No matter who you are, where you’re going, or what you’re doing abroad, this page will provide you with travel health advice. It is your obligation to look after your health, and prevention is preferable to cure.
This page, as well as our travel advisories for your specific destinations, should be read.
If you’re already on the road and require medical attention, see our general medical aid recommendations.
Do Some Research on the Place You Want To Go
Every vacation spot is unique. This includes any health concerns you may encounter once you arrive. Be well-informed and well-prepared. Learn about the dangers so you can make educated decisions about where you go and what you do there.
Start by reading our travel tips for the places you want to visit. Each includes a ‘Health’ header that covers some of the most important things to know before you arrive.
Then read travel guides, conduct online research, and speak with people you know who have previously visited the area. Find out about the following for each destination you’ll be visiting or passing through:
These include infectious diseases, such as waterborne, foodborne, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), as well as various sorts of health risks, such as altitude sickness or injuries from car accidents.
The accessibility and quality of health care, medical facilities and medications, and local attitudes about disability are all factors to consider.
Local mental health attitudes and laws, as well as the availability of mental health support laws regarding medicine. You could be arrested or imprisoned if your prescription is illegal.
Before you go, read the travel tips for your trip.
Purchase Travel Insurance
One of the most important reasons to have travel insurance is for health concerns. It won’t save you from getting sick or hurt, but it will keep you from suffering financially. Medical care outside of the United States can be too expensive.
All medical care received outside of the United States must be paid for. You won’t be able to seek care for free or at a reduced cost through the public health system in your destination.
Local authorities may arrest you if you are unable to pay.
Travel insurance is required. You must also ensure that the coverage you select is appropriate for you.
Pay attention to the small print. The information can be found in the product disclosure statement (PDS).
Make sure your insurance is aware of any pre-existing problems. If you don’t, your insurance policy may be voided.
Before you depart, tell your insurer about the activities you want to conduct. Many regular hobbies, such as skiing, are prohibited by fundamental policies. It’s possible that you’ll have to pay more.
Check to see whether you have free travel insurance with your credit card. Some cards come with a cover. They do, however, frequently have different terms than paid policies. Recognize the distinctions.
Basic coverage may not cover you if you travel to another country for medical treatment.
You still need insurance if you’re going somewhere with a reciprocal health-care agreement. Agreements are limited in terms of what they cover.
You might not be able to get basic travel insurance if you have a terminal illness. You might be able to find a specialized insurer who will cover you for things like health, accidents, and property damage that are unrelated to your sickness. To find out, contact your insurance company.
Before you go, learn more about getting international travel insurance.
Consult Your Physician
Your doctor is an expert on your health and can provide you with travel advice that is tailored to your individual medical needs. Take their suggestions into consideration.
Consult your doctor six to eight weeks before your trip. You’ll need enough time to put their suggestions into practice.
Inquire as to whether or not it is safe for you to travel. Especially if you’re a senior citizen or have a medical issue. If you require specialized treatment, it may be difficult to locate it abroad.
Consult your physician, travel insurer, and airline if you plan to travel while pregnant. They can tell you if there are any extra precautions you can take to protect yourself and your unborn child. Inform your doctor of your plans. Inquire about preventative measures that are appropriate for your needs in that location.
Inquire with your doctor about any immunizations or boosters you may require. Some require multiple courses over a period of time.
Inquire about practical tips for your trip. Your doctor can advise you on how to lower your chance of developing health problems while traveling.
Vaccinations and Health Maintenance
It is preferable to prevent than cure. Your GP or travel doctor will be able to inform you the immunizations you require. Their recommendations are based on your health, immunization history, and travel destination.
Inquire with your doctor about any immunizations or boosters you may require. They can look up your medical history to see what you’ve been through.
Inquire about how many injections (or courses) you’ll need and when you’ll be able to acquire them. Some immunizations require multiple doses and take time to take effect.
Find out whether infectious diseases are prevalent in the area where you’ll be traveling. Find out what practical steps you may take to lower your infection risk.
Find out if vaccination proof is required for entry into your location. This is especially common in Yellow Fever-affected nations.
Some prophylactic goods, such as mosquito nets, are likely to be available when you arrive. Others, such as repellents and medications, maybe better purchased ahead of time.
Get Your Supplies Together
You might have trouble getting your prescription filled or acquiring medical supplies in another country. It’s possible that your prescription won’t be available in your destination, or that it will be of poor quality or even illegal.
Take enough medication to last the duration of your vacation. You might want to bring a little extra in case things go wrong and you have to delay your return home.
Check to see if your prescription medication is legal in the country you’re visiting. Local authorities may charge you with drug possession or use. You could be detained or imprisoned.
Find out if your medication is subject to restrictions under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). The amount and types of PBS-subsidised medicine you can take overseas are governed by legislation and restrictions.
Maintain the integrity of your medication by keeping it in its original container. Bring your script as well as a note from your doctor explaining why you need it. If authorities query you about your medication, you’ll be able to show that it’s for personal use only and not for resale.
Keep some of your medications in distinct bags when you’re packing. You won’t have to worry about running out of bags if one is lost or stolen.
Read our basic guidelines about bringing medications and medical equipment on a plane. Check to see what additional preventative health supplies you can bring.
Consider What You’re Going To Do
Your health is affected by the activities you plan to conduct while abroad. Your health has an impact on the activities you can safely participate in.
This isn’t just true for extreme sports like bungee jumping or skydiving. It also refers to activities such as going on a cruise, volunteering, working, and so forth.
Before you go, do some research on your destination and planned activities.
Determine whether or not you will be able to obtain high-quality medical treatment in your chosen location.
Investigate the activity you intend to participate in. Find out if it’s linked to any specific health issues, such as injuries.
Check your travel insurance coverage to see if you’re covered. Higher-risk activities are not covered by standard plans. Some policies may surprise you with what they don’t cover. Some companies may only cover your activities if you pay an additional fee.
Choose your hospital and surgeon carefully if you’re going overseas for a medical treatment. The standards differ. A poor decision could result in significant and costly complications, or even death. Take a look at our general medical tourism recommendations.
While You’re Away, Make Wise Selections
You’ll have a better time abroad if you don’t get sick or wounded. You can make decisions that lower your risks while you’re there.
Are you partying or having a romantic relationship with someone over there? Make use of a condom. Not only for birth control, but also to keep sexually transmitted illnesses at bay (STIs).
Are You Planning a Road Trip?
Learn the rules of the road and follow them. Always follow the law. Consider road safety; you’ll be less likely to get in an accident and require medical care when travelling.
Do you ride a motorcycle or a scooter? Wear a helmet and appropriate protective gear. Consider the importance of road safety.
Are You Interested in Trying Out Some Local Cuisine and Street Food?
Choose vendors and eateries that appear to be well-kept and well-liked by locals.
Do you eat with your hands? They should be washed first. To limit the chance of illnesses, make sure they’re completely dry. Traveller’s diarrhoea should be the last thing on your mind.
Considering Getting a Tattoo?
Choose a store with a good level of safety and hygiene. Make sure they’re using new needles at all times. If you make the wrong decision, you risk contracting an infectious disease such as HIV/AIDS.
If you intend to travel to a dangerous location where a ‘Do not travel’ warning has been issued, you are putting yourself at grave danger. You might perish. Take our recommendations very seriously.