The average Brit takes 1.2 holidays abroad every year – a curious figure perhaps explained presumably because quite a few people get as far as Dover before realising they’ve forgotten their passports and have to come home again!

Seriously though – when visiting another country, whether you’re off for a two-week trip wine-tasting in the Dordogne, on a business junket to Hong Kong, or off travelling the world for six months before university, then besides the essentials such as arranging visas and making sure passports are up to date, you need to give your health some consideration, whether you’re 18 or 80. Here are five things not to forget…

ESTEVE costa

Hearing Aids

Hearing difficulties can strike anyone, at any point in their lives. If you’re one of the 11 million + people in the UK who suffer from some form of hearing loss then you may need to wear a hearing aid. While most modern devices can be trusted to work reliably for years, they do need some tweaking now and again to keep them performing at their peak.

So if you’re going to be away for any length of time then specialist hearing aid providers such as Hidden Hearing will be happy to make any necessary adjustments, as well as supply any spare batteries or other accessories you may need so that you can hear announcements at the airport, or understand what the waiter is saying when he takes your order.


We’re pretty lucky in the UK. About the most hazardous things nature has to throw at us is the occasional wasp sting at a picnic or a seagull stealing the flake from your ice cream on Brighton pier. But abroad – that’s another matter. While the thought shouldn’t put anyone off travelling, there are many unpleasant diseases in other countries which pose a hazard to your health such as yellow fever and typhoid. Read up on government advice for the country you’re travelling to if you have any concerns, and then check with the NHS on whether you ought to have any vaccinations. Do remember that some vaccinations can be a bit unpleasant so you want to get them done several weeks before you travel.



Bear in mind that if you need to take any regular medication for pre-existing conditions then you might struggle to find it in the country you’re visiting. To be on the safe side, book an appointment with your doctor or stop in at the pharmacist to stock up. Split the medication between your hand luggage and hold baggage in case the latter should go missing en-route, and remember that some countries such as India and Turkey place restrictions on the types of medication that can be brought in, in which case your best bet is to have a signed letter from a doctor explaining why you need it.

The Mozzies

Another way we in the UK are lucky is that we are relatively untroubled by mosquitos. In some parts of the world though, particularly in Southeast Asia and Africa, they are a real danger, spreading all manner of nasty diseases from malaria to Dengue fever. So if you’re going somewhere that mosquitos are prevalent, take adequate precautionary measures – a course of malaria medication is not pleasant, but can save your life if you get really unlucky. You can buy netting treated with repellent to sleep beneath, and some sprays are effective, though laden with chemicals. Wear dark, long clothing in the evenings and try not to hang around near water after dark.


Even if you’re just taking a day-trip to Calais, you ought to have travel insurance that could cover you if you get ill, or have a nasty fall. If you’re planning on a winter sports holiday, or travelling somewhere like the USA where visiting hospital comes with a hefty price tag, then sufficient coverage is vital. Always have a set of phone numbers on you so that you know who to contact and where to go in case of an emergency.