Travel Health Keep Well While Travelling

Keep well while travelling

Before you travel don't forget to make yourself a handy check list to ensure you are all prepared for your holiday. Remember to pack your sun cream for the kids...and yourself we don't want you getting sunburnt. 

Enjoying the sun safely

It’s important to protect skin from the sun whilst on holiday. A good sunscreen is vital but it won’t protect you completely, so follow these simple rules.

  • Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or more for adults, and 30 or more for children
  • Use around two tablespoons for your entire body (or an ice cream scoop!)
  • Apply your sunscreen 15-30 minutes before you go out, and re-apply it frequently. The British Skin Foundation recommends every two hours, or after you’ve been in the water
  • UV rays can penetrate the clouds, so remember to use sunscreen even if it’s overcast 



Malaria is widespread in many tropical and subtropical countries, and is a serious and sometimes fatal disease.

How should I take care?

Avoid mosquito bites, especially after sunset. If you are out at night, wear longsleeved clothing and long trousers.

Mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, so spray an insecticide or repellent on your clothes too. Insect repellents should also be used on exposed skin.

Spraying insecticides in the room, burning pyrethroid coils and heating insecticide impregnated tablets all help to control mosquitoes.

If sleeping in an unscreened room, or out of doors, a mosquito net impregnated with insecticide is a sensible precaution. Portable, lightweight nets are widely available.

Garlic, vitamin B and ultrasound devices do not prevent bites.



Take anti-malaria tablets

  • Start before travel – with some tablets you should start three weeks before entering the at-risk area. Where you are going will determine what medication you need and how you can obtain it
  • Take the tablets regularly, preferably with or after a meal
  • It is extremely important to continue to take them for the specified time after you have left the at-risk area to cover the incubation period of the disease. Atovaquone/Proguanil (Malarone®) requires only 7 days post-travel

Which type of anti-malaria tablets are available?

Chloroquine and Proguanil can be purchased in our pharmacies without a prescription. However all other medicines require a doctor’s prescription. The type of medication you need is determined by the place you are travelling to. The recommendations on which medication should be used change regularly, so even if you have been to the same place before, it is best to check with your pharmacist what you need for your trip. 


If you would like more information please download our information booklet 


For more detailed information, please speak to your local pharmacist, (search for your local Well pharmacy here).

Are you unsure if you need your travel vacinations? Find out if you need travel vaccines with the NHS.

Alternativley speak to your doctor or click to visit your the local NHS health advice page (links below).

NHS Scotland

NHS England

NHS Wales

Content reviewed September 2014