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What to take

The most important thing to take on holiday is you, in the best health possible. If you've been putting off a dental check-up or any other routine medical matters, consider dealing with these before you leave. Medical and dental care outside Europe may not meet EU standards and can be expensive.

First aid kit

A standard kit, which you can put together yourself, should contain:
  • Plasters or adhesive dressings
  • Insect repellent
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Water sterilisation tablets
  • Anti-diarrhoea tablets
  • Oral rehydration tablets
  • Painkillers
  • Calamine lotion
  • Sunblock
Emergency medical travel kits are available, containing sealed, sterilised items such as needles, syringes and suture materials. Your GP or local travel centre can advise you further.

These kits should carry identification to ensure customs officials accept them, but the contents shouldn't be opened.


Remember to pack any medications you're currently taking. Make a note of the non-branded, generic name of the medication so you can get hold of it easily abroad.

Don't forget your malaria tablets, if required.

Travel insurance

Make sure your travel insurance is up to date. Take the documents with you - and don't forget the insurer's emergency phone number. Keep a photocopy of the policy separate from your important documents, in case of theft.

Take any vaccination/immunisation certificates, in case you're asked to present them at a clinic or customs.

Take out adequate Travel Insurance or you could face a huge medical bill if you fall ill and need treatment.
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Editor: Ryan Cranston

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All content within this article is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. Health Matters is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content of the Health Matters website. Health Matters is not liable for the contents of any external internet sites listed. Always consult your own GP if you're in any way concerned about your health.

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