Summer is finally here and you can hear the excitement building up, because summer means vacation time (when you can get away from work, that is). You will have checked hotel deals, flight details and even visa regulations if you’re flying out of the country. But also consider a health check-up before you travel. In just a few easy steps, you can ensure that these vacations aren’t ruined by a medical situation that could have been avoided with just a little preparation.

Consult with Your Doctor Before Going Anywhere

Before you head out on your great adventure, drop by your GP’s clinic to get a full profile of your health. Very often, there are small medical ailments we may be afflicted by, without our knowledge, and the last place you want them to surface is when you’re on vacation. Even if nothing’s wrong, you will at least have gotten your annual check-up out of the way. The most basic thing you can do before you travel is get your vaccinations updated. For instance, if you're going to Africa, you'll need a yellow fever vaccine if you're travelling to Africa or some destinations in Central and South America. Every country has different medical needs and doing your research will save you plenty of grief later on. As a final precaution, pack a medical kit for everyone travelling and renew the prescriptions of anyone who might be on existing medication.

Take Out Traveller’s Insurance

So, you’ve got everything planned, right down to the tiniest details. But what of something goes wrong? Unforeseen emergencies are commonplace when it comes to travelling – airlines can lose your bags, or something might get stolen, flight delays can cause you to miss a connecting flight, you could lose documents, or even have a medical emergency while abroad. Make your travel plans fool-proof by taking out a traveller’s insurance policy that’s right for you.

Be Careful Where You Eat

Yes, we know that half the fun of travelling is throwing yourself into local culture and cuisine, but if you’re new to the place you ought to exercise caution when it comes to where and what you eat. We’re not saying that established hotels and restaurants are the only places to eat –  sometimes, the little cart selling food on the road really does offer the most authentic dining experience around. Just keep an eye out for any sanitation red flags, as well as food allergies that you might have, at the places you choose to eat at. It’s annoying when you have so much you want to do and see at the place you’re visiting, but you can’t do anything because you’re shuttling from the bed to the bathroom for most of your trip.

Pack Your Repellents and Sunscreen

You’re prepared for all the big problems, but sometimes it’s the little things that we don’t account for, which come back to bite us. Never underestimate the debilitating effect that mosquitos and sun exposure can have on an unprepared traveller. In countries where malaria is a major concern a vaccination might be the best solution, but a healthy slathering of sunscreen before you step outside might just be what saves your trip. And if you’re travelling with children, these are two must-haves you can’t leave home without.

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