1. Prepare:

Pack a medical kit, taking care to take enough medications for the time you are away. A travel letter from your doctor is useful to confirm you are using medication for your own personal needs. Also consider packing a second pair of glasses.

It may be helpful to have a medical check-up before leaving, updating vaccinations and other immunisations, checking on malaria recommendations if required. Those with frequent medical problems may also take a spare packet of  antibiotics to treat common problems they may suffer such as bladder infections.

2. Prevent:

Avoid insect bites, Malaria, Dengue, Yellow-fever and Zika are all transmitted by insects. There are vaccines and drugs available for some, but preventing bites is important. Wear repellent containing at least 30& DEET, cover up, use a bed net or use the air conditioning.

Sexually transmitted diseases are common and in some countries HIV/AIDS is endemic. Safe sexual practices are important.

Tattoos and piercings done overseas may not have the same safety and hygiene standards as Australia, particularly with respect to blood-borne diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis.

Take care when drinking alcohol on holiday, holiday drinks may be stronger or because of hot weather, you may be more susceptible to alcohol effects. Try to buy from a licenced venue, avoid street markets. Fake alcohol sales, particularly involving poisonous methanol are common, particularly in Indonesia where there have been an estimated 280 deaths from illicit alcohol poisoning since 2011. If drinking, avoid swimming ( watch tides and follow local advice)  and balconies.

Wear a helmet and use the seatbelts in vehicles.

Use sunscreen ( buy it here, where all sunscreeens have to be tested and rated before sale), hats and cover-up for the sun. Reapply sunscreen often, especially after swimming..

The most common travel-related illness experienced by Australians is gastrointestinal illness, which is usually acquired from poorly prepared food or untreated water. The advice about prevention has not changed for some time: drink bottled or purified water, avoid ice, peel fruit, avoid vegetables and fruit washed in the local water, eat thoroughly cooked food, avoid shellfish and unpasteurised dairy products, avoid street stalls and take care of personal hygiene.

3.Travel Insurance:

Without insurance, you or your family are personally liable for covering medical or other costs resulting from accidents or other incidents. Make sure your insurance cover what you want to do when away.

4.Research Your Destination:

The Smart Traveller Website provides regularly updated  information on entry and exit requirements, health issues, local laws and a security rating. The Smartraveller has a free app, and also has updates you can follow on Facebook and Twitter. Before travelling it is possible to register your travel and contact details in case emergency contact is needed for family issues or natural disasters. DFAT and CHOICE have teamed up to provide a guide to finding the appropriate travel insurance for individuals - available on the smartraveller website

5. Reduce Jet Lag:

Try to sleep on the plane, stay hydrated, avoid alcohol. Move about the plane when you can to reduce the risk of leg clots. Spend some time in the sun at your destination if possible to help reset your body clock. 

<- Back to: News