Travelling soon? Packing a travel kit with travel medications is important when preparing for your trip. Find out what are the travel essentials and services you could get, and scroll down for more travel tips.
Travel Tips Before You Depart
Learn about your destination in relation to your health risks and identify potential medical hazards that may arise during your trip.
Travel vaccines protect against a variety of diseases when travelling. Plan ahead and find out what vaccinations you’ll need before embarking on your journey. Some are required for entry into certain countries, and some may need to be taken a few weeks in advance. Also, conduct a review of your existing medical conditions. Consult a doctor to check which travel vaccine you’ll need.
Prepare a travel kit with basic medication and first aid. Your travel kit should include the necessary medications and dressings for minor ailments and injuries that may occur during your travel, and save you the hassle of packing your own medications.
What to Note During the Flight
Air Pressure Changes
During travellingUse oral decongestants, antihistamines, and nasal decongestant sprays 30 minutes before your flight. Frequent swallowing or doing the Valsalva manoeuvre (blowing air by closing your mouth and pinching your nose) can equalise pressure in the middle ear to the outside. Adults may chew gum or suck on hard candies, while infants can suck on a bottle teat.
Risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
Some long-distance travellers are at risk of DVT and pulmonary embolism (PE). DVT occurs when a blood clot forms in a large vein deep in the calf. It leads to PE when the blood clot breaks off and travels to the lung, causing the blockage of a major vessel, which can be fatal. General prevention measures include frequent ambulation and calf exercise.
When You Arrive
Drink Water from Trusted Sources
Drink straight from the bottle with a straw rather than from a glass. Avoid taking drinks with ice, or consuming ice cubes, unless they are made from boiled or filtered water. Boil drinking water for at least three minutes, followed by cooling to room temperature. Alternatively, you may consider using water purification tablets which kill micro-organisms to prevent waterborne diseases.
Watch What You Eat
Eat thoroughly-cooked foods that are served hot, fruits that require peeling before consumption, and consume only pasteurised dairy products.
Protect Yourself from Insect Bites
To avoid contracting arthropod-borne diseases, wear clothes that reduce the amount of exposed skin. Use an insect repellent, treat your clothing with insecticide, and avoid outdoor exposure when mosquitoes are most active, normally at dusk and dawn.
Practise Proper Hand Hygiene
Always observe proper hand hygiene, by using soap and water to wash your hands, or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser containing more than 60 per cent alcohol.
Get Acclimatised to Higher Altitudes
At high-altitude destinations, it is important to get accustomed to the changes in altitude to prevent acute mountain sickness. Symptoms include headache, feeling tired and lightheaded, nausea, vomiting, poor appetite and the inability to sleep well. Don’t over-exert yourself with physically demanding activities; keep hydrated and stay warm. Ascend gradually if possible, and consider taking acetazolamide from your doctor if you have a history of acute mountain sickness.