When travelling to some countries you are advised to have inoculations against such diseases as diphtheria, hepatitis and typhoid. The pattern and period of inoculations vary, so you will have to seek the advice of your own doctor. He will also be able to advise you on the suitability of your destination bearing in mind your existing state of health.
Ask your doctor about supplies of prescription medicines to cover the holiday period and a letter explaining your medical condition, medication and the generic name of any medical supplies that you have to take with you. (You can then send the embassy of your chosen country a copy of that letter and list ot medication if you need to, to get written permission to take it into their country).
You should also remember that some inoculations cause a reaction that could make you feel quite ill for a day or so. After others you will have to have a blood test to see if they have been effective. If not, you may need a booster.
Ask about appropriate vaccinations at least twelve weeks betore you travel, though 1 would suggest that if you are thinking of going anywhere more exotic than Spain you should contact a doctor as soon as you can. Remember you will need to be tested to see if some vaccinations have worked, and others are given in a scries with a waiting period of days or weeks in between. Leave yourself enough time to ensure that your vaccinations will be effective and that vou have recovered from their effects.
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Vaccinations – countermeasures
• Check carefully to see what vaccinations you need when travelling to a foreign country.
Don’t assume that the vaccinations you had when you went to your destination or a similar destination last year will still protect you.
Give yourself plenty of time to research the vaccinations required, order the vaccine via your local doctor, then still have time to take multiple injections and tests over a period of time.
Be prepared to feel unwell for a day or so. Some vaccinations can make you feel quite ill for a short period,
Remember that there is no vaccination for some sexually transmitted diseases – abstain or take some condoms.
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When vou go abroad you will take some foreign currency and possibly traveller cheques too. They should of course be secure.
Don’t lull yourself into a false sense of security. I have heard of travellers being violently attacked for just a few pounds. In some countries the average weekly wage may be what you expect to spend at home on a snack. You may think of fifty pounds as ‘pocket money’, but to a native villager it may be more than their annual wage, and well worth attacking you for.
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Cash/traveller s cheques – countermeasures
Read the literature that comes with your traveller’s cheques and take the security advice they give. Don’t sign the cheques in advance.
Ever seen baggage handlers and automated baggage-handling systems working? As soon as they leave your careful hands suitcases are treated appallingly. Crushed and slammed around by machines, slapped by conveyor belts, thrown about by staff, jammed into baggage carts, towed through rain and snow, tossed onto slides, and if you’re unlucky yours is the bottom case in a pile of twenty!
A suitcase has to be tough or the contents will not survive. If it breaks, don’t expect much, if any, of the contents back again. A friend of mine was told his case had been lost. Two days later they called to say his case had been found ‘damaged’. A week later a driver delivered his hard plastic case, which was in two pieces. With it were two plastic sacks of garments and ‘holiday items’, though none of it was his. He assumed that somebody somewhere had scooped ‘about a suitcase-worth’ of clothes and holiday items off a ‘lost pile’ and sent them on with what was left of his case and baggage labels!
Buy a case that is strong enough and makes it easy for you to pack, carry, manoeuvre and identify.
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