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Travel Mistakes You Can't Afford to Make

Suitcases are packed, passports are at the ready and the airport is in sight. But have you forgotten to prepare your health before you jet off?

1. Mosquitoes are public enemy number one. They are carriers of some of the world’s most deadly diseases, including malaria which kills more than a million people annually. Take necessary travel vaccination precautions, see your General Practitioner (GP) about anti-malaria medications, pack insect repellent and wear light clothes that cover your arms and legs at dusk to avoid risk of infection.


2. Safe drinking water is a luxury. Forty per cent of the world’s population don’t have access to clean drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities. The best thing is to plan ahead and buy sealed bottled water when travelling in areas with unsafe drinking water, don’t use tap water to brush your teeth and avoid drinks that contain ice.


3. Up the ante on your hand washing. Bacteria and viruses can be transferred from hand to mouth. Carry an alcohol based hand sanitiser with you on your travels so you won't be caught out.


4. Water-borne diseases like typhoid are on the rise for Australian travellers. These diseases are more frequent in some countries known to be popular travel destinations for Australians, like South East Asia and the Pacific. Eat smart overseas. For example, in countries with untreated water and lower levels of hygiene, avoid raw foods and fruit and vegetables that can’t be peeled.


5. No glove, no love. Practicing safe sex with a condom is essential for those who have sexual contact with new partners to ensure protection against sexually transmitted infections.


6. Getting sick and being stuck overseas can be like a nightmare. Visit your GP to discuss vaccination before you leave. Recent studies show that up to 2.8 million Aussie travellers have failed to have necessary vaccinations before travelling overseas in the past five years.


7. Travel insurance is as important as your passport. While most Australians travel safely overseas, if you do come into danger you want to be covered. Consider taking out travel insurance before you depart on your holiday.