Getting ready to embark on an adventure? It might seem like there are countless things to organise before you head off overseas, which is all part of the experience. However, it’s crucial to be on top of your health as well. Plan in advance so you have time for appointments, collecting scripts, packing a first aid kit and getting insurance. Whether you’re off on a tropical island holiday, volunteer work in a developing country or a backpacking trip, these travel tips will help you to get organised in just a few simple steps.
Before you go
One of our biggest tips is to take the time before you leave to get the important stuff sorted. Then when you arrive, you can make the most of your holiday. Some of the most important things to organise are:
Getting the right insurance for you.
A travel agent can help you find the best insurance cover for your trip. If you’re going skiing, you’ll definitely need to have snow sports included. Or maybe you’re off to a tropical island and need cover for jet skiing and diving. Medical insurance may just seem like an extra expense, but if you become sick or injured while overseas, you will absolutely need it. And the sooner you get it, the better. Insurance can also cover unforeseen cancellations from the day you purchase it.
Going for a check up and getting your vaccines.
This is a good idea to get done no matter where you’re going. Even more so if you plan on being away for longer than a few weeks, or visiting developing countries. Some countries won’t require vaccines but perhaps you’ll need extra medication or tablets for water purification during your trip. Your doctor can help you work out what you’ll need. Most travel doctors can also provide a travel first aid kit – perfect for when you’re venturing away from urban areas.
Sorting out what you’ll take with you.
One of the most exciting parts of travelling can be packing beforehand. Choosing outfits, shopping for last-minute items, and getting everything to fit in the one (or two) bags. Along with your travel first aid kit and any medication you’re taking, don’t forget to pack a photocopy of your passport, itinerary and insurance details just in case. Sunscreen and mosquito repellent can also be more expensive overseas, so take some from home if you can.
While you’re away
With all the tricky stuff taken care of before you leave, that means you’re free to relax and enjoy your travels! Take all the usual safety precautions you would back home. You can always check the Smart Traveller website for more details and advice on specific countries.
If you’re travelling with others you can look out for one another. However, if you’re going solo, it’s important to be extra vigilant. Always let someone know where you are or what you’ll be doing, even if they’re back home. Keep a copy of your emergency contact’s details at all times so if anything goes wrong, you or someone else can get in touch.
Don’t overdo it
Chances are, if you’re away for more than a couple of weeks, adjusting to new surroundings and eating new kinds of food, you’ll get sick at least at some point during your trip. Listen to your body when it’s telling you to rest, and don’t persevere with sightseeing or too much moving around where it’s not necessary! The more time you give yourself to rest, the faster you’ll be able to get back on your feet and continue enjoying your holiday.
When you come home
When the trip’s all done and dusted, and your friends have seen more than enough holiday photos on your social media, it’s the perfect time for a follow-up visit to your doctor. This is especially important if you have travelled to areas prone to malaria, yellow fever or other illnesses, or if you have been away for a few months. If you become sick after returning home or you have unusual symptoms, see your doctor as soon as possible.
Once you’re in the clear? Time to plan your next trip!
Let us know if you have any other travel tips for our fellow travellers, or share your own travel stories with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more stories and get more health and wellness tips on our blog.