Thursday, May 26, 2016

Gap Year Travel: Vaccinations and Disease Prevention

Taking a gap year to travel can be one of the most exiting choices that you will ever make. Along with being a great opportunity to make new friends, gap year travel can open up a world of opportunity for work, volunteering, and learning more about different countries and cultures. However, depending on where you are planning to visit, it’s also important to keep yourself protected against disease and illness. Certain countries in the world may not be as medically developed as the Western world, meaning that in order to stay safe it is crucial to prepare yourself beforehand.

Before commencing overseas travel it is vital that you obtain the relevant vaccines. The vaccinations that are required will vary depending on where you are planning to go. In some cases, such as if you are travelling around Europe, it may be unlikely that you will need to have any vaccinations prior. In other cases, you will need to have a number of vaccinations to protect yourself against common diseases in the area or areas which you plan to visit.

In order to decide whether your trip will require vaccinations and other illness prevention such as malaria tablets, you should speak to a qualified health care professional. Gap year travel vaccinations are often determined after conducting a risk assessment taking all the factors of your trip into consideration. It’s also a wise idea to inquire about getting your travel vaccinations as early as possible as some will take longer to take effect than others.

Allergy Sufferers
If you suffer from an allergy and are planning to take a gap year trip, it’s crucial that you take extra care when planning your trip and also when abroad. When possible, you should always take spare supplies of allergy medication along with you, for example if you suffer from asthma you should take double the amount of inhalers that you normally would carry with you.

Depending on the length of your trip, you may need to speak to your doctor about how you will go about getting any prescription medication that you need and whether or not you can be prescribed with an advance supply of medicine for the trip. If your doctor is unwilling or unable to provide you with a long-term prescription on the NHS, it’s possible to get a private prescription instead. Although this will cost more, it’s definitely worth it.

Depending on the country or countries which you are planning to visit during your gap year, you may be at risk of contracting malaria. Since there is no current vaccination for this mosquito-borne disease, it’s important to have a good understanding of how to prevent yourself from being bitten before you set off. Taking as many items with you such as mosquito nets, anti-mosquito sprays and wipes can help to keep your level of risk to a minimum.

Taking a gap year can be an amazing experience, but it could also go horribly wrong so make sure that you have all the relevant vaccinations and knowledge to protect yourself from becoming ill.


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