Australians love to travel – we take more than five million trips to overseas destinations every year. And being prepared for common health problems before you head off will help ensure you'll see more on your holiday than just the hotel bathroom.
- Visit a travel health specialist and get the appropriate vaccinations for the area you're travelling to.
- Take out travel insurance to cover hospital treatment, medical evacuation, and any activities you'll be undertaking.
- Always carry your insurance company's emergency assistance card with you and contact the company as soon as you need help – most insurance companies provide 24-hour advice to travellers.
- Carry a traveller's medical kit containing items such as headache tablets, antiseptic lotion, cotton wool, Band-Aids or similar, latex gloves, safety pins, insect repellent and hand sanitiser. Specialised kits for diarrhoea are also available from a travel doctor.
- Exercising a little care with food and drinks and good personal hygiene can help you avoid gastro symptoms.
- To avoid being bitten by disease-carrying mosquitoes, pack some good repellent and a long-sleeved shirt and long pants.
- Avoid contact with animals such as dogs and monkeys, as they could be carrying rabies.
- Have a check-up when you return home if you've been ill.