As the school holidays are approaching, a lot of people take this time to escape the Melbourne winter and travel. Traveling is an exciting adventure, whether you’re exploring a new country or visiting family and friends. However, it’s essential to take some health precautions to ensure your trip is enjoyable and illness-free. At Parkhill Medical Centre, we want to provide you with some practical travel health tips, including advice on vaccinations and safety precautions, to keep you healthy on your journey.


Before You Go: Preparing for a Healthy Trip

Top 10 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your GP Consultation

  • Research Your Destination: Understand the health risks associated with your destination. Some countries have specific health concerns like malaria, dengue fever, or Zika virus. The CDC and WHO websites are excellent resources for up-to-date information.


  • Visit Your GP: Schedule an appointment with your GP at least 4-6 weeks before your trip. This is crucial for getting any necessary vaccinations and health advice tailored to your destination.


  • Vaccinations: Depending on where you’re going, you might need specific vaccinations. Common travel vaccines include:
      • Hepatitis A and B: For many destinations, especially in areas with poor sanitation.
      • Typhoid: Recommended for areas with poor hygiene.
      • Yellow Fever: Required for certain countries in Africa and South America.
      • Rabies: Necessary if you’ll be in close contact with animals or visiting remote areas.
      • Meningococcal Vaccine: Important for travel to parts of Africa and for certain large gatherings, like the Hajj pilgrimage.
  • Medication Preparation: If you’re on regular medication, ensure you have enough to last the duration of your trip, plus a little extra in case of delays. Carry a copy of your prescriptions just in case!


During Your Trip: Staying Safe and Healthy


  • Food and Water Safety:
    • Drink Bottled Water: Stick to bottled or purified water, and avoid ice cubes unless you’re sure they’re made from purified water.
    • Eat Cooked Food: Opt for well-cooked meals.
    • Be Cautious with Street Food: While it can be delicious, make sure it’s freshly prepared and served hot.
    • Peel Fruits: Eat fruits you can peel yourself, like bananas and oranges, to avoid contamination.


  • Hand Hygiene: Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, especially before eating and after using the bathroom. Carry hand sanitizer for situations where handwashing isn’t possible.


  • Protect Against Insects: Insect bites can transmit diseases like malaria and dengue fever.
    • Use Insect Repellent: Apply repellent containing DEET or picaridin on exposed skin.

Are you using mosquito repellent incorrectly? | Queensland Health

  • Sun Protection: Sunburn and heatstroke can ruin your trip!
    • Wear Sunscreen: Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30. Reapply regularly, especially after swimming or sweating.
    • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids, preferably water, to stay hydrated.
    • How to Apply Sunscreen to Kids and Babies for a Safe Summer






  • Stay Active Safely: Physical activity is great, but ensure it’s done safely.
    • Warm-Up: Properly warm up before engaging in strenuous activities.
    • Use Safety Gear: Wear helmets, life jackets, and appropriate shoes for activities like biking, swimming, and hiking.
    • Know Your Limits: Listen to your body and avoid overexertion.


After You Return: Post-Travel Health

  • Monitor Your Health: Pay attention to how you feel after returning home. Some travel-related illnesses can have delayed symptoms.
  • Seek Medical Attention: If you experience fever, severe diarrhoea, persistent cough, or unusual symptoms, visit your GP immediately. Inform them about your recent travel.


Final Thoughts

Traveling is one of life’s greatest joys, but staying healthy while on the go requires a bit of planning and vigilance. By preparing adequately, following safety precautions, and being mindful of your health, you can ensure that your trip is memorable for all the right reasons.


At  Parkhill Medical centre, we’re here to help you with all your travel health needs. From vaccinations to personalised advice, we’ve got you covered. Safe travels and enjoy your journey!