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Staying safe and healthy on holiday

Monday, August 21st, 2017 | Blog

Whatever the time of year it is, however old we are, or however long we’re away, it’s important to stay safe when holidaying overseas. Here are a few ways to reduce the risk of something going wrong whilst you’re travelling.


 Drinking and using bottled water


One of the most common illnesses whilst on holiday is a stomach virus. It is so important to stay hydrated, so drinking and using bottled water instead of tap water is a good way to reduce the risk of getting a tummy upset. Try brushing your teeth with bottled water too and steer clear of tap water when eating in restaurants, as you can never be too sure just how clean their water is. Also try and avoid having ice in your drinks if it hasn’t come from bottled water as this can also cause you have have stomach problems.


Notify other people of your plans


If you are going on an excursion whilst away, it may be a good idea to ensure at least one person knows where you’re going and when you are due back; the hotel reception is usually a good option. By doing this if something goes wrong or you get lost, someone knows to check you are safe. Giving the hotel your mobile contact number in case of emergencies is a good way for them to keep in contact. It is also beneficial for you to take note of the emergency service numbers for the country/ area that you are going to just incase you need to contact them whilst you’re away. It is also worth ensuring you also have the telephone number and address for your hotel.


Take antibiotics or needed medication with you


It is recommended that in addition to taking a first aid kit on holiday with you, other types of medication are also beneficial such as; paracetamol, ibuprofen, diarrhea tablets and anti histamines.This will save you hunting down a pharmacy whilst you’re away and potentially having to explain in a different language what you need!


If you take regular prescribed medication ensure you have enough to last for your holiday. Besides this, when booking your holiday check if there are any specific vaccinations or medication you need for the country you are visiting. In order to be effective, some vaccinations and medications are required many weeks ahead of travel.  


If you are taking liquid medication on holiday with you you’re allowed up to 100 ml of the liquid. If this is not enough for the duration of time you are going away for you can contact the airline that you are travelling with and discuss this with them. If they accept your request for you to take more of your liquid medication then you will need to show proof of this at the airport. When going through security you will also need to have your liquids and liquid medication separately and declare it to security.  


If you are taking medication on holiday be sure to check the legal guidelines relating to the amount and type you’re allowed to travel with in the country you are visiting. Prescribed medications are required to be in their original packaging complete with the original pharmacy prescription label detailing name of the person taking the medication, along with their ID. The packaging, label and medication must all match. Some airlines and countries also require a letter from your doctor stating that you are taking medication. Further precautions are needed when taking controlled drugs on holiday your doctor will advise you on what precautions need to be taken. It is also advisable to check the status of all over the counter medications as they may be controlled in countries and vice-versa.


Ensure your home is secure


It may sound obvious, but just one last double check that you’ve locked your house and windows before you set off is usually worth doing just to give you peace of mind in order to keep your home safe. If you’ve got an intruder alarm make sure it’s working and set. Ideally ask a family member, friend or neighbour to check on your home whilst you’re away, opening and closing the curtains always makes it look like you’re still there.


Whilst it’s great to share your holiday experiences with friends on social media, be cautious as it can alert to an empty home whilst you’re away.


Passports and emergency travel documents


Losing your passport can be extremely stressful, especially if you are in another country and need to get home, however don’t panic as you may be eligible to acquire an emergency travel document. The requirements are;


  • You’re a British national

  • You’re outside of the UK

  • You don’t have time to renew or replace your passport before you go away.

  • You can provide proof of your travel plans, for example your booking confirmations (or detailed written travel plans if you’re unable to book in advance)


If you meet the criteria listed above, contact the nearest British embassy to book an appointment to get an emergency travel document. If you have an appointment you will need to take the following things;


  • A passport quality photograph

  • A police report if your passport has been stolen

  • Your passport if you have it

  • Proof of your travel plans

  • If you are below the age of 16 a legal guardian should attend the meeting.


Getting an emergency travel document costs £100 and is non-refundable, you are able to pay this online when applying or when you attend your appointment to receive the document. Once you have your emergency travel documents you are able to travel to your destination through 5 countries. It may be a good idea to ask within your appointment if you will need a visa to transport different countries before you reach your destination.  


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