Five Important Winter Travel Tips
5th March 2020
Are you thinking of getting away this winter? Maybe you’re going to get some winter sun, or you’re going to make the most of the snow and indulge in a ski holiday. Wherever you’re planning to escape to this winter, you need to ensure you are prepared for every eventuality. According to statistics, 50% of us don’t seek any health advice before we travel. However, travelling to different countries can come along with several health and safety risks that should be considered and prepared for to ensure a smooth-running trip. Below we have compiled a list of the most important steps you should take before travelling this winter.
Get travel insurance
No matter where you’re going on holiday, travel insurance is an absolute must. There are plenty of providers out there who offer a wide range of policies but make sure when choosing a policy, you pick one that’s suitable for your trip. You need to check that you are covered for all the activities you are planning to do. If you are going on a ski holiday, for example, you need to ensure you get a specialist policy that covers winter sports, and specifically the type of sport you’ll be participating in. Not all policies will cover you for these kinds of activities, so if you were to get hurt you would end up having to pay for your treatment out of pocket, which can be very pricey.
Specialist policies should cover for all eventualities including loss of sports equipment, if you aren’t able to reach or leave your resort due to an avalanche, or any other weather extremes, or if you need to be airlifted to hospital. Purchasing a suitable travel insurance policy should be one of the first things you do when you book a holiday.
Ensure you’re vaccinated
When planning a holiday, particularly a long-haul one, you need to research any health risks that are associated with the country you’re travelling to. Seek medical advice before you go away and ask if you’ll need any vaccinations or antimalarial medications before you travel to a particular place. Ideally, you need to seek advice and get any vaccinations six to eight weeks before you go away, so vaccination courses can be completed.
If you or your employees are travelling for work, Kays Medical can offer a wide range of travel vaccinations to staff, to ensure they are protected when they travel. Our Occupational Health experts can provide advice on what vaccinations or medications you’ll need when travelling to different countries and can even come to your site to administer vaccinations to employees at a time that is convenient for you.
Protect yourself against the spread of illness
When travelling, particularly if you’re going on a cruise where there are large numbers of people all together in a confined area, it can encourage the spread of infections caused by viruses and diseases like the flu. Every year, during winter, you should get the influenza vaccine to protect yourself against the spread of the flu and if you haven’t done already you should get one before travelling. The flu vaccine is the strongest protection we have against the disease, and to remain protected you need to get the vaccination every year.
Kays Medical can offer flu vaccinations to workforces to ensure they are kept healthy and happy in the workplace and if travelling abroad. We can administer vaccines to your entire workforce, across one or multiple sites, with little disruption to your working day.
It is also important when travelling abroad, particularly when in places with a high risk of infection or disease, to maintain a rigorous hand hygiene regime to prevent the spread of disease and keep yourself healthy. Wash your hands regularly especially after being around large groups of people, touching communal surfaces, before eating or after shaking hands with someone. Carry hand sanitizer around with you in your bag or pocket, so you can regularly disinfect your hands, even when you don’t have access to soap and water.
Protect against insects
Biting insects like mosquitoes and ticks can spread serious illnesses like malaria, yellow fever, and Lyme disease. As well as getting any vaccinations or medications you need for travel, you should also ensure you are protected against insect bites. If you’re travelling somewhere where mosquitoes can be an issue, make sure you pack plenty of things to arm yourself against them. You should get an effective insect repellant, such as one that contains a high level of DEET, which provides the most effective protection against insect bites and stings.
Spray on an insect repellant like the Care Plus Deet 50% Spray, throughout the day and night and consider sleeping under a mosquito net at night time to reduce the risk of getting bitten. If you can’t use DEET because you’re pregnant, breastfeeding or need an insect repellant suitable for children, Kays Medical also has a range of natural, DEET-free insect repellants, such as the Care Plus Anti-Insect Natural Citriodiol Spray.
Be aware of Zika
The Zika virus, usually spread by mosquitoes, is an illness that has no vaccination or medication to protect against it. It is currently present in many countries including the Caribbean, Central, and South America, parts of South East Asia and West Africa. If you are travelling to any of these countries, it is important to seek advice about Zika before you travel, and ensure you remain aware and protect yourself whilst away.
If you are pregnant, you should not travel to Zika-affected areas as it can cause complications to your pregnancy and the unborn baby. If travel to these places in unavoidable measures should be put in place to protect yourself by avoiding exposure to the virus.
Before you travel this winter, ensure you have considered each of these steps and are fully prepared to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. Getting ill abroad cannot just ruin your holiday but can be incredibly costly and even life-threatening. Ensure you are aware of any diseases you may pick up whilst away and are protected against them and insect bites. Also, don’t forget to get suitable travel insurance before you go away to ensure you are covered if anything does go wrong. Kays Medical has a range of products and services which can keep you or your employees safe whilst travelling abroad. Contact us today for any help or advice.