• If you need additional advice after reading the guidance on this page please contact your doctor or airline.

    Your doctor can contact our Aviation Health Unit for more information.

  • It is important to consider what insurance you need before booking flights and holidays. If you are travelling outside the UK you should always take out travel insurance to cover the costs of medical care if you are injured or become unwell while you are away, including the costs of getting home.

    Sometimes travel insurance is provided with a bank account or credit card. Make sure that you read the policy conditions (including the 'small print') to make sure that you have the right cover to meet your needs. Most policies require you to make an annual declaration of your health in order for you to be properly insured.

    Declare your medical history

    You must almost always tell your insurer about existing medical conditions to be covered for them. You must also disclose any changes to your health during the policy term. If the insurer does not ask you about any pre-existing conditions that you have, the condition is almost certainly not covered by the policy.

    Medical treatment in Europe and the European Health Insurance Card

    If you are travelling in Europe, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC - formerly E111) will enable you to access free or reduced-cost emergency treatment. It is not an alternative to travel insurance and usually only applies if you are treated in a public or state hospital. You should be aware that the EHIC will not cover the costs to get you home if you are ill or injured and may not cover all medical costs, e.g. outpatient costs, prescriptions and medication. The EHIC card does not apply in Turkey.

    Similar health agreements exist in other countries, (for example Australia), as well as some British Crown dependencies such as the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. 

    If you are travelling abroad, you may need vaccinations when visiting certain countries.

    You should make an appointment with your GP or Practice Nurse and advise them of your trip in order that an appropriate vaccination schedule may be carried out in a timely manner.

    It is important that you give specific details of the areas that you are visiting, along with the time of year that you are planning to travel and the duration of your trip.

    Every year approximately 2,000 British travellers return home with malaria and the UK is one of the biggest importers of malaria among industrialised countries.

    The most severe form of malaria (Plasmodium falciparum) is on the increase amongst British travellers and in 2006 approximately 80% of travellers returning to the UK with malaria had this most deadly form. An average of nine British travellers die each year from malaria, which is a preventable disease.

    A simple approach to malaria prevention is called the ABCD :

    A: Awareness of risk
    B: Bite reduction
    C: Commence preventative medication before travel
    D: Diagnose and treat promptly if prevention fails

    It is essential that you visit your GP, Practice Nurse or Travel Clinic to discuss your precise travel plans as the drugs used for prevention vary depending upon the area visited. When the appropriate drugs are taken, these are between 90 and 100% effective when used in conjunction with the advice above.

    Should you feel unwell on return from a malarious area, it is essential that you seek urgent medical advice and give full details of the areas that you have visited on your travels to the health care professional.

    Further information may be found at: