So you’ve made your travel plans, your bag is packed and the room with a view is all set. The last thing you want is to get sick, or run out of your usual medication when you’re are interstate or overseas. Dr David Pan shares his top five tips for making your summer getaway a healthy one:
1. See your GP – speak to your GP for a pre-travel consult to assess risk, need for vaccines and recommendations on medications to take in your travel medical kit.
2. Pack your regular prescription – even if you think you have enough of your regular medication on hand for the duration of your trip, pop your prescription in your bag just in case. It will come in handy if you lose your medication or have to answer questions from a custom official.
3. Be ready for tummy troubles – nearly everyone has experienced the dreaded ‘Bali Belly’, so make sure you pack oral rehydration sachets and speak to your doctor about the need for anti-nausea or anti-diarrhoeal medications if appropriate to take with you.
4. Keep up the H20 – Australian summers are notoriously hot, and we often celebrate with an alcoholic drink or two, so keeping hydrated is so important. Symptoms of dehydration are thirst, reduced urine output, dark urine as well as dizziness. There are lots of apps out there, like Water Drink Reminder, that can help you keep track of your water consumption.
5. Slip, slop, slap – make sure you pack a good sunscreen and a wide brimmed hat alongside your eReader and magazines. Nothing ruins a holiday like a painful sunburn. The Cancer Council’s SunSmart App helps you understand your sun exposure and what you need to do to stay protected.
But as much as we plan ahead for a great break, sometimes things just happen. Your daughter gets sick at 3am when you’re interstate. You misplaced your asthma inhaler and now the local pharmacy is closed.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a doctor you could call anytime day or night? Many people don’t realise that services like this already exist, which is just one of the benefits of a healthcare system that is more connected and better able to provide you with advice and care no matter where you are.
We hope you don’t need a service like this on your holiday but it’s good to know that they exist if you need them. Enjoy your summer break wherever you go and do what you can to ensure it is a healthy one.
This guide contains general information only and does not replace advice from a qualified health professional. If you require emergency assistance, please call 000 for immediate help.