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Knowledge: travel illnesses


Anyone can fall ill when travelling. Being well prepared for your trip can help to keep nasty surprises and unwelcome “souvenirs” at bay. Find out at an early stage – preferably before you book – about the climate, common diseases and any vaccination requirements for the region you wish to visit.

Before travelling also check your health insurance or accident insurance cover for sickness and accidents abroad. Think early on about taking out supplementary or travel insurance or a special policy – and please do not forget to read the small print, such as any coverage exclusions. 

Basic travel first aid kit

Illustration Reiseapotheke

Armed with detailed information, it is now time to turn your attention to compiling your personal travel first aid kit. What it contains depends very much on the type of holiday and your destination, how long you are staying, and what activities you intend to do while you are there.


  • Personal medication
  • Pain relief and fever-reducing medication
  • Disinfectant
  • Wound dressings and gauze
  • Elastic bandage
  • Adhesive plasters
  • Scissors, tweezers
  • Thermometer in a non-breakable case

Medication for:

  • Coughs, colds, etc.
  • Skin irritation/itching, allergies, etc.
  • Insect bites/stings
  • Travel sickness, nausea, vomiting
  • Diarrhoea

    When travelling to malaria regions:

  • Prophylactic medication or emergency supply
  • Strong insect repellent
  • Mosquito net

Protect your body - inside and out

Protect against traveller’s diarrhoea:

  • Boil water before drinking or at least filter it (e.g. with water purification tablets)
  • Only drink liquids that have come from original, sealed bottles
  • Heat food before eating wherever possible
  • Only use drinking water when you clean your teeth
  • Wash or disinfect your hands regularly
  • As a precaution, avoid the following:
    – ice cream and ice cubes
    – dishes made with eggs
    – raw seafood
    – unclean water, salads, raw vegetables, etc.
    – unpeeled fruit and fruit salad

Protect your skin:

  • Use a high-quality sunscreen with a high sun protection factor, and apply liberally and regularly
  • Avoid direct exposure to the sun
  • Wear sunglasses with high UV protection to protect your eyes
  • Wear shoes/sandals in the sand
  • Shower regularly and apply cream afterwards
  • Avoid insect bites/stings by wearing appropriate clothing and using an insect repellent
  • Disinfect any injuries thoroughly and repeatedly; if skin irritation/itchiness occurs, apply substances that soothe the skin


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