How To Have A Healthy Vacation

Don’t let the flu or other health problems ruin your dream holiday

It’s no fun being sick or hospitalised during a vacation. Instead of enjoying the sights, sounds and sensations, you might just be suffering in bed … and fretting over how your pre-paid hotel accommodation, meals and local tours will all go to waste.

Having a ‘wonderful’ time. Wish you were here.
Here’s how you can prevent your dream vacation from turning into a nightmare:

Get your flu shot before the trip

This should be first on your to-do list because influenza (the flu) is one of the most common infections among travellers.[1] You should get vaccinated annually because flu viruses are constantly changing[2]. The type of flu vaccine you need may vary depending on your travel destination[3] so tell your doctor where you plan to visit.

Bring along your medications

Cough, cold, headaches and diarrhoea are some common ailments that afflict travellers. Ask your doctor or pharmacist what medications you should bring along. If you are traveling with prescription medications, bring along your doctor’s letter, in case it is required by the foreign authorities.

All my meds are packed, I’m ready to go…

Know where to get help

If you need medical attention, ask the hotel personnel or your tour guide. It is a good idea to inform them about any allergy or serious health condition that you might have.

Be insured

Check that your policy covers hospitalisation and emergency benefits wherever you visit. Most travel insurance policies will require you to pay first and claim for reimbursement later. So, ensure you have sufficient balance in your credit card account. If necessary, notify the credit card company of your travel dates and destinations.

[1] Askling et al. 2010. Influenza in travelers. Curr Opin Infect Dis. 23:421-425
[2] WHO. 2017. Influenza. [Accessed Jan 27, 2017] [3] WHO. 2017. Influenza. [Accessed Jan 27, 2017]