Before you take off on your big backpacking adventure around the world, you really should make sure you make the time to see a Nurse such as those who you would find at a Superdrug Travel clinic to make sure everything is in order before you depart.
Soon you won’t be in the UK with easy access to healthcare, so it’s best to get the thumbs up from a professional to make sure your health is in good shape.
It’s important to check up on your travel jabs
A full vaccination schedule should be started at least 8 weeks prior to departure so this is something you should plan well in advance before you depart on your big trip.
Did you know that some travel vaccinations can expire, and that you will need to top them up after a few years?
It’s best to keep a travel vaccination log book with you at all times to keep track of when you last had your travel vaccinations. This can also help at some international borders where they require proof that you have been vaccinated.
The travel vaccinations you need will depend on where you will be visiting, so be sure to create a list of the countries you will be heading to – as well as the specific areas in the country you will be going to – as this can help indicate what you need to be protected.
First of all – you should always ensure that you’re up to date with immunisations for tetanus and polio. These diseases are a lot more common in some other countries you might visit than the UK, so you really want to have this base covered.
Malaria protection might only be required for a specific area within a country, but you should be aware that malaria protection is vital in many parts of the tropical world. Check the malaria hotspots in the country you will be visiting with a nurse who will be up-to-date with this current information.
tick-borne encephalitis might be required for trips within Europe depending on where you’re going and what activities you’re participating in.
Some countries require a Yellow Fever vaccination and won’t even let you enter without one.
If you’re going further afield, you might also need cholera, hepatitis (A and B), meningitis, rabies, tuberculosis and typhoid.
Make an appointment ahead of time with your itinerary to hand, and ensure you’re covered and safe for your trip.
Superdrug’s Travel vaccination service
As a responsible traveller, I would say you should always have a health check before you go on your adventure. It’s much better to know your condition when you’re on home soil than when you’re abroad.
One option before you travel to check on your jabs is Superdrug’s fantastic travel vaccination service.
Superdrug’s travel vaccination service offers a range of travel vaccinations, malaria tablets and up-to-date advice – see the full list of services here.
You can book your appointment online here, and also get tailored travel advice from a team of in-store nurses telling you exactly what you need to know and what to do before you go away.
Existing conditions and what to be aware of
If you have any pre-existing medical conditions that require regular medication, you should make sure that you have sufficient supply for the duration of your trip.
When travelling, it’s always a good idea to split your medication between hand luggage and checked luggage in case one of your bags goes missing for a period of time.
Also make sure you have the chemical name and product number of the drug you’re using, as some maybe have a branded name and are called something else in another country. This may also help in an emergency when you need to translate the medication you’re looking for.
Should you pack a medical kit or first aid kit?
Packing a first aid kit is always a good idea, especially if you have some additional space in your backpack. It will be handy when you need it.
You can pick up a kit for a rather affordable price before you travel. Best to purchase a waterproof one so you can forget about it and avoid damage over your travels.
A fairly comprehensive medical kit can make life a lot easier when you’re in some of the more remote corners of the globe.
Purchasing a medical kit can also be a good idea if you’re visiting a country that might not have sanitised hospital equipment.
Best to seek advice if this is needed or not based on the countries you will be visiting.
Travel with travel Insurance
Serious accidents should be covered by your travel insurance, and I would advise that you never travel without it as medical bills you incur whilst abroad can go through the roof.
Hopefully you will never have to use it, but for peace of mind you should never travel without it and I advise you to read the small print of your travel insurance policy to make sure you’re aware of what you’re covered for.
But general first aid is what you might have to use as well as treating insect bites and traveller’s diarrhoea, the two most common health problems travellers face.
Make sure that if you’re travelling around the EU to register for your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which can help support you with health arrangements in most of Europe and is free for EU residents. You will still need to take out travel insurance that works along with the E111, and it is not a replacement for a travel insurance policy.
Do you have any known allergies
If you have any allergies you might want to take some steps to make others aware in an emergency, depending on how severe your allergy is.
One way is to wear a bracelet or necklace that can easily explain your allergy to passersby. You can look online for solutions and you can even find Gluten free restaurant cards to help you eat safely if you have celiac which is one way to help explain food allergies to your chef in multiple languages, helping you eat anywhere in the world safely and can help prevent reactions in other countries.
Know your blood group before you travel
It’s handy to know your blood group before you depart on a big trip around the world. Not essential, but can help in an emergency. You can ask your GP if they have it on record, otherwise it can be discovered for a small fee. You could also become a blood donor to find this out for free.
Make a visit to the dentist before you depart
Be sure to visit the dentist for your annual check up before you depart to ensure that you have no loose fillings, or even require any new ones. It’s easier to do this at home whilst you can. Most major cities will be able to provide good dental services, but be prepared to check that all the equipment they use is sterile if you need to use a dentist abroad.
Thank you for reading this blog post about travel health
I hope you’ve found this blog post both helpful and useful for your future upcoming trip. It’s important to keep up to date with your health to make your trip a safe one.
Disclaimer: I’m not a health professional and everything stated within this blog post is based on my own personal experience. You should seek advice from a medical professional before travelling. I have collaborated with Superdrug Health Clinics and their Travel Services programme to create this blog post.