Holiday and Travel packing checklist
29th January 2014
holiday and travelChristmas is now almost a forgotten memory as we approach the end of January. A long five-week month after Christmas has left many of us skint and the struggle to stick to our New Year’s resolutions will simply be adding to the misery. However, as payday is upon the majority of the nation this week, Brits can now switch their attentions to jetting off to warmer climates. In fact, the UK’s leading travel association, Abta, has already noted a substantially high number of bookings already for summer holidays, with some tour operators experiences a sales rise of more than 10% annually. With that in mind, perhaps it is time to think about your health and wellbeing whilst on holiday, especially when considering that a past survey suggested that an alarming 80% of us are not prepared to deal with minor medical problems in the home, never mind when out and about within a foreign country. If you are visiting a tropical region for example, there are a number of prescription and over-the-counter products to consider. The NHS fit for travel website can provide more information about the risks in particular countries, but in terms of tropical regions, malaria is the obvious risk and is still a massive killer. According to the World Health Organization, in 2010, there were approximately 219 million malaria cases (with an uncertainty range of 154 million to 289 million) and an estimated 660,000 malaria deaths (with an uncertainty range of 490,000 to 836,000). Antimalarials Therefore, an antimalarial is must, with Doxycycline, Malarone and Paludrine all different medications for malaria prevention. Malarone can also be used for the treatment of malaria, should you contract the disease. All three are prescription-online medicines but you can also boost your protection with Jungle Formula Maximum pump spray, which effectively repels mosquitoes, midges and other biting insects for up to 10 hours per application. You must remember to order your prescriptions well in advance of your trip. Antihistamines Antihistamines such as Loratadine are commonly taken to ease the symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever). Loratadine is useful for insect bites, easing the itching associated with them, and avoiding bites in tropical places is absolutely imperative due to the risk of malaria. Asthma Inhalers The last thing you want is to suffer an asthma attack on holiday and be without your inhaler. Order repeat prescriptions well in advance and make sure you have a good supply of blue reliever and brown preventer inhalers. Contraception For women who have been prescribed a daily contraceptive pill such as Dianette or Yasmin, it is important that you make sure you have a sufficient supply of your medication to last before, during and after your holiday, until you can obtain some more. Contraceptive pills alone will not provide protection against sexually transmitted infection and with a tendency for Brits to have a carefree attitude to sex when on holiday, condoms are essential to pack for your getaway. Travel sickness If you or any of your travelling group suffer from travel sickness then make sure you have necessary treatment to hand. Travel sickness is caused by repeated unusual movements, usually when travelling by boat, car, plane or train, and is especially common in young children and women. Kwells and Avomine tablets are widely used for the prevention and relief of travel sickness. Other items Sunblock cream with a high sun protection factor (SPF) is a must to minimise the risk of sunburn. Inbuprofen, Paracetamol, or other pain killers, are also handy should you require them during your holiday. You should also considering packing a first aid kit armed with assorted plasters, dressings, latex gloves, tape, scissors and other essentials.