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Package holiday health essentials

Person holding a pair of flip flops on the beach
1st June 2017

I think we can all agree that the British weather has truly outdone itself over the past few weeks. I swear we’ve had every type of weather possible, apart from snow. But we’re not here to focus on the terrible UK weather; we’re here to talk about our next sun-soaked holiday abroad. Dreaming of booking that all-inclusive holiday, that makes us feel ever so fancy because the drinks are multi-coloured and come with umbrellas in them.

Package holidays are the ultimate break from life - we jet off somewhere warm, forget how to cook or clean for ourselves, and the only work we do is top up our tan. We live the dream, if only for a week or two a year. You’ve most likely spent months fantasising about lazing in the sun by day, and living it up in fancy bars by night, which means zero percent of our plans involve being ill on holiday.

Getting sick on holiday can be devastating, which can spoil those precious few days in the sun before having to return home. But often, a bad illness can return with you, meaning time off work as well as several visits to the doctors to discover the cause. We know that getting away with your loved ones a few weeks a year is precious so we’ve put together this simple but effective guide to help you avoid falling ill on holiday. Being prepared is nothing to be ashamed of, and could just save the entire trip. Here are some key things you’ll need for a healthy getaway.

What to Pack

First Aid Kit – Someone is always prone to being a bit clumsy after a few to many at the pool bar, so packing a first aid kit is a holiday health essential. Your kit can be compact enough to not take up to much suitcase space, which should be stocked up with things like Plasters as they can be very useful also for any unexpected sore feet and blisters.

Rehydration Sachets – A bit too much sun, a bad stomach or a single night out can cause more damage to your body than you think. Keep drinking water and have a sachet to help aid recovery. You may also try and find some shade to avoid sunstroke too.

Diarrhoea Tablets – There is always a danger you might get a dickey tummy when eating at an all-inclusive buffet, as a radically different diet can turn your stomach instantly. All-inclusive buffets are well known for looking great but the reality could not be further from what is expected and are food can be undercooked, been re-heated or poorly prepared. Don’t let food-related stomach issues stop you having a great holiday with a pack of these.

After Sun – No one wants to be that person who burns on the first few days of the holiday meaning they have to take it easy for the next few days. It’s a well-known fact as Brits we often overestimate our resilience to the sun, which is why packing a good after sun can be a life saver! Choose one with aloe vera, which will help calm any sunburnt parts of your body. If any of the travelling party has fair skin which is prone to getting burnt, make sure you also pack some factor 50.  

Condoms – Take your sexual health as seriously abroad as you would do at home. We’ve all heard of those holiday disaster stories of friends having one night stands, and then having to have that awkward conversation with their parents. Don’t let that be you!

Half-packed holiday suitcase

All-Inclusive Awareness

You’ve got your recovery kit ready, but what do you need to look out for on an all-inclusive package holiday?

Food – All-inclusive buffets are likely how you’ll eat every meal, and in our experience are the main causes of food positioning related-illnesses abroad. We would advise you to avoid cold meats, salads, seafood and anything you consider looking a little dubious. If you realise something is lukewarm or cold once you’ve picked it up, don’t eat it – being polite isn’t worth the risk of catching food poisoning.

Drink – Only use fresh glasses and always try to wipe them down before you use them. It might feel overly cautious, but glasses within a hotel will have been touched by several people before being used and any staff or guests that may be feeling under the weather may not have washed their hands thoroughly, making these a common danger.

Pool – If the pool looks cloudy or murky, give it a miss. Despite the chemicals used to treat the water, a poorly maintained pool can still contain a lot of nasty bacteria due to the many who use them. A dirty pool can also be a warning sign of neglect elsewhere around the hotel too.

We hope that you have a wonderful holiday and manage to stay healthy on your holiday, but if you are unfortunate enough to get sick and it lasts for at least a few days then get in contact with us and find out if you can make a holiday sickness claim.

Cocktails next to a swimming pool

What Next?

If you found our tips for keeping healthy abroad useful and you want to keep these handy while on holiday, please download our leaflet here.

Package holiday health essentials infographic