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Packing for the family holiday: 5 medical essentials

Posted on
August 2, 2017

Family holidays are always guaranteed to be a bundle of fun, so long as you’re guaranteeing your health and safety are on top form. Here are five medical essentials to keep in mind before heading on your travels.

Pack a basic travel kit

Depending on where you’re going, you’ll want to bring a basic kit that includes all of the essentials. Consider everything from plasters to a thermometer, so that no matter what predicament either you or the little ones land yourself in, you’ll always be well equipped to deal with it.

Remember to include sufficient medication, too. Things such as paracetamol and antihistamines are almost always necessary when travelling due to plenty of factors, whether it be sunburn, hayfever or a simple headache. And don’t forget the travel sickness tablets – CTI details how they may be necessary for a young traveller flying for the first time.
First Aid Kit

Bring sensible sunscreen

You’ve likely chosen a destination renowned for its scorching sun and hot weather. Why wouldn’t you? Family holidays are perfect for a warm getaway, but make sure you’ve got sunscreen to protect you from the potentially harmful rays. You’ll need to ensure the factor is high enough to provide sufficient coverage, too.

A factor 50 cream is usually safe enough for the little ones. Factors 15 and 30 are common for adults, but bear in mind that the lower the factor the more of a risk there is of getting burned. Take into account your skin type, too – the fairer the skin, the easier it is to catch the sun.

Get the necessary vaccinations

Before travelling to certain locations, you’re going to have to get certain vaccinations to prevent catching diseases and illnesses whilst travelling. You’ll find that some jabs are free and you won’t have to pay anything – just get an appointment with your local GP to be vaccinated against polio, tetanus, cholera and hepatitis A amongst some others. The NHS says to get advice on what’s needed at least eight weeks before you’re due to travel. These jabs are compulsory for young kids, too, especially newborns.

Some vaccinations, however, do come at a cost – but it could be worth it depending on where you’re travelling to. Head to certain parts of South America and you’re at risk of catching yellow fever from mosquitoes, and watch out for Japanese encephalitis in Southeast Asia. Paying for protection is much wiser than risking it.

Have tablets to settle your stomach

When on holiday you’re guaranteed to be sampling the local cuisine. Just don’t rush into gorging on something that’s perhaps too adventurous. If you or the little ones eat or drink something that doesn’t agree with your stomachs, it’s a recipe for disaster that might leave you bedbound.

Make sure you bring some tablets that can settle your stomach in case of emergency. It’s likely that you might not feel your very best anyway due to stress from travelling, so you’re going to want to prevent making it any worse.

Use repellent

Talking of mosquitoes, you’re going to want to prevent any nasty bites regardless of whether you’re vaccinated or not. The little creatures can carry an abundance of different diseases and viruses that you may not be prepared for, as echoed by TIME. Therefore, you’ll want to ensure you’re spraying yourself (and especially the kids) with plenty of repellent before heading outside.

There are plenty of other ways to stop yourself from being caught by a pesky mosquito, too. Sleep behind a net at night so that you don’t wake up with any nasty surprises, and find a sunscreen with repellent already in it so you won’t have to worry if you forget to spray before heading out for the day.

So long as you bear these tips in mind, you’re all set for a family holiday of a lifetime without any hiccups. Stay safe and well protected in order to have a stress-free getaway.


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Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog