Whether you like packing for your holidays or loathe it, there are some essentials that shouldn’t be an afterthought in the duty free lounge. I love packing, choosing too many swim shorts, tee shirts, sunnies and flip flops. Mrs P quickly reminds me that we’ve booked a ten day break not a gap year! One thing she does have me take care of, is the medicines kit. My speciality. This is made even more important when travelling with our two little munchkins. There is a lot of news coverage of outbreaks of food poisoning in hotels and on cruise ships. You really don’t want to give up valuable holiday time to the trots or something more serious.
Paracetamol or Ibuprofen. This should be the staple of any holiday medical kit. Fever, aches and pains will be taken care of. Make sure you have the age appropriate versions for any children on the trip. I like the sachets as they are more safer and convenient to carry than glass bottles. Pay attention to dosages and watch out for those strong holiday cocktails whilst taking pain killers. Alcohol puts more strain on the kidneys and liver.
On holiday it’s nice to try new cuisines and local dishes but nobody wants to spend more time in the loo than the beach. You can be as careful as you like but sometimes the change in natural water can bring on diarrhoea. Taking a good probiotic like Optibac – for travelling abroad would good to take daily whilst on holiday to keep the good bacteria in your gut topped up to help fight off any unpleasant bugs.
If you do succumb to the runs, loperamide is very quick acting, but has a likelihood of bunging you up and keeping the offending bacteria in. If you prefer something a bit more natural, Optibac – Saccharomyces Boulardii is a fantastic strain of probiotic that encapsulates offending bacteria so your body can remove it naturally.
First Aid Kit
Whilst on holiday it’s quite easy to pick up a few cuts and grazes whilst enjoying yourself in the sea, pool or hiking. It is important to clean all wounds with an antiseptic and protect with a clean dressing to help prevent skin infections. Make sure your vaccinations are up to date.
Travelling somewhere off the beaten track?
Safari? Trekking the amazon? Helping out in remote aid camps? Travelling to a country where medical help is few and far between, it may be wise to pack a lot more than just the basics. Sometimes travelling with your own sterile needles and syringes becomes a necessity. Some countries do not have comprehensive hospitals and only have limited availability to disposable sterile equipment. As a result they reuse needles on patients. Taking your own supplies will prevent blood bourn diseases should you need some more specialist care.
Medicines that get you into trouble
Do check on your holiday destination for any meds that are available over the counter that are illegal to take into another country. For example, in the United Arab Emirates and Thailand, codeine which can easily be bought over in your local pharmacy could easily land you in jail charged with drugs importation with as much severity as importation of Heroin. In Japan, stimulants are banned. This includes some hayfever, allergy and sinus medication. Apparently, even a ‘sticky uppy nosey’ Vicks inhaler could get you into trouble in the land of the rising sun.
If you take regular prescription medication, take only what you will need, with a little extra, just in case of delayed flights or mishaps. You may need to get some letter of authority for your medication from your GP when travelling to some countries depending on your prescription.
Don’t let being ill spoil your holiday so pack accordingly. Check with your pharmacist who will be armed with the correct information relating common holiday ailments, different laws and supply you with the right healthcare you need. All that’s left now is choosing which of your favourite wedges to take. And don’t forget your toothbrush.
Written by Bhavash Padhiar. Read more work by Bhavash here…