Are You Fit for Travel? Your Medical Checklist for Travelling

Exploring our amazing world is both exciting and fun, but travelling to foreign lands brings its own set of risks. To make the most of your trip it is crucial that you take suitable precautions to protect your health and personal safety.

From tropical diseases to taking part in dangerous adventure sports, your trip of a lifetime can quickly turn into a nightmare if you are not fully prepared. Here are some essential travel tips to help you on your way:
Always Pack a First-Aid Kit

A basic first aid kit should be one of the first things that you pack in your suitcase. Some essential items include plasters, sterile dressings, antiseptic cream, bandages, medical tape, and a pair of scissors.

Vaccinations Against Diseases

During the early stages of planning your trip you should visit a travel nurse and seek advice on what travel vaccinations are required for the area you intend to visit. Some vaccination treatments require a course of injections over a number of months, so you must plan ahead.

Mosquitos and Malaria

Each year mosquitoes are responsible for more deaths than every other animal combined. Most of these deaths occur as a result of malaria, but mosquitoes and other flies can also transmit a whole range of other tropical diseases.

While there are no vaccination injections to prevent contracting malaria, your doctor can prescribe a course of tablets that must be taken before, during, and after your trip is finished. It is essential you complete the course according to your doctor’s instructions, as the disease can lie dormant in your body for a number of weeks after you are exposed to it.

Different strains of malaria require different medications, so it is essential that you discuss your travel plans with your doctor to make sure you are prescribed the correct medication.

You should also carry a reliable mosquito spray with you at all times, to keep the critters at bay. If you heading into the jungle, a 100% Deet repellent is recommended; yes it stinks, but it saves lives. If you are visiting the city or beach, then a citronella based repellent should do the job.

Travel Insurance

Comprehensive medical insurance is essential when planning any trip.

When applying for insurance you must declare any pre-existing conditions, all recent illnesses, and hospital visits. Failure to do so can result in you purchasing insurance which is completely invalid.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition you will need to purchase a specialized medical travel insurance policy, such as that offered by, to ensure all your medical concerns are covered.

If you intend to engage in adventure sports, this must be declared on your application as it is a separate part of travel policies.


If you are on any medication make sure you visit your doctor to discuss your travel plans, and ensure you have sufficient medication for the duration of your trip.

You should also take some over-the-counter medicine. Travel sickness or food poisoning is the most common sickness experienced by travellers. Pick up some pain relief and some diarrhea stoppers to deal with any incidences.

If you are travelling to areas above altitude it is recommended you take some aspirin with you. Aspirin thins the blood and has been proven to aid with altitude sickness. 

Signs and Symptoms of Sickness

If you experience powerful headaches or feel feverish at any point of your trip you should seek urgent medical attention.

Abdominal pain and diarrhea are signs you may be suffering from travel sickness or food poisoning. It is important to remain hydrated, and seek medical attention if symptoms persist.

Other signs to look out for include sudden weight loss and feeling fatigued. Your travel nurse and doctor can give you further advice about symptoms related to illnesses common in the areas you intend to visit.

Enjoy Your Trip

By following these tips, and seeking proper medical advice before embarking on your trip you are well on your way to an enjoyable and memorable traveling experience.

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A mum, a traveller and a blogger, never happier than when holiday with my family but love writing about my travels and listening to yours too. Say hello if you come across my writings online x

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