’ll need to know customs, laws and where all your nearby amenities are located.

Tell someone where you’re staying. Whether it’s a parent, sibling, partner or friend, make sure you tell at least one person what your plans are, including addresses and phone numbers for each of your destinations.

Get vaccinated. Visit a vaccination clinic at least 4-6 weeks before you travel to determine what vaccines you need to stay safe in your destination.

While you travel, you should…

Stay safe. This applies to all areas of your holiday, but particularly aspects such as water safety. Follow advice about local tides and don’t swim long distances alone, especially after drinking.

Drink responsibly. We all like a drink on holiday, but remember your limits. You’re in an unfamiliar setting, so you need your wits about you. Always eat before you drink and consider alternating between alcohol and soft drinks.

Be aware of blood-borne infections. Tattoos, drug use, body piercings and unprotected sex all put you at risk of blood borne infections like HIV and hepatitis B and C. It’s best to avoid these things altogether, but if you do plan on getting a tattoo make sure it is applied with a sterile, single use needle.

Be hygienic. Be mindful of what you’re eating, including how the food has been prepared and where the water has come from. To avoid unpleasant conditions like diarrhoea, you should only drink bottled or pre-boiled water.

Protect your skin. If your destination is a tropical one, sun protection is a must. Use an SPF sunscreen of at least 30 UVA/UVB and reapply frequently. You should also be sure to pack a hat and sunglasses.

Practice safe sex. Protection is vital if you engage in sexual intercourse abroad. This will reduce your risk of sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy.

Watch out for insects and ticks. Cover up and use repellents liberally If your destination suffers with ticks and mosquitos. These can cause painful bites and even spread diseases.

After your return, you should…

Seek medical attention if necessary. If you’re feeling at all under the weather upon your return home, visit your GP as soon as possible. Be sure to mention that you’ve been abroad and where exactly you’ve been.

Finish any courses of medication you’re taking. Some medication requires you to continue taking it after you return home. If this is the case, don’t forget about your treatment just because you’re no longer overseas.

For information, guidance and vaccinations for your travels, visit one of the four walk-in Express Travel Clinics located throughout the capital. Or book an appointment today by calling 0208 993 58 89 or clicking here.