As an extensive traveller in Africa and the Far East, here is a few of my top tips for planning your trip and some thoughts on what to take as well.
Planning and preparation
A few hours of thought and preparation will save you hours of problems. Things to consider is any special requirements you might need for the areas you are going.
Healthcare and precautions
Don’t forget to visit your GP well in advance of your expected date of departure for a check over and your dentist to ensure there is no work that is required. There is nothing worse than tooth ache to spoil your trip!!! Take one of those temporary tooth fillers as a little tip – it won’t happen if you have one!! Ask your doctor for your blood group – it may be helpful.
If you have and pre-existing medical conditions that require regular medication, ensure that you have sufficient for your entire trip.
Pack these in your hand luggage for easy access or in case your luggage goes astray. If you are travelling for a long period makes sure you have enough mediation to last you – ask your GP for advice on. Make a note on both the brand name and the generic name (chemical name) of the drugs you are using. You could also ask your GP to write you a covering letter explaining your illness and your medications/dosage being used.
Check your required vaccinations, immunisations and malaria protection up to seven months ahead. As a minimum, get you polio, tetanus and typhoid up to date (recommended for this country as well!).
You might also need cholera, hepatitis (A and B), meningitis, rabies and tuberculosis.
Malaria protection is vital in many parts of the tropical world – your doctor will be able to tell you what you will need. Some countries also require a Yellow Fever vaccination and proof of having one.
Pick up the British Department of Health’s T5 leaflet, Health Advice for Travellers. You’ll find one from doctors’ surgeries, libraries, post offices or travel agents. The leaflet includes advice on vaccinations, rabies, malaria, AIDS, types of food and water supplies that may cause problems – worth the effort.
Allergy Triggers and medical information
If you suffer from any allergies such as a reaction to penicillin or bee stings you should think of wearing a necklace or bracelet so others can identify this quickly. This should also contain your blood group and any other information that would be useful to medical staff.
For those little emergencies….
Carrying a medical kit is essential, especially if you are spending some time in remote areas. Insect bites and diarrhoea are the most common ailments reported by travellers. It’s always advisable to carry your own set of sterile equipment including needles, syringes etc which can be obtained as part of a sterile medical kit, when outside of Western Europe, North America and Australia / New Zealand just in case you find yourself in a situation that requires medical intervention. Eye drops are always handy as is a cooling foot balm.
A good supply of medical rubber gloves is also recommended.
Pack a Swiss Army knife (not in your hand luggage on a flight though!). These gadgets are just brilliant – I use one every time I go abroad and I never travel without one. Also a mobile phone charger is essential – try a battery pack, solar or wind up charger.
Whatever your reasons for going abroad, you may be entitled to medical care at reduced cost or sometimes free. Your entitlement will vary based on whether you’re going to a European Economic Area country (EEA) or elsewhere in the world. Be sure to look into what you have purchased and understand what your entitlements are in each location you are visiting – there are many companies on the internet offering various packages.
How much shall I pack?
Top tip is to travel light. If you can do without it don’t pack it Take a peek at local customs on the Internet at the locations you are visiting as some attire is either out of bounds or considered inappropriate – you won’t be allowed into Temples or religious sites unless you have the correct clothing. Bikinis are also considered rude in some areas too! A good hat, sunglasses, a wrap of some sort (maybe a scarf) and some high quality sunscreen are a must for the more tropical and sunny destinations.
For more travel tips and some ideas for travelling in Morocco, visit our website or contact us.