Medical considerations when travelling

Most people will think about medical considerations at some stage during their travels. But many don’t realise that taking care of your health while travelling goes far beyond simply buying medical insurance. Here are some things you’ll need to remember to keep your health in check while you’re out trekking the world, or your own backyard.

Don’t hesitate – vaccinate (before you go)
Speak to your GP about where you’ll be traveling

to, and any vaccinations you may need before you go. No need to get paranoid and ask for every vaccination for every disease under the sun, but a health professional will be able to advise you on what vaccinations may help protect you in a certain country.

Don’t accidentally be an illegal drug smuggler
Some medications and over-the counter tablets and remedies that are common to us may be banned in specific countries. In Greece, for example, codeine is classified as an illegal drug, so don’t pack any Panadeine and Nurofen Plus if you’re travelling to the country. Do your research ahead of time and you’ll avoid any run-ins with the law.

Get to know a country
The risk of Malaria in Africa and Dengue Fever in Egypt are well known. But before you visit a particular country, spend a little time reading about certain living conditions, common diseases and hospital standards in the area. Make the World Health Organisation website your best friend – it contains in depth documents on almost every country in the world and the kinds of diseases and health concerns in each region. The Australian Government’s smarttraveller.org website also contains great information, whether you’re travelling to the other side of the planet, or just booking some flights to Perth.

Know yourself
If you’ve had a chronic illness or injury, some airlines require a certificate from your doctor stating that you are fit and able to fly. Get all the relevant check-ups and sort this one out with your doctor well before you leave.

With these considerations in mind, you’ll have a safe, healthy holiday and come back in one piece.

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