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Are you a pro at dodging holiday bugs, or do you always come back with more than a tan? Test yourself with our quiz, then check out our trouble-free travel kit
Although you should seek advice about jabs at least 6-8 weeks before you travel (it leaves time to complete any courses), the Boots Travel Vaccinations and Health Advice Service still might be able to help. Book an appointment online at Boots.com/travelhealth and you can chat through a plan*.
Granted, it sounds simple, but a research study has suggested this could help. Motion sickness is often accompanied by fast, shallow breathing. Instead, try to focus on breathing in slowly while counting to eight, then out again for eight, for about 15 minutes – ideally before the journey starts. It can even help you recover more quickly after the motion has stopped. Clever.
A dodgy tum doesn’t just happen in developing countries – a change of water, hygiene or routine can have an effect on bowels whether you’re in South America or the Costa Brava. How to avoid? Wash hands before and after using the loo, and always before eating. You should also skip raw fruit and veg, ensure food is thoroughly cooked and hot, and drink bottled water.
Yes, 30% of Brits admitted to burning every time they go in the sun, even when they’re in Blighty! The most common reason? Not applying SPF to key areas such as noses, shoulders and tops and soles of feet (doh!). Remember: adults should use at least SPF15, and slather on roughly two tablespoons to cover the whole body and two teaspoons for the head, neck and arms.
You can, but you must declare it with your travel insurance provider first. Don’t think this will blow your budget. Boots Medical Travel Insurance involves a specialist medical screening and you can talk about your condition to a person (not just tick a checklist), for an accurate quote. (FYI, other medical conditions, from raised blood pressure to heart disease, can also be covered.) Head to bootstravelinsurance.com/medical-travel-insurance for more info.
If it’s just misplaced, go to the local British embassy, high commission or consulate (find your nearest one at gov.uk/government/world/embassies) to get an emergency passport to get back to the UK. Hopefully, you’ll get a new one on the day of your appointment, but it can take longer – you’ll need a copy of your passport (such as a pic on your phone), a recent passport-quality photo, and proof of your travel plans (such as booking confirmations). Only call the police if you think it’s been stolen.
Although you can’t take liquids above 100ml through security, you can buy bigger items, such as sunscreen and shower gel, after you’ve passed through to take on the plane (but check your airline’s cabin-baggage allowance first). There’s a Boots at most UK airports, so you can order ahead at boots.com** – and you’ll have more time to spend in duty-free, hurrah!
Although you might think Zika is only present in Southern and Central American countries, as well as Africa, it’s actually more widespread (check cdc.gov/zika/geo for latest updates). Avoid being bitten by mozzies by using an insect repellent containing DEET, wearing long-sleeved and ankle-length clothing, and using a mosquito net when sleeping. For most people, Zika is a mild infection, but if you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy you might want to rethink travel plans, as the virus can cause birth defects. If you’re visiting a mosquito-risk area, speak to a pharmacist about malaria prevention before you go.
Holiday health helpers
FOR MINOR INJURIES
Keep bites, grazes and nicks clean with Savlon Antiseptic Cream, £1.99/199 points (30g); always read the label.
SOOTHE MILD SUNBURN
Looking a bit ‘lobster’? Apply Soltan In-Shower Aftersun Cooling Lotion with Cucumber, £4/400 points (200ml), at the end of each day – it’ll help protect your skin from the dehydrating effects of the sun, too.
BUZZ OFF MOZZIES
Not only are bites annoying, but mosquitoes may also carry diseases, including malaria and Zika virus. Ward them off with Boots Repel Roll-On 50% Deet, £5.99/599 points (50ml). Use biocides safely. Always read the label and product information before use.
Don't forget these from the pharmacy...
MOTION SICKNESS SAVER
Thoughts of planes, trains and automobiles making you queasy? Consider Stugeron Travel Sickness Tablets, £3.19/319 points (15 tablets); contains cinnarizine; always read the label.
TRAVELLER'S TUMMY RELIEF Boots Pharmaceuticals Diarrhoea Relief 2mg Capsules, £5.99/599 points (18 capsules), can stop diarrhoea in less than one hour, so consider these for on-the-go relief from traveller's tummy; contains loperamide hydrochloride; always read the label. If you’re still suffering from diarrhoea when you return, you may need to check with your GP about the best way to treat it.Buy in store or on Boots.com
TREAT DEHYDRATION Fill a drinking bottle with 200ml of water (for adults) and add a sachet of Dioralyte Blackcurrant, £3.79/379 points (6 sachets; always read the label), to help replace lost fluids and body salts.Add
Look out for a holiday checklist in Boots stores – it’ll give you peace of mind that nothing is forgotten (plus, it has great health and beauty hints and tips!).
*Selected stores only, subject to availability, charges apply.
**Order five days in advance; available at selected airports only; for more info, go to boots.com/shoppingwithus.