Travelling without vaccination isn’t uncommon when travelling between certain countries in the world. European travellers moving across Europe are highly unlikely to experience illness as they are usually well acclimatised and share many similar characteristics. The same can be said for North American and Australian travellers visiting Europe and vice versa. Vaccination matters more when travelling to remote countries within Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. These areas are becoming more popular for travel, making infection far more common and therefore increasing the need for extensive courses of vaccinations.
If you are still planning to travel unvaccinated within a continent that includes densely populated cities or even rural areas where there is poor water & sanitary systems, the likelihood of contracting a disease or illnesses is very high.
A professional travel clinician will discuss the risks with you on a country-to-country basis. Their advice and support even without a vaccination course can be valuable for future travel.
When travelling, a travel expert will talk you through important factors to consider during your trip to ensure you avoid illness and disease. Travellers are advised to take these precautions very seriously if they wish to travel to a high-risk part of the world. Before you travel, plan your routes and day-to-day activities thoroughly to avoid areas which may be at high risk of infection.
Visiting native animals whilst abroad is a major tourist attraction, especially in parts of Africa and Asia. If this sounds like you, it’ best to avoid all up-close interaction with native animals. This also includes local cats and dogs. Such action decreases the likelihood of scratches and bites. If you haven’t been vaccinated against common diseases like rabies that are carried by certain animals, then avoiding contact can help lower your chances of catching the disease dramatically
Food and drink is yet another cultural draw of travel but not everything you can eat and drink abroad is safe. Food not heated adequately or washed with unclean water can spread disease and lead to illness. Remember these do’s and don’ts to avoid a nasty stomach bug or something more dangerous.
Try and avoid food from unreliable sources, street food or food that isn’t freshly cooked. Avoid local water or water that hasn’t been treated.
So what should you do?
We suggest that you: treat all water you get from the tap with water purification tablets or drink bottled water only. Eat only hot and fresh food or eat food prepared by you.
Keeping yourself clean is a daily occurrence when at home. Good hygiene practices are especially important while away as it reduces the spread of germs that could make you ill. When travelling abroad, you should be washing your hands with soap before and after every meal, after every toilet breaks and when you return from a walk. Like with food and drink, you should only be using bottled or treated water when cleaning your teeth. Using local water for cleaning and washing is one of the easiest ways to spread and contract a disease.
The risks of infection in unvaccinated travellers is 90% more than that of a vaccinated traveller. To avoid your return being met with a dangerous illness or disease, immunisation should be the one and only course of action.