Grange Road Family Practice offers a wide range of travel vaccines. Please contact the practice to find out what vaccines you will need, the price and when you should get them. We offer competitive prices and group rates.
It is essential to ensure that your personal health will be sufficient for the trip you have planned. If you have a significant medical condition (e.g. heart problems, diabetes, epilepsy, asthma etc) then it will be important to talk this through in great detail to make sure you are not taking unnecessary risks.
Safety & Security
Watch your belongings at all times. Avoid flaunting any personal wealth. Don’t carry any item that is of sentimental value. Never carry any item for another person. Always carry out a very careful check before you travel through any custom checkpoint especially if you have not had your belongings with you at all times.
Being in possession of any illegal drugs is a very serious offence in many regions.
Alone or Group Travel
Travelling alone carries high risks for your personal health and belongings. In general, it is safer to travel with others but be aware that there also may be risks with your newly found travelling companions.
Take care before you agree to travel with any unknown companion. If possible, over a few days, find out some details of their home and family and see what you have in common.
Remember you know nothing about them and many backpackers/ travellers run into huge difficulties by trusting another without due care.
Location & Duration
Obviously where you will be trekking/ travelling in the world and the time spent there will be crucial from the health point of view. In many countries the facilities for backpackers/travellers are excellent -providing you stick with the ‘usual’ routes.
Try to have a good basic travel plan and, where possible, stick with your itinerary. Any change may invalidate the healthcare advice you were given before leaving home (or your travel insurance) so be careful.
Try to keep in contact with your family, updating them regularly about your current location, state of health and any possible changes in your itinerary.
Let them know about your travelling companions especially if they change along your route.
Web cafés will be common in many regions – just make sure your parents/family are able to read emails before you leave!
Remember to watch your belongings and particularly your drinks as you would at home.
Many travellers tell of having suffered serious consequences (eg. robbery and rape) after being given a ‘spiked’ drink. If you are unsure, get a fresh drink rather than take any chances.
Never travel alone back to your lodging and always use authorised taxis where possible.
Carry a small amount of notes separately somewhere on your person in case you are mugged.
Don’t resist if you are confronted ~ it is just not worth the risk.
Food & Water
Remember that your body needs fuel; good food and water are essential items. Allocate adequate funds to ensure that these are maintained. Remember everyone’s stomach is different and just because your travelling companions are keen to experiment with their food intake does not mean you should.
Assume all tap water may be contaminated and use boiled or sealed bottled water at alltimes for drinking and brushing your teeth. Many travellers develop various bowel parasites while abroad because of eating unwise foods. Top of the list are lettuce and shellfish! Food from street vendors may be the only available option but as a last resort make certain it is fresh and fully cooked or else eat fruit that you peel yourself.
Mosquitoes and Bites
Remember to bring good repellent, a net if travelling in an area where mosquitoes may be a problem and to purchase a can of knockdown insect repellent on arrival in each area. Spray your room each evening especially around the door , window frames and under the bed. Treat any bites early and don’t allow them fester.
Rabies is a common disease in many regions where you may travel and so take care to avoid contact with all animals. Treat any bite very seriously and get competent medical attention as soon as possible.
If you are travelling in regions where malaria is a problem you probably will have been advised to take adequate prophylaxis before leaving home, be sensible and follow this advice carefully.
The backpacker will be at higher risk of a variety of diseases while abroad and will generally require a more extensive vaccine programme. These may include ‘extra’ vaccines like Hepatitis B, Rabies, Meningitis, Japanese Encephalitis etc.
Make sure you have plenty of time to complete the necessary courses before you leave if at all possible. Sometimes the doctor may suggest carrying an emergency antibiotic in case you can’t find competent medical attention.
The health risks associated with backpacking can be minimised providing you remember to pack plenty of commonsense and to exercise it constantly while abroad. Be suspicious, be careful and be constantly in contact with home.
Most importantly enjoy your trip!!!