Travel tips: Everything we need to know to stay healthy on holiday

There’s zero improved than formulation a holiday, a disturb of expectation as it nears, afterwards jumping on that craft or ship.

But in all a fad it can be easy to forget one of a many critical aspects of transport — gripping yourself and your desired ones safe.


Complacency, miss of reminders, misconceptions. There are any series of reasons since travellers put themselves during risk by not stealing scrupulously vaccinated before streamer overseas.

Travel Health Plus executive David Rutherford says that with many travellers engagement online, it means they aren’t reminded about their health and checking vaccines are adult to date.

While many vaccines are not mandatory (except for yellow heat for some destinations in Africa and South America), Dr Rutherford says this does not make them reduction critical for travellers, and tighten family and work contacts on their return.

Those attending his Beaconsfield medicine mostly assume that since they were vaccinated as children, they are lonesome perpetually and don’t need boosters.

They would be wrong: “There are still cases of tetanus from wound infections any year in Australia, some acquired overseas,” he warns.

“Measles cases have also been some-more common over a final few years for those innate between 1966 and 1984 (these people customarily perceived one vaccine as children so they are not entirely immune).”

There is also a wuss factor. “Let’s face it, no one loves needles. We are used to saying a immeasurable array of needle-phobes in a hospital and by and vast they conduct to get by a routine with ease,” he assures.

For those needle-phobes, a good news is there are augmenting numbers of vaccines that can be given orally, such as typhoid and cholera.


Ideally, we should revisit a alloy 6 weeks before leaving, though don’t consider that since we left it late it’s not value it. Hepatitis A vaccine can be given a day before transport and be effective, though many vaccines take about a week to give full cover.

Hepatitis B, rabies and one of a Japanese encephalitis vaccines need a march of vaccines and need to be given over a month before travel.

Dr Rutherford also advises trialling some malaria drugs before vacating to safeguard they are good tolerated.

An early revisit to a alloy with your channel can safeguard we get accurately what is required. Some countries within whole regions have really opposite health systems, embankment and meridian that all have a temperament on illness risk. Plus, opposite areas within a same nation competence have incompatible risk for illness.

Travel medicine is energetic too. Requirements can change fast, such as with a new meningococcal C conflict in Fiji. Dr Rutherford says a best approach to keep adult to date is to deliberate with a transport clinic.

He says there are a series of issues that can’t be vaccinated opposite though solved with preparation and good information, such as accidents, intimately transmitted diseases and tattoos that can put people during risk of hepatitis C and HIV.


These days many children are good immunised though it’s critical to remember hepatitis A and typhoid are not on a schedule. Certain destinations or situations competence also need rabies, Japanese encephalitis or tuberculosis.

“Beyond vaccines, preparation is really critical including avoiding butterfly bites, protected food and water, caring around animals abroad and government of traveller’s diarrhoea. (It’s) applicable in all ages though quite immature kids who can evaporate really quickly. Simple medicines can be taken to assistance equivalent this risk,” Dr Rutherford says.


A boat does not isolate we from infection; in fact Dr Rutherford says a categorical problem is other passengers carrying illness such as a flu, pneumonia and hepatitis A.

He says that while cruisers might be during revoke risk of outlandish diseases and malaria, dengue heat is a large problem.

“Malaria is carried by a butterfly that lives in farming areas and bites during dusk, emergence and overnight. Whereas a dengue-carrying butterfly lives in civic areas in a tropics and bites especially during illumination hours,” he says. “Fantastic for daytrippers in pier towns!”

If we do need medical assistance on land, executive Natalie Ball says that in some general ports hospitals can be demure to provide if we don’t have a pledge of remuneration from a transport insurer, or explanation of entrance to suitable funds.

Smart Traveller also points out to know a Medicare manners and to get a right insurance.

Medicare advantages can customarily be paid to authorised passengers travelling between Australian ports and if diagnosis is supposing by a alloy purebred in Australia underneath Medicare.

It advises passengers to hit a journey user before withdrawal to find out either an reasonably purebred alloy will be accessible on board.

And if we have to be evacuated around helicopter? Ms Ball says medical evacuations are not odd and cost about $10,000 — not lonesome by Medicare even if we are in Australian waters.


Make certain we are organized when it comes to your remedy remedy while away, ensuring we have adequate for a time we are away.

Before leaving, make certain your medicine and medical inclination are authorised during your new end by checking a transport recommendation on Smart Traveller or with a embassies of a countries we are visiting; for example, anything containing codeine or pseudoephedrine is taboo in destinations renouned with Australians including a United Arab Emirates and Japan.

You contingency also lift a notation from your alloy detailing what a medicine is, how most you’ll be taking, and saying a medicine is for your personal use or a personal use of someone with you, such as a child.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration also advises interrelated medicines be enclosed on a notation if we are holding them, and to accompany a notation with your prescription.

If a device, such as hypodermic needles are necessary, we should also embody explanation that we need those too.

Smart Traveller also warns to leave a medicine in a strange wrapping so it can be simply identified.

Be certain we get transport word before streamer off on your adventure.
Camera IconBe certain we get transport word before streamer off on your adventure.Picture: Getty Images/Blend Images


As Smart Traveller points out, if we can’t means transport insurance, we can’t means to travel.

More than 1700 Australians were hospitalised while travelling abroad final year.

Ms Ball points out many travellers opt for cheaper medical-only policies though this can be a dangerous game.

“They don’t cover many additional costs compared with poignant medical claims. If we tumble ill and are non-professional to fly home, extensive policies will mostly cover a cost of additional accommodation and rescheduling of flights, and even fly a family member to be by your side while we recover,” she says.

Medical costs can be some-more than usually eye watering if not rightly insured.

She says a new pneumonia box in a US cost some-more than $700,000; a new scooter collision in Bali requiring puncture medicine cost some-more than $9000; and a hitch of gastro cost $2500 in a detriment of a non-refundable airfare. “In all these cases, a extensive process underneath $200 saved travellers and their families from romantic and financial highlight during a time when they indispensable to concentration on their health.”

Recently some insurers, such as 1Cover and Columbus Direct have introduced online medical screening forms, that allows we to get an evident quote once we have announced pre-existing medical conditions.

Ms Ball says many transport insurers are also stealing sweeping exclusions for mental health conditions.

Travel Health Plus executive Dr David Rutherford advises what to container in your medical kit:

  • Alcohol palm gel.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Insect repellent (at slightest 30 per cent DEET).
  • Antiseptic resolution (Betadine)
  • Bandaids, tweezers, dressings.
  • Paracetamol or ibuprofen, antihistamines, verbal rehydration salts, motion-sickness tablets (if relevant), Buscopan (stomach cramps), loperamide (a diarrhoeal stopper), bruise throat lozenges.
  • Anti-nausea medication, antibiotics for serious traveller’s scour and/or enlarged chest or sinus infection (with concomitant doctor’s letter).
  • Water-purification tablets (if necessary), unstable filter bottles to save on cosmetic bottles.
  • Travelan (useful for some during shortening a risk of traveller’s diarrhoea).
  • Prescription drugs in strange packaging.
  • Letter from prescribing GP/travel alloy if holding remedy medications.


The scold transport word can go a prolonged approach for a 1.2 million-plus Australians who revisit Indonesia, and mostly Bali, any year, says executive Natalie Ball:

  • Bali belly: these claims are customarily usually a few hundred dollars though when travelling with a organisation where everybody falls ill, or in serious cases that need hospitalisation, a bills can start to make we ill to a stomach.
  • Many of us like a splash (or three) while on holidays though insurers tend to bar coverage if we are underneath a change of ethanol or unlawful drugs. As a result, many travellers arise adult with a hangover, a damaged arm and a large medical bill.
  • With transport insurers now incompatible coverage for volcanic activity in Bali, many travellers are vacating though insurance, or watchful until a final notation in box bans are lifted. Travelling though any coverage leaves them open to poignant medical out-of-pocket health losses and withdrawal cover to a final notation means we are financially unprotected if we find we need to cancel your outing for personal or family medical reasons.
  • Way too many Aussies burst on scooters though wearing a helmet. You wouldn’t do it during home, so since take a risk in a unfamiliar country? Your transport word process could be invalidated if we are not wearing one.
  • If roving a moped or motorbike over 50cc (limit varies from insurer to insurer), we are compulsory to have an Australian motorbike looseness current for a same category bike we float overseas, as good as a locally supposed licence, aka International Driving Permit. Read your process request or call your insurer to safeguard you’re covered.
  • Many insurers bar coverage for random death, permanent incapacity or open guilt while we float a motorcycle. So, while your medical advantages will be covered, if we harm someone else their check might come out of your pocket.
Way too many Aussies burst on scooters though wearing a helmet. Make certain we wear one to equivocate word problems.
Camera IconWay too many Aussies burst on scooters though wearing a helmet. Make certain we wear one to equivocate word problems.Picture: Getty Images


We have copiousness of dangerous animals to understanding with on a possess shores though there are some that are critical to equivocate while divided too, says Travel Health Plus executive Dr David Rutherford.

  • Dogs, cats, and monkeys: Potential to lift rabies. Can start anywhere including Bali though riskiest is India and Nepal. Vaccinations in allege make diagnosis easier and equivocate a need for blood-derived products. Those during high risk embody cyclists and immature children and those visiting temples.
  • Bats: These can lift a identical pathogen to rabies called lyssavirus that is treated in a same approach as rabies.
  • Mosquitoes: If there is a quadruped that is going to get we in trouble, a little butterfly is it. Mosquitoes can lift dengue fever, Zika virus, yellow fever, malaria, and Japanese encephalitis. As good as good repellents, there are soaks accessible for suitable wardrobe and bed nets to revoke risk, and vitamin B appears to assistance some with risk. Take precautions day and night. Vaccines are accessible for Japanese encephalitis and yellow fever, while tablets are endorsed to forestall malaria.
  • Ticks: They can fasten on unnoticed, quite if we are traversing prolonged weed or scrub. Ticks can lift surprising illness including Lyme illness in North America and Europe and parasite typhus in southern Africa.
  • Sandflies, leeches and bedbugs: These don’t means illness though can be a bother … and disgusting.

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