If you require any vaccinations relating to foreign travel you need to make an appointment with the practice nurse to discuss your travel arrangements. It is important to make this appointment as early as possible - at least 6 weeks before you travel. It will include which countries and areas within countries that you are visiting to determine which vaccinations are required. There is further information about countries and vaccinations required on the links below.
Some travel vaccines, including Malaria protection are ordered on a private prescription and these incur a charge over and above the normal prescription charge. This is because not all travel vaccinations are included in the services provided by the NHS and are therefore chargeable.
First Aid Kit
Pack a small first aid and holiday health kit containing:
• Travel sickness tablets
• Paracetamol, including paracetamol and/or ibuprofen syrups for children
• Sunscreen - SPF 15 or higher (SPF 16 or higher for small children)
• Sunburn treatment, eg calamine
• Plasters and antiseptic wipes
• Oral rehydration solution; anti-diarrhoea
• Indigestion remedy, eg antacid
• Insect repellent
• Water purification tablets
• Condoms/other contraceptives
• Antihistamine tablets
• In some developing countries or where medical supplies may not be reliable, it
may be wise to include sterile needles and syringes, dressings and suture
All these items should be available from your chemist.
Check on the quality of drinking water:
Where there is a risk of food or water-borne disease, it is wise to eat food that is freshly cooked, or fruit that can be peeled. Avoid drinking the local water supply or raw food washed in it. Remember, this includes ice in drinks and cleaning your teeth. Bottled water is usually available in tourist areas; choose carbonated where possible as this cannot easily be filled from a tap! Water purification tablets can be used if you are ‘roughing it’.
Diarrhoea and vomiting can ruin a holiday. Apart from eating and drinking wisely, be prepared - take antidiarrhoeals with you. However, these are not suitable for children or if the diarrhoea contains any blood. Antidiarrhoeals will alleviate the symptoms and electrolyte solutions will replace essential salts. If you are afflicted, try to replace fluid loss with bottled water and remember, as children dehydrate more quickly than adults, it may be wise to call for help.
It is advisable to use effective insect repellents wherever there are mosquitoes. Apart from the irritating bites they can inflict, mosquitoes may also carry diseases - including malaria and yellow fever - in countries where contact with these diseases is a risk.
Beware of the sun!
Use a high factor sun screen particularly in the first few days of exposure. Small children burn very easily and need adequate protection from a total sun block applied frequently. Keep children in the shade as much as possible and provide plenty of water. In hot climates drink plenty of non-alcoholic drinks. If you are not passing water regularly, you are not drinking enough.
On Your Return
If you are ill and need to see your doctor, don’t forget to mention that you have recently travelled abroad.
If you receive medical treatment abroad, tell your own doctor on your return.
If you donate blood, tell the transfusion service staff which countries you have visited.