Going on holiday is exciting, with lots of things to plan, but taking certain essential items can help maximise your time in the sun. It may not be top of your planning list alongside passport and tickets, but a visit your local pharmacy before heading off either home or abroad should feature in your preparations.
Firstly, talk to your local pharmacist if you are on medication for a condition such as asthma, diabetes or a heart problem, to find out if you need a repeat prescription to take with you.
Secondly, put together a basic first aid kit to deal with any minor health issues while you’re away. Again your pharmacy can help with that.
Putting these two things on your holiday ‘to do’ list will avoid unnecessary worries or time spent buying medicines or other first-aid supplies whilst you’re away. The last thing you want to be doing while you’re on holiday is searching around for painkillers, antihistamines or plasters.
A basic first aid kit will help with minor ailments, such as stomach upsets, allergies, headaches, sunburn, insect bites, aches and sprains and strains. The really useful interactive first aid kit guide at www.nhs.uk can help ensure you have everything you need, or talk to your local pharmacy for advice.
If you’re travelling in Europe be sure to take a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), available free at https://www.ehic.org.uk . It will enable you to access state-provided healthcare across most of Europe at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free. It will also cover treatment until you return to the UK.
Before going abroad, be sure to check the rules about the types and quantities of medicines you are allowed to take. Some medicines available over the counter in the UK may be controlled in other countries and vice versa.