Travel Smart

Why Travel Health Advice Matters

In 2023, 1.3 billion international tourist arrivals worldwide were estimated.1 With so many of us travelling, it's important to think about staying healthy while you're away.

Are you thinking about your next adventure? Whether you’re planning on heading to a festival in Thailand, a five-star hotel in Cuba or going abroad to visit family and friends, there’s a lot to think about before you go. What should I pack? What will the local food and customs be like? In all the excitement, don’t forget to think about your health before you go away.

Where can I go for travel health advice?

Visit your local GP surgery, or travel health clinic for expert advice, vaccinations, and to discuss any health issues you might be worried about when travelling abroad.

  • Check if your surgery can provide you with travel health advice and any vaccines you need.
  • Some travel vaccines are available free of charge on the NHS depending on where you are going, or the activities you are planning.
  • Visit the NHS “Travel Vaccines Advice” Webpage for more information - Travel vaccination advice - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
  • If your surgery can’t provide the vaccinations you need, try a private travel vaccination clinic or pharmacy that offers travel vaccinations.
  • Check if your routine UK vaccinations are up to date with your GP or Practice Nurse, they'll be able to give you any boosters that you need.

Why should I seek health advice before travelling?

  • Getting ill on a trip is unpleasant, can cut your trip short and can be expensive
  • Some diseases have no treatment and can even be fatal
  • You could bring an illness back home with you, meaning you might infect your friends and family
  • You could be at risk of travel-related disease no matter the standard of your accommodation
  • Areas of risk can change – never assume you don’t need vaccinations for your trip
  • You might need proof of vaccination against certain diseases before you enter or leave some countries

Seeking expert advice before you travel is the best way to stay healthy and happy while travelling.

What sort of advice will I be given?

1. General advice to keep you healthy in foreign countries including food and water safety, avoiding insect bites and personal hygeine measures you can take while travelling. 2. Advice on how to protect yourself from malaria. 3. Destination-specific advice, including advice on which vaccinations are recommended

For destination-specific travel advice, see our interactive travel health map.

To help yourself stay happy and healthy when on holiday, book a travel health consultation before you go away. Whenever possible, you should aim to see a healthcare professional at least 8 weeks before you travel.2

References

1. Statista Tourism Worldwide. Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/209334/total-number-of-international-tourist-arrivals/. Accessed: May 2024. 2. NHS. Travel Vaccinations. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/travel-vaccinations/. Accessed: May 2024.

MAT-XU-2204305 (v3.0)| June 2024

For further information please talk to your healthcare professional