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How to ensure you are prepared for a medical emergency on holiday

Written by Fiona

November 10 2017

Wherever you are going on holiday, whether it is a short trip across the channel or to the other side of the world, it pays to be prepared. Being prepared isn’t just about packing lots of sun cream or your newest swimwear, there are more important things that you need to consider, such as being ready for an unexpected medical emergency.

Emergencies while on holiday can come in all shapes and sizes, from natural disaster to an accident or illness, but by taking some simple precautions before you travel you will be prepared for anything that might come your way.

Before you leave for holiday

Travel insurance

This is vital and will be the most important thing for you to get, as it will protect you against those unforeseen misfortunes on your travels. Travel Insurance will cover you getting home and your medical expenses.

Pack your policy documents

Now that you have the travel insurance, print off a spare copy of your travel insurance policy documents and take them with you on your holiday. By doing this they will never be far away if you should need to check something about your cover.


This depends on where you are going, because not everywhere requires a vaccination. You can find out if you need any vaccinations from your holiday by visiting the National Travel Health Network Centre and select the country that you are visiting.

Get a first aid kit

A small first aid kit will fit easily into your suitcase and come in very handy. It should include:

  • Plasters
  • Thermometer
  • Insect bite treatment
  • Bandages
  • Detergent wipes
  • Allergy tablets
  • Sickness and diarrhoea tablets.

Know the emergency services number(s)

This is something a lot of people forget about, but in an emergency, seconds count. So having the number handy for you to call could end up being life-saving.

While you are on holiday

Stay hydrated

If you are traveling somewhere hot then you need to make sure you are drinking more water compared to how much you’d be drinking at home. Flying is dehydrating as well, so be sure you drink lots of fluids on your flight too.

Only carry money that you need

You may need to pay for medical care but nowadays credit and debit cards are accepted everywhere. So your British card will usually be accepted in foreign ATMs, which means there is no need for you to carry your entire stash of holiday money in your pocket. If you only want to deal with cash, then estimate how much you will need each day and leave the rest in a safe place back at your hotel.

Conceal your valuables

Thieves won’t rifle through your bag and leave medication behind, so be wary of where you leave your belongings; don’t leave them on coffee tables or bars where you’re having a chat as it is easy for people to swipe them. If you are walking around with your camera around your neck to get that perfect holiday snap then keep a firm hold on it.

You never know when you might be faced with the unexpected so make sure you are prepared and it will really help ease the worry and stress.

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