Health

Nothing is more important when you travel than to take care of your health. There is nothing worse than needing assistance when you are in a foreign country with a foreign medical system.

Below are some of our tips to make sure you’re in great health while you’re travelling.

National Seniors Travel recommend the services of the Travel Doctor when travelling overseas. Read more.

In-flight health

When you’re flying long-haul to an international destination, it’s important that you look after yourself so you arrive as refreshed as you can at your destination.

Here’s some suggestions on what you should do during your flight:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Walk around the cabin and stretch when it’s safe to do so and the seatbelt sign is off
  • Don’t drink too much alcohol or caffeine, as it will dehydrate you
  • To try to prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT), don’t cross your legs, regularly circle your ankles, gently shake your feet and massage your calves and thighs.

If you have a history of DVT or are in an at-risk category then we strongly recommend you talk to your medical practitioner before flying.

Vaccinations

Well in advance of your departure, you should have a chat with your health professional or a dedicated travel doctor regarding any required vaccinations you may need for the country/countries you are visiting. Depending on where you’re going you may even need boosters for your childhood vaccinations. Remember, some vaccines take longer period to take effect so don’t leave your vaccinations to the last minute.

Prescription medication

When you’re preparing to travel overseas with PBS medicine, including over-the-counter or private prescription medications, it is important that you:

  • Talk to your doctor and discuss the medicine you will need to take
  • Carry a letter from your doctor detailing what the medicine is, how much you will be taking, and stating that it is for your own personal use
  • Leave the medicine in its original packaging so it is clearly labelled with your own name and dosage instructions.

Needles/Syringes

If you have to inject your medication, it may be preferable to carry your own needles and syringes. Make sure you check with the embassy of the country you are visiting as to whether this is acceptable. If you need to carry needles and syringes with you on the plane, talk to your airline before you travel and, if necessary, arrange a letter from your doctor explaining why you need to carry them.

Prescription spectacles

If you have prescription glasses, always take the optometrist’s prescription with you when you travel. We know how easily a frame can break or a lens can dislodge. It might be wise to pack a spare pair, if you have them.

We also recommend you make up a small medical kit to take with you when you travel. This might contain items such as paracetamol, antacids, antiseptic lotion, cotton wool, Band-Aids, latex gloves, safety pins, SPF 30+ sunscreen and an insect repellent.

Most importantly, make sure you have the appropriate level of cover with your travel insurance. If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel.