Seasoned travellers will know that it is important to take precautions to avoid illnesses like Montezuma’s Revenge and Delhi Belly when travelling to faraway places. We tend to take great care when packing for overseas holidays. We use checklists, arrange for a check-up with our GP, order supplies of prescribed medicines and schedule vaccinations well ahead of time.  However, how many travellers remember to pack a Travel First Aid kit and medicines when taking a long weekend trip or short break away, either at home or abroad?

A colleague recently spent a long weekend away in the UK and came down with a nasty dose of food poisoning.  The food culprit could have been any one of a number of things.  The illness struck in the early hours of Sunday morning and later that day it proved  difficult to get needed anti-diarrhoeal medicine and fluid rehydration powder.

No matter the length of your trip, next time you travel away from home remember to pack a small First Aid kit with all the usual items.  Include extras such as painkillers, anti-diarrhoeal medicine, throat lozenges, decongestants and antiseptic cream.  If travelling with children you’ll need to prepare for anything they might need if the worst should happen.  Also, keep a stocked and in-date First Aid kit in your car,  along with other emergency equipment.  (Be careful when taking OTC medicines into some countries, especially painkillers with codeine, cough syrups, sinus and allergy medicines, and Vick’s Inhalers).

In summer consider packing items such as insect repellents, itch cream, antihistamines, vinegar for jellyfish stings, and cream for sunburn. Pack motion sickness tablets for when you decide to take a boat trip – especially if you do not know if sea sickness might strike any of your travel companions. During winter you never know when a bad cold or influenza will strike so be prepared.  Backpackers heading for wilderness areas will know to do their research and be well prepared with emergency supplies and other items such as water purification tablets.  Even if you are lucky enough not to need any of the items you might be able to help out a fellow traveller.

Good to know:  For those who do not bother to read boring travel insurance documents, Travel Insurance normally covers trips within your own country of domicile, when accommodation has been pre-booked for two or more nights.  Check your policy for details.

Safe travels!

Flickr cc Image:  Mat Honan

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