For all the fun and relaxation that overseas travel promises, you should never forget that a travel-related injury or illness can be a spoiler.

You can reduce your risk of this happening with a medical check up and vaccinations before you leave. It’s also highly recommended to take a travel medical kit to help you:

  • Manage and treat pre-existing medical conditions
  • Prevent travel-related illness
  • Take care of common, minor health problems

How much of a risk?

Your risk of travel-related health problems varies according to your age, destination, current health status, trip length and planned activities. In general, research finds that up to 50% of travellers experience a health problem. Although most are mild, up to 8% of travellers are sick enough to seek care from a health care provider.

What to take

* Medications you regularly take at home

Each country has its own rules on travelling with medications. Find out about these rules from the Australian Government website www.smartraveller.gov.au or ring 1300 555 135. General advice for travelling with medications includes:

  • Take enough for the whole time you’re away
  • Take a few days’ supply in your hand luggage in case your checked baggage goes astray
  • Talk to your pharmacist about any storage requirements (e.g refrigeration)

* Medications and supplies to prevent illness such as insect repellent for malaria

* For common, minor health problems pack:

  • Painkillers (paracetamol, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, and/or aspirin)
  • Diarrhoea medicine (such as loperamide)
  • Oral rehydration salts (such as Gastrolyte or Hydrolyte)
  • Antiseptic lotion and/or ointment, bandaids and other wound dressings
  • Insect repellent
  • Latex gloves
  • Thermometer
  • Tweezers and scissors (not in hand luggage)
  • Antibiotics in case of diarrhoea due to food poisoning

More information: Speak to your GP