Below you will find the most common travel questions asked by our clinic customers and honestly questions we asked ourselves when we travel. If you can’t find the an answer to your travel question then, please book an appointment for a consultation. All consultations are free with services over £20.
Where Can I Find Out What Vaccinations I Need To Go Abroad?
We advise that you take a look at the disease pages on our website or for further information, visit the website TravelPro to find out if you might be at risk of certain infectious diseases on your trip, and what advice there is to help reduce your risk.
Although we will see you anytime before your journey, it is advised to book an appointment with your travel clinic at least six weeks before you leave to find out what vaccinations or other precautions you might need.
Please don’t forget to fill out our short booking form about your travel plans before your appointment with us. By providing us with as much information as possible will help us plan for which vaccination and anti-malarial solutions you will may for your journey.
It will also help us to recommend additional precautions to keep you safe on your trip.
I Am Leaving In Less than Six Weeks, Is It Worth Visiting A Travel Clinic?
Some vaccines take effect after just a few hours and others can take a few weeks to start working. Some require a course of injections that span over a few weeks. It’s recommended that you make an appointment with your travel clinic to get them in
However, it’s still worth making an appointment if you’re leaving in less than six weeks our specialist nurses might be able to give you a faster vaccination schedule in some cases.
In addition to vaccinations, it’s important to book a pre-travel consultation in any case before you leave to find out if you need antimalarials and what type of precautions you can take to help reduce your risk of disease while you’re travelling.
I Can’t Remember Which Vaccines I’ve Had – Does This Matter?
Most vaccinations last a few years, so, if you know what you are already protected against and when you had them, this will help us decide if you need a booster again.
If you can’t remember what vaccinations you’ve had or when you had them simply contact your GP surgery to find out if they have this information in their records.
If however, you cannot find your record by any means, we will discuss what is best for you on the day of your appointment.
You can sign up and register to our website to help keep track of your vaccination and remind you of when your next injection is due.
What If I Get Ill Abroad?
Try to find out before you go where the nearest doctor is at your destination, and what the phone number for emergencies is in that country (the equivalent of our 999), just in case you need it.
If you already have a medical condition or get ill just before leaving, it might be a good idea to visit your GP before setting off to check that you’re still ok to travel.
And before you leave, make sure you’ve arranged adequate travel health insurance that covers all the activities you’re planning to do on your trip.
I’m Already Taking Medication, Can I Take Them With Me?
Check with the embassy or government website of the country you’re going to about whether your medication is legal or not in that country. United Arab Emirates (UAE), in particular, has a long list of medications that aren’t allowed, and some other countries don’t allow travellers to bring in drugs like sedatives or antidepressants, so it’s always best to check.
Even if your medication is legal, you should get a letter from your GP confirming your personal details, the dates of your trip and how much of that medicine you need. Bring this with you on your travels, together with a copy of your prescriptions.
If you’re taking more than three months’ supply of a controlled substance, you’ll need a Personal licence from the Home Office.
You should also check with the airport and airline you’re travelling with, incase they have any restrictions on travelling with medications or medical devices.
If your medication needs to be stored at a particular temperature, make sure arrangements can be made for this during travel and at your destination.
Remember, you should always carry your medication in its packaging together with the patient information leaflet on your trip.
Can I Get A Prescription Abroad?
If you’re taking prescription medications, you’re usually advised to bring enough with you to cover your whole trip. In some countries, it might be difficult to get certain drugs and there might be problems with counterfeit ones. Never buy medicines on the street or from places other than reputable pharmacies or clinics.
If you’re going abroad for more than three months, you’ll most likely need a doctor out there to give you ongoing prescriptions. Speak to your doctor in the UK about this before you leave.
Do I Need Health Insurance?
Yes. It’s crucial that you arrange adequate travel health insurance before leaving, as you never know if you might need medical help while you’re away. Make sure that the policy covers all the activities you’re planning to do while travelling.
Remember that in some places, you might need to pay for treatment in advance and claim it back from your insurance company once you get home.
What Is The EHIC – Is It The Same As Travel Insurance?
No, the EHIC is not the same as travel health insurance – so be sure to get insurance as well. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows you to get medical care at a reduced cost or sometimes for free if you’re travelling in the European Union (EU), Iceland, Norway,
Liechtenstein or Switzerland.
Make sure you apply for one or renew it if it’s out of date, and carry this with you when you travel.
It’s important to remember that the EHIC doesn’t cover everything, like mountain rescue or being flown back to the UK, for example.
Should I Bring A First Aid Kit And What Should Be In It?
It’s a good idea to bring one with you on your travels, especially if you’re going somewhere remote or an under-developed country.
We have in stock sterile ready-filled first aid kits. If you want to put together your own, you might want to include pain killers, anti-diarrhoea tablets, antiseptic cream and oral rehydration products.
You can also get first-aid kits with sealed, sterilised needles, syringes and suture materials if you think you might need these – ask us if unsure at your appointment.
At What Heights Should I Worry About Altitude Sickness?
Altitude sickness usually affects people at altitudes of 2,500m above sea level or higher, although some people could get it at lower heights too. Common mountain treks above this height include the Inca Trail in Peru, Everest and the Himalayas in Nepal, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and Mount Kenya, as well as others in South America and Tibet. Check with your tour operator about your specific trip. Some ski resorts are above this altitude too, so check if this applies to you.
The higher you go or faster you climb, the more likely altitude sickness will happen. Remember, training to get yourself physically fit before the trip doesn’t protect you from it. So make sure you’ve read the advice on altitude sickness before you go – find out how to plan your trip sensibly to reduce your risk, and what to do if you feel the symptoms while you’re up there.
Can I Get Rabies From Any Animals Other Than Dogs?
Dogs are the most usual suspects for carrying rabies, but you could also get it from other mammals like cats, bats, monkeys, mongooses, jackals, foxes, coyotes, skunks or racoons. Beware of both stray animals and pets.
If you’re going to an area with risk of rabies, make sure you follow the advice on animal bites whilst you’re out there, as rabies is almost always fatal if you catch it.
I Am Traveling On A Long-haul Flight, How Can I Avoid Jet-Lag?
Try to get plenty of sleep before you step onto the plane and, of course, during the flight itself. Staying hydrated helps, so drink plenty of water. Try to avoid alcohol or drinks containing caffeine, like tea, coffee or cola. Set your watch to local time whilst you are on the flight, then try to adjust your eating and sleeping patterns accordingly.
But remember that it’s not always possible to avoid jet lag altogether, as your body needs time to adjust to the new time zone.
If you’re flying long haul, you should also follow other advice on air travel like keeping your legs moving to avoid getting deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
I Am Scared Of Flying, Is There Any Help I Can Get?
Fear of flying is common, but remember that flying is actually often safer than car or train journeys in most developed countries.
You might find it helpful to distract yourself by talking to other passengers, watching films, eating or reading.
Let the cabin crew know, as they’ll be very used to this situation and can often be very reassuring. It’s also a good idea to see your GP before leaving so he/she can reassure you about your general fitness to fly, and suggest any medications that might help.
Does Being On A Plane Increase My Chances Of Catching Other Peoples Bugs?
Sitting close to someone with a cold or other infection for a long period of time might well increase your chance of catching it. But be assured that there are usually very effective filters in aircraft cabins to help trap the bacteria and viruses on board.
How Do I Know If The Tap Water In Another Country Is Safe?
You won’t always be able to tell if the water is clean and safe to drink. If you’re in any doubt, especially in developing countries or if the hygiene standards are poor, use bottled water for drinking and brushing your teeth and don’t add ice to your drinks.
You could also purify the tap water if needs be. Water treatment tablets are available online as well as our clinic, please see our travel kits & accessories price list.
What Time Of Day Do Mosquitos Bite?
Different mosquitoes bite at different times of the day. Mosquitoes that spread dengue fever or yellow fever bite during the day (from sunrise until sunset). Mosquitoes that spread malaria and Japanese encephalitis bite during the night (from sunset until sunrise).
Find out at your appointment with us which of these mosquitoes are common in the area you’re visiting, and take special care to protect yourself from mosquito bites particularly during those times of day. Please see our price list of insect repellents spray available.
Where Can I Get Insect Repellents?
We stock these items. Please see our price list.
What Is SPF And What Level Do I Need?
SPF stands for sun protection factor. It tells you how long a sunscreen can block out UVB radiation for (it doesn’t tell you about UVA). Experts recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher, and you should choose one that protects against both UVB and UVA (this is called a broad-spectrum sunscreen).
Make sure the sunscreen hasn’t passed its expiry date before using it, and apply it generously every 2 hours. Remember, you should still follow other advice on sun protection even if you’re using sunscreen
I A Trying To Put Together What I Need To Do Before My Journey. What Are The Things I Must Include as Part Of My Checklist?
Travel FAQ – TRAVEL CHECKLIST
Before you leave, make sure you’ve got all these items ticked and ready to go!
Appointment with GP or travel clinic at least 6 weeks before take-off
Health and travel insurance, including for all the activities you’re planning
Valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
Money, card and bank details
Sunglasses with UV protection
First aid kit
Travel guide book
Adequate supplies of any prescription medicines that you’re taking, and check with the airport, airline and country embassy for any restrictions they might have on travelling with medicines or medical devices
Recent dental check up
What Other Services Do You Offer At The Clinic?
We offer primary care services as follows:
POINT OF CARE/SAME DAY BLOOD TESTING FOR CHOLESTEROL & DIABETES SCREENING
Point of care testing is an investigation taken during your appointment to check for diabetes and cholesterol. Your result is available same time; it helps us to give you informed decisions about your care at the right time. The test is a simple finger prick blood test to check for cholesterol and diabetes.
About 90 per cent of people with diabetes has Type 2 diabetes. It can come on slowly, usually over the age of 40, but could be less. The signs may not be visible, or there may be no signs at all. Therefore, it might be up to 10 years before you learn you have it.
That’s why it’s critical to know the risk factors because then you can do something about it. Your result will be ready within your 20mins appointment.
Your appointment includes a brief history of your general health, measurement of your blood pressure, pulse, weight and height. We will calculate your body mass index. Your results will help to assess your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Finally, a written result of your test will be given to you with the advice provided by our qualified and well-trained Nurse.
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH BLOOD TEST FOR HEPATITIS, TB & CHICKENPOX
We welcome all Health care assistants, medical, nursing students and staff who require antibody screening test for above before the start of their training or employment.
CERVICAL SCREENING & HUMAN PAPILOMMA VIRUS (HPV)
Smear and HPV test – Re HPV are a group of over 100 viruses, some of which can be sexually transmitted and cause Genital Warts, Cervical Cancer and other cancers recommended for women who are concerned about their HPV status and cervical health, this combined test will look for any changes to the cells of your cervix as well as test you for types of the virus.
Smear test – Uses a small brush to collect cells from your cervix and these cells will be examined for any trace of abnormalities.
CHLAMYDIA/GONNORROHEA (CG), SYPHILIS, HIV & HEPATITIS B
This test is done for the asymptomatic patient who wanted to check of their risk of sexually transmitted infections (STI). A urine sample is required for chlamydia & gonorrhoea. Syphilis, HIV and Hepatitis B need simple blood test. The result is received within 72 hours.
URINALYSIS + MID STREAM URINE (MSU) SAMPLE
If you suspect that you may have a urine infection and would like to know. A simple point of care test for infection will be conducted, followed by MSU sample which is sent to the Laboratory. The result takes 24 hours’ turnaround.
EAR WAX SYRINGING
We do accept referrals from GP if they are unable to fit you into their busy appointment slot or you can self-refer for a consultation to assess your ear to be examined for wax.
Depending on your circumstances, we will be able to perform a risk assessment to ensure that you are safe to have this done. Ear syringing may not the answer for everyone with blocked ear symptoms, we may need to refer you back to your GP for further investigations if we suspect that you may have other underlying ear conditions.