Travel Health Advice: Adventure Safely

We all like a rip-roaring adventure. Travel health advice is essential in insuring your travels are a success.

Luckily I’ve never intimately known cholera, typhoid or their friends Hep B and Japanese encephalitis. I like to think it was the phalanx of vaccinations I had over the years that pulled me through some pretty squalid locations.

It is excessively important you consult your GP and/or travel health professional prior to travelling. To cover the entire vocabulary of travel health would be impossible so let’s keep things succinct.

Travel health insurance

Damn well insure yourself; if you don’t, you’re a fool. Even the best laid plans go astray. Make sure you have adequate health insurance for your grand plans; planning on working for an NGO in the Himalaya? Cover will probably need to include emergency helicopter extraction. For the low down on international travel health insurance, click here.

Travel health advice in remote Nepal

Timely travel health advice in remote Nepal

Pre-trip planning

A family friend recently had a rabies inducing encounter with an Indian monkey, to say the least in put a downer on his trip.

To avoid the above, be sure to make an appointment with a specialist travel health clinic to advise on what shots will be required. Make sure you take records of your previous vaccinations with you and allow enough time to receive all of your injections before leaving, ideally up to 8 weeks; they’re usually not all administered at once and need a bit of time to kick in.

Schedule in check-ups from your GP and dentist well before leaving. My last visit to Thailand was memorable to teeth falling out, so make sure yours are in gnashing, tip-top shape.

Ensure all vaccines are written down in an ‘International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis’ booklet. It’s a good idea to record your blood type, regularly used prescriptions and contact details for your home GP.

A little bit of kit

There are some basic necessities for your first aid kit; enough to fix a bit of wounded pride, Delhi-Belly, scrapes, bruises and a hangover. Click here for my recommend list of travel first aid kit goodies.

Travel health advice for when on the road

With a few simple precautious you’ll be in fine form for adventuring. Some of the following should keep you out of trouble;

  • Drink bottled water; Always make sure the cap is properly sealed and hasn’t be tampered with before purchasing. You can always filter your own with iodine or chlorine purification tablets.
  • Ice with that? Cut out ice in drinks unless you’re completely sure it has been made with bottled water – i.e. you made it yourself.
  • Don’t get bitten; mozzies can be a real downer – use DEET based insect repellent. A mosquito net impregnated with repellent allows for a good night’s sleep.
  • Keep a small bottle of hand-sanitizer handy; always good for less than salubrious toilet stops.
  • Take it easy; when first arriving in a new country take time to adjust being there, lets the jet lag settle too.
  • Don’t overdo it! Trying to do and see too much? Being a bit gun-ho? Back to back all-night bus journeys followed by a solid day of cycling around Munnar’s tea plantations in Kerala really did me in. Remember to rest now and then if you’re the super active type, take a few days out – there’s no point in burning out!
  • Sunscreen, sunnies and sunhat; It might seem obvious but I’ll state it anyway; three simple things that can save you a world of pain, and a very blistered nose.

Online resources

Lastly, be sure to understand the health risks specific to the countries you are visiting. I don’t won’t to come across all mollycoddling with this travel health advice, but do take it seriously; it’s the best way to stay safe.

Travel First Aid Kit; for when adventure travel turns to custard

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