When tours visit remote areas or developing countries, we normally recommend immunisation against typhoid, tetanus, polio and hepatitis A. Parts of East Africa and South America ask for a Certificate of Vaccination against Yellow Fever. Malarial prophylaxis should also be taken in some areas. Cholera vaccinations are not officially required by any country. However, in practice, a cholera vaccination certificate may be asked for by border officials when arriving from, or travelling into, an infected area: especially at land borders.
Make sure you obtain the protective vaccinations necessary for the countries you will be visiting. Although your Trip Dossier will highlight any required immunisations for your tour, we emphasise that these may vary with changing circumstances. Your General Practitioner or travel clinic will advise you with the most up-to-date information. If you do need to arrange vaccinations, you should contact your GP at least two months before departure. It’s advisable to shop around, as costs do vary between centres.
Remember to carry your International Certificate of Vaccination with you on holiday if you are required to prove you have the correct inoculations (and leave a photocopy at home). These must be signed and stamped by a doctor who administered the injections. For further information on vaccinations, visit www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk and www.nathnac.org/travel. For holidays in the EU / EEA you should obtain an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) before departure, from the Department of Health. This is available by telephone (0870 1555455) or online at www.dh.gov.uk. An EHIC is not, however, a substitute for appropriate travel insurance.
There is currently a worldwide shortage of yellow fever vaccine which is affecting the whole of the UK. The current shortage has implications for those travellers requiring vaccine in the coming months. Availability of yellow fever vaccine will vary from centre to centre and travellers may need to be referred to, or to seek out, alternate centres in order to be vaccinated.
While on tour
Local food and water
Your tour leader will be the best person to advise you, but here’s a reminder of some of the less common sources of germs:
• Inadequately washed fruit or salad
• Undercooked meat and vegetables
• Unpasteurised milk
• Brushing your teeth with tap water in risky areas
• Ice cubes
• Drinking straight out of a can
Often caused by the change of diet and climate, lasts around 48 hours and invariably strikes when least expected. Treat water with the utmost care – when brushing your teeth, for instance or swimming – and take care with your own personal hygiene, washing hands frequently. Antibacterial hand wash gel is recommended. If you do get an upset stomach, drink plenty of (bottled) water to avoid dehydration and take some electrolyte solution (e.g Dioralyte) to restore the salts lost by your body. If you have to travel, anti-diarrhoea tablets (e.g. Imodium) may be helpful. Be aware that an upset stomach may affect your body’s ability to absorb any medication you are taking.
It’s always advisable to let your tour leader know if you are feeling unwell.
First aid and medicines
Taking your own first aid kit is a must. Remember to pack prescriptions in your hand luggage and not your checked-in luggage. The Lifesystems range of medical kits available from our travel store is practical and well-designed – www.nomadtravel.co.uk/explore
Sun & heat
Always remember to pack sun-cream. Too much sun can give you sunburn and possibly lead to sunstroke, which can ruin your holiday and have negative effects on your health.
A good lip salve is also advisable and dark sunglasses with high UV protection.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
For more information on DVT, please contact the National Health Service. Details can be found at www.doh.gov.uk
Advise your friends and relatives to contact Explore in an emergency and we shall endeavour to get a message passed through to you as quickly as possible. Should anything happen to you while you are on tour, you can be sure that our emergency procedures and communications channels will kick in rapidly. Leave the worrying to us; you just enjoy your holiday!