Backpacking is adventurous, exciting, and should be an experience of a lifetime – but try and prevent it from being memorable for the wrong reasons, by taking precautions to take care of your health whilst you are abroad. Make an appointment at Healthub for a detailed consultation. Our nurses will discuss top tips for maintaining your health and avoiding illness and disease.


Ensure that you take out adequate health insurance, especially if visiting areas with inadequate medical facilities


Of course, which vaccinations you require will depend on the countries you are planning to visit. Make sure that you plan your vaccinations in advance – as more than one injection is often needed and they may need to be staggered. Contact us 8 weeks before departure, or as soon as possible, to discuss your needs.


Malaria is transmitted by an infected mosquito. It only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to contract malaria and so it is vital to protect yourself from this fatal disease. There is no vaccine for malaria, but there are anti-malarial tablets. Ensure that these are taken correctly. Wear appropriate clothing, use repellents and a mosquito net.


Diarrhoea is probably the most common backpackers complaint and is generally caused by contamination of food and water. Stick to boiled or bottled water as much as possible and avoid ice in drinks. Piping hot food is usually safe, but avoid salads and peel all fruit.

Mosquito, Other Insect and Animal Bites

Wear suitable clothing, and use DEET based insect repellents and a mosquito net. These can be purchased at Healthub at a competitive price. Avoid stray dogs. If you are bitten, scratched or licked on broken skin, by a stray dog in a country where rabies is present you must seek medical care ASAP.

Unsafe Sex

Always always practice safe sex.

First Aid Kit

You should consider including something for simple diarrhoea, sufficient anti-malarial tablets, possibly an antibiotic, and emergency malarial treatment if going to areas remote from medical facilities.