We’re well into holiday season now, and if you’re planning a break away, whether you’re staycationing or heading abroad, do make sure that you’re completely prepared on the health front. I’ve teamed up with Boots to give you my top five tips for travel health to help you travel safe and happy this summer!
1. Plan ahead
Several destinations require vaccinations and other medication before you travel. Boots has a specially trained team of travel health Pharmacists that can provide information on vaccinations and malaria prevention. It’s easy to get sorted – just enter the details of your upcoming trip into the Boots.com quick online check tool and find out whether you’ll need malaria prevention medication and if you’ll need vaccinations (and which ones). You can then make an appointment in a store near you (check the store locator).
2. Don’t worry if you think you’ve left it too late.
Even if your trip is coming up really soon, it’s ALWAYS worth checking to see if there are last minute treatment options. Malaria prevention treatment can be started as late as the actual day you’re flying, and you can even pick up tablets at the Boots stores located at Gatwick and Heathrow airport outlets.
3. Pack a first aid kit
Make sure you’ve got all the essentials just in case. Boots do a St John Ambulance travel first aid kit that’s ready stocked with everything from sterile medical wipes and blister plasters to bandages, tape, dressings, burn gel and eye wash. It even has a first aid guide.
4. Don’t forget insect repellent
On our recent trip to Florida, we were nailed by something the locals called ‘no-ee-ums’ – little tiny bitey midges which, as the name suggests, were completely invisible but left us with itchy red bumps all over our legs and arms after an evening out in the open. I hadn’t packed any insect repellent and by the time anyone found one, the damage was done. I won’t be making the same mistake again.
I’m also completely obsessed with the cooling sprays which are such a good idea when you’re a bit hot and bothered. You can keep a spray in your handbag and give your face and body a quick cold spritz. It’s heaven.
5. Take more sun protection than you think you’ll need
A recent interview (in the Daily Mail, sorry) with Professor Nicholas Lowe, consultant dermatologist, stated that the average adult needs about 85mls of sun protection (that’s a massive, golf ball sized handful) to properly cover their whole body once, and they should normally be applying it AT LEAST twice daily. This means that one person could get through about six 200 ml bottles over the course of a week’s holiday, meaning that a family of four should be taking a stonking 20 bottles away with them!
I’ve got fair skin so I always use factor 50, plus a hat (I’ve got my eye on this fedora at the moment) and make sure I apply it all over my body before I get dressed to go out in the sun, and then generously every time I dry off after swimming, or just if it’s been a while, after that. I’m off to Barbados next week and I’m taking some P20 (it contains both UVA and UVB filters, and gives broad spectrum sun protection for up to 10 hours and it’s apparently very water resistant – and non-greasy. Someone told me recently that it’s ace under foundation too so I’ll be trying it out).
Wherever you’re heading off to, I hope you have a wonderful, healthy, happy time. Bonnes vacances!