Congratulations! So you’ve got a plan for your Big Trip and you’re on the 30-day countdown.
Most people remember to do a vehicle check and make sure the caravan is in working order, but what about pre-travel health check-ups for you and your family?
Don’t forget to add these Health check-ups to your travel checklist before you hit the road
- Doctor – Get a full check-up before you leave! Getting a clean bill of health from your doctor can make it much easier to cope with health issues you might encounter once you begin traveling. Women, get a pap smear (that’s right – I said it just like that).
- Medical Records – Take a copy of each family member’s medical records on a USB stick or a hard drive. That way, you’ll be able to print them out yourself if you need too.
- Medications – Make a special “Med Bag” for your family that includes a bulk supply of any medications, vitamins, or herbs that you take on a regular basis. There’s nothing worse than being sick in a far-flung place without the proper meds. Having the medications organized and in bulk supply can be a real lifesaver – have your prescriptions ready to go – that way you just need to find a chemist while you’re on the road.
- Skin Check – Australia has skin centres where you go to annually where the annual check-up involves a whole body photograph, head to toe. (Don’t worry, they’ll give you paper underwear! Sexy, right?!) The centres take numerous photos of your whole body even under your feet, the palms of your hands, and under your arms—to check for possible abnormalities.
- Dentist – Be sure to have any important dental work done by your regular dentist before you travel. It can be challenging to track down a good dentist when you’re en route from here to there and it never hurts to be proactive about your teeth. You might as well get good use of your private health insurance before it expires!
- Chiropractor/Physiotherapist – Make an appointment to get any necessary adjustments done. Traveling can be physically demanding with lots of setting up and pulling down the camp on a regular basis!
- Personal Health Record and Immunisation Books for Children – In many countries, including Australia, children are given booklets that contain immunisation information and health check-up milestones. These books can provide invaluable information in a pinch. And it’s sometimes necessary to show that immunisations are up-to-date. Also, include any allergies family members have. Keep these in a safe place! You can even take it a step further to get a laminated document on hospital stationary with each child’s name, blood type and any allergies printed on it. Keep these in the front cover of their personal health record books.
- First Aid Kit – Make sure you have everything you may need in a medical emergency and store it in a place that’s easy to find! You could also keep a copy of the laminated card with your family’s blood types and allergies in the First Aid Kit. We have decided to take 3 First Aid Kits – 1 for the car, 1 for the caravan and a smaller one for the day bag or backpack when you are out exploring!
This checklist may seem excessive, however, the first time you encounter a health issue in the middle-of-nowhere you’ll be glad you scheduled those extra appointments! To stay on top of it all before departure, set reminders on your phone and PC or write it all down on a hard copy.
Adding a self-care to the travel checklist may add to the chaos when you’re on the final countdown, but it will also add to your peace of mind later when you’re making your way to spectacular destinations you’ve always yearned to see.
What other medical checklists would you recommend?!