Travelling Overseas

Travelling overseas is something every person would like to do. I was fortunate enough to be able to travel to Europe to see where my parents lived before migrating to Australia; many of my relatives still live in Holland. A few years later, I was able to travel to Vietnam – what a difference in cultures!

To travel safely overseas, preparation is necessary. Travel insurance is very important, as is the care of our home while we are away. All travellers should check their vaccination requirements. Even in countries where serious disease is unlikely, we should ensure our tetanus and flu vaccination is current.

We live in a first world country where hygiene is assumed. Our food and water is readily available and is clean. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of many other countries, where sanitation is poor and the quality of water is doubtful. A trip to Bali is very different from a holiday on the Gold Coast.

Travelling to a third world country such as in the Asian region, requires planning of vaccinations to protect us from the diseases we do not have in Australia. Where no vaccines exist, we must manage our diarrhoea and vomiting where there may be no medical help and we must avoid mosquito bites causing malaria, dengue or several other serious infections. Minor accidents and injuries can become quite serious when not treated; altitude sickness often affects travellers (eg to Machu Picchu in Peru and Mount Kinabalu in Borneo) – especially the young; not forgetting common illnesses such as respiratory or skin infection.

When visiting a travel clinic, education about staying healthy and safe is offered together with suggestions for “doing as the locals do” in relation to customs, dress and respecting cultures.

If all preparations are completed, a safe and happy holiday is assured with a safe return home. Enjoy your travels.

Connie Fairmaid RN

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