Travelling soon? Visit our online travel clinic.
Planning a world trip? Backpacking around Asia? Or just a short escape from the day job? Wherever you’ve set your sights, getting sick is probably not part of the holiday plan.
New environments can contain lots of unfamiliar pathogens, bacteria, and allergens which can cause a lot of grief for your immune system. To help you out, we’ve put together a short guide on the essential areas of health you should address before setting off.
Don’t leave it too late if you’re visiting a country where you require travel vaccinations: you will need to get your vaccines at least 4 weeks before your departure date.
To avoid needless stress, try and book them as soon as possible – the immunity provided by vaccinations lasts a long time, so getting them done well in advance of the 4-week deadline will not change how effective they are.
Book your travel vaccinations online through our travel clinic.
What vaccinations do I need?
The travel vaccinations you require will depend on where you’re travelling to. One way to find out is to visit the NHS site Fit For Travel, where you can search your destination and read up on what the risks are.
Vaccination requirements tend to change depending on what diseases are prevalent in which areas, so it’s a good idea to always refresh your knowledge of a country and its risks before you visit – even if you’ve been before.
If you’re completely stumped, you can take our FREE travel vaccines assessment.
Alternatively, if you’d like to speak to someone in person you can always book an appointment with a travel clinic, or simply go to see your GP.
Where can I get my vaccinations?
You can receive travel vaccinations from a number of different places, including over 200 LloydsPharmacy stores. These can be ordered online through our Travel Health Clinic.
Certain vaccines (e.g. hepatitis A and typhoid) are free on the NHS, although you may struggle to get an NHS appointment in time if you’ve left it a little late to get your vaccinations.
Other vaccines (e.g. rabies and hepatitis B) always come with a price tag – check out the full list here.
Although most malaria tablets do not need to be taken weeks in advance of travel, they do need to be started before you arrive at your destination. If you are taking Doxycycline, Atovaquone with Proguanil or Malarone, you must begin your course 2 days before you arrive. A Larium course needs to be started 2.5 weeks before travel.
You should also aim to get your malaria tablets at least a week in advance of leaving.
Order malaria tablets online through our travel clinic.
What malaria tablets do I need and where can I get them?
As with travel vaccinations, you can check whether you will need malaria tablets (and if so, which ones) at Fit For Travel.
You can also speak to your GP or a travel clinic about them, bearing in mind that they are not available for free on the NHS. The good news is that many high street pharmacies, including LloydsPharmacy, offer malaria tablets at competitive prices.
If obtaining your medicine online, be cautious of unlicensed drug providers on the internet selling malaria tablets for discount prices. These should always be avoided as the tablets may not be legitimate – if in doubt, go for a pharmacy whose name you recognise or get advice from your GP.
Other Holiday Health Considerations
Along with travel vaccinations and malaria tablets, there are some other health considerations that you should bear in mind for your travels:
- Flying. Long-haul flights can put a lot of stress on your body and can sometimes lead to serious conditions such as DVT. Ease the burden by wearing flight socks, doing exercises during the flight, drinking lots of water and taking an eye-mask to help you sleep. You can also take jet lag tablets to help regulate your sleep when you arrive at your destination.
- Allergies. Entering a new environment means you could be subjecting yourself to a whole host of new allergens. If you do suffer from bad allergies, make sure you pack the necessary medicines in your suitcase. In the case of severe food allergies, always ask for menus in a language you speak fluently and – where possible – speak with the staff to ensure your food will be safe for you to consume.
- Sun safety. If you’re flying somewhere hot, don’t forget to take the appropriate sun lotion and clothing (bearing in mind that UV rays are stronger the closer you are to the equator). You may be looking forward to flying home with a tan, but you almost certainly won’t appreciate a full face of sunburn once you’re back in the office come January.
The thought of travelling while pregnant can be daunting. We’ve put together a handy infographic on how you can travel safely and comfortably during pregnancy.
Visit our online travel clinic to learn more, and to order treatments and vaccinations.