Health Advice

The Mature Traveller

Finally, you get some time to yourself, and now is the time to really kick back and relax. After all, you deserve it! With a little planning, your travel should be as safe as it is enjoyable.

Vaccinations

Check your vaccination requirements at least 6 months prior to your trip. Speak with your GP about any boosters you may need, and about any other vaccinations recommended for the areas you are planning to travel to. Make sure this is not left until the last minute, as some jabs cannot be taken within three months of another jab, so make this your first priority! In addition to routine holiday vaccinations, you might need to have a flu vaccination, especially if you are going on a cruise.

Medications

Those with existing medical conditions who require regular medication should be aware there are restrictions on many flights around the world regarding this. It is important you are clear about the restrictions, so you can plan ahead for your stay.

Since some airlines can vary, we would advise you to check with your airline company regarding any individual circumstances, to ensure you are fully informed.

The Chief Medical Officer in the UK has issued a procedure for those taking medication on flights.

  • It states that travellers should be discouraged from taking medication onto flights unless it is for the immediate journey.
  • It also advises that all extra supplies of medication, for the duration of your stay, should be placed in the hold luggage.
  • Powders or tablets can be carried in the hand luggage at weights of up to 50g.
  • Any liquids, creams or gel can be carried in the hand luggage up to sizes of 50ml.
  • If the amount is larger than 50mls you must be willing to sample the medication at the airport in front of staff to demonstrate it’s safety. This will also apply for adults who are carrying their child’s medicine.
  • You may also want to bring along with you a prescription from your doctor stating the amounts and names of medication prescribed to you, for extra verification at the airport should you be asked.

For more information and for the latest information and restrictions, visit the DOH website.

If you are a diabetic you should first try to get an exemption certificate from the airline you are travelling with. In order to obtain this certificate, you will need to ask your GP to write a letter stating you are diabetic and will require insulin at regular intervals.

Your airline will be able to advise you further if you need to be made aware of any particular measurement guidelines, or advice on how to pack and store needles safely.

Special Arrangements

If you have a pre-existing illness or disability, you may need to make special arrangements for travel or accommodation. Contact your tour operator and hotel to discuss your requirements and make sure that they have the facilities you need to travel in comfort.

Insurance

Before you go, make sure you consider the following points:

  • If you are a resident of the UK, UK national, part of an EEA state or a refugee resident in any of the above, you are entitled to an EHIC form. These are easily obtained from your local post office. This will allow you reduced or free cover in any of the EEA states. EEA states are as follows; Austria, Liechtenstein, Belgium, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Cyprus, Malta, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Estonia, Poland, Finland, Portugal, France, Romania, Germany, Slovakia, Greece, Slovenia, Hungary, Spain, Iceland, Sweden, Ireland, Switzerland, Italy, United Kingdom and Latvia. Even with an EHIC form, you will still need a valid insurance for the event of illness and death.
  • Don’t go for the first policy you see! Have a shop around, look for the best deals and even haggle if you can to see if you can get more thrown into the offer for your money.
  • If you have a pre existing medical condition, such as epilepsy or diabetes, or if you are pregnant, make sure you make this thoroughly clear when taking out your policy. Don’t hold any information back; be completely honest about your condition.
  • Always read the small print.
  • Make sure the insurance is adequate if you intend to take part in any sports or activities you would not ordinarily take part in at home, such as winter sports, or even sky diving.
  • If your holiday destination is to a less developed country, make sure your insurance covers the costs of flying you home should you need important medical attention. Do not take risks to save a few pound.
  • Always carry your insurance papers with you! After all, you never know when you might need them.
  • Always carry your identity papers on you.
  • If you are allergic to any medications, put a note to that effect in with your identity papers. Like wise, maybe you can jot a few notes of any medical conditions. After all, if you are unconscious or not in the right state of mind, you may not be able to give the doctor treating you much needed information.
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