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As we look forward to summer holidays with family and friends, we must also consider the preparations that need to be made in advance. Of course, this includes finalising bookings, packing your case and buying yourself a holiday book, but in all the excitement, it’s also important to consider health-related preparations, such as vaccinations, that must be in place before you travel.

First and foremost, consider where you are travelling and the specific vaccinations requirements needed, in the interest of your own health and your family’s. For example, vaccinations will be required when travelling to certain destinations and you should speak to your doctor a couple of months before your holiday, in order to plan for this. The initial meeting with your doctor should always be at least eight weeks in advance of your trip, especially if you are unsure of the necessary vaccinations required.

You should also consider the weather conditions of your holiday destination and make sure you purchase SPF sunscreens to protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays (at least SPF30 is recommended). While the UK has been enjoying sunshine in the last couple of weeks, the sun is certainly stronger abroad and therefore it’s important to consider this when planning for your holiday.

It’s especially important to wear sunscreen on holiday, as you’re spending most of the day outdoors, whether discovering the local area or relaxing by the pool or beach. Sun cream tends to evaporate quickly when applied in direct sunlight and therefore you should apply this at least 20 minutes before going outside. You can find more information on sun protection here.

When travelling abroad, there is also certain documentation required, such as European Health Cards and of course, travel insurance. Your European Health Card is free and will ensure that any treatment required during your stay in a foreign country is covered, either at a discounted rate or free of charge. It is important to remember that this card is not an alternative nor is it a substitute for travel insurance, as insurance also covers situations such as lost or stolen items and/or any changes to your scheduled departure date.

While it’s very likely that you’ll be excited for your holiday and counting down the days from the minute you book, it’s important that you use the months and weeks before your holiday to plan and prepare for your trip. In doing so, you can be sure you’ll be able to enjoy your holiday, stress-free!

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