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Packing for a healthy holiday!

When on holiday, the last thing you want to do is to spend time looking for a pharmacy if you fall ill. And even when you find one, language barriers and unfamiliar brands can make the task of choosing the right medicine harder.

There have been reports that in some destinations chemists may be carrying out-of-date or possibly fake medications.

It's therefore good to be prepared before you travel. We list some tips you may wish to consider when packing your medical kit.

Insect repellent
Many people don't think they need to use insect repellent or if they do, then they often don't use enough. Getting bitten by insects can be serious, so, remember to apply regularly and generously. Mosquito bites can cause malaria and insects can cause severe allergic reactions. So stock well before you head out.

Sunscreen is crucial if you are travelling somewhere that clocks up a lot of sunshine hours. Remember - the sun is often stronger than we think! Aim to use at least SPF15 and try to minimise exposure to direct sunlight. Whether you are at home or abroad, protecting your skin is important regardless of its sensitivity. Sunburn can be painful and unsightly! It is even possible to get sunscreen that includes an insect repellent, so in tropical climes you can take a combined bottle on your holiday – just rub and go!

Water purifying tablets
Stick to bottled drinking water unless you are sure it is safe. Pack some purifying tablets too. Avoid ice and free jugs of water in eateries as this is likely to be tap water, not our cup of tea at all!

Medicines/prescription drugs
If you are on regular medication, make sure you carry enough with you whilst you're away. See your doctor before you go to ensure that your supplies will cover your trip and any emergencies. Split the stock between your hand and checked-in luggage in case of mishap – be prepared for travel delays and lost baggage. Remember to keep everything fully labelled and your prescriptions handy.

Probiotic capsules and rehydration salts
If you are stricken with diarrhoea or vomiting (common with cases of gastroenteritis) it is crucial to rehydrate properly. Carry sachets of rehydration salts such as Dioralyte in case of emergency and dissolve into bottled water. Probiotic capsules, available at many health food shops are also handy when it comes to regulating digestion or easing the pain of stomach disorders.

Flight socks
If you're flying to your destination, do take some flight socks with you. They act as a compression tube to reduce swelling in your feet and lower the risk of a DVT (deep vein thrombosis). Use them in conjunction with periodic moving around to ensure good circulation - particularly important on long-haul flights.

Travel insurance & EHIC
Having the right type of travel insurance cover is absolutely essential. You should make sure you have cover that is suitable and meets your requirements. If you are travelling in Europe, it's a good idea to have a valid EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) which can entitle you to reduced costs for some medical care. A EHIC is available free of charge but it is not a substitute for travel insurance as travel home in an emergency or repatriation after an accident are not covered.

Wherever you decide to travel and however you decide to get there, Flexicover Direct the travel insurance specialist, is committed to providing the highest level of service to ensure that you are safe and secure, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year when away.

If you are travelling soon, have a great trip!