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Preparing to travel in good health

There are ways to reduce your risk of illness or injury before and during your trip away with a little forward planning.

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  • Health
  • Read Time: 5 mins

Effective trip planning involves good preparation, including potential health challenges. The last thing anyone wants is to suffer an injury or fall ill right before their trip or have an unexpected health issue arise during the trip. So what steps can you take to give yourself the best chance of staying fit and healthy before, during and after your trip? Read on to find out.

Physical health

Normally when you go on a trip, you’ll be doing a lot more activity than usual, which can put a lot of stress and strain on your body. You can help reduce this impact by increasing your activity in the weeks leading up to your trip.  

Keeping your body in a fit condition may reduce the risk of physical injury. Your bones are protected by muscle mass, joints, and ligaments which can be conditioned to minimise the possibility of breaks, sprains, and tears if you have an accident.  

Accidents can happen anytime and anywhere, but prevention is better than cure. So, before your trip, it may help to steer away from anything too extreme and adventurous.

Mental health

While travel can do wonders for mental health, it can also be very stressful to break away from your regular routines into the unknown. Planning for travel can be very stressful so it’s important to consider your mental health before and during a trip away. If you have a mental health condition, consider how the extra stress of your travel may affect you. Ensuring you are getting enough sleep, are maintaining a balanced diet, and staying physically active in the lead up to your trip can also help with managing some mental health conditions like anxiety or depression. Visit your GP or mental health specialist if you have any concerns about your mental health, to seek advice, or to build a mental health plan.  


Depending on the destination you’re visiting, you may be at higher risk of exposure to diseases that aren’t common or present in Australia. Although certain vaccinations are a requirement for some travel, depending on your destinations, it may be wise to check with your doctor as to what other vaccinations are advisable. 

Some vaccines take longer to develop immunity than others or may require multiple shots, so it is best to visit your doctor 6-12 weeks ahead of your trip. Ensure your recommended vaccinations are up-to-date and consider having a flu vaccination, tetanus, or COVID-19 booster before you travel.  

If you are unsure what you need, speak to your GP. Visit for more information on travel vaccinations. 

General health tips

  • Make sure you maintain a healthy, balanced diet by eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, protein, healthy fats, and healthy carbohydrates. 

  • Get enough sleep each night—at least 7-8 hours. Alcohol, sugar, and caffeine reduction, meditation, and a good bedtime routine may help. 

  • Drink lots of water, at least eight glasses a day. Staying hydrated will help your body function better by balancing your electrolytes and boosting your immune system.  

  • Wear a mask in public to protect yourself from nasty germs and viruses. Keep a good hygiene routine which includes frequent hand washing. 

  • Take supplements to boost your immune system. Include magnesium before your flight as this mineral is known to support the nervous system and calm the body. Vitamin D is also recommended as it can help boost your immune system.  

  • Exercise regularly as part of a healthy lifestyle. Keeping fit helps to regulate your system and increase immunity. It also prepares your body physically for a trip and reduces the impact of injury. 

  • Use stress reduction techniques such as mindfulness and meditation to help keep your mind and body calm and regulated. 

Prioritising and maintaining peak health and well-being before and throughout your trip cannot be overstated if you want to reduce the likelihood of injury or illness before you go. This may also help you to avoid unexpected health issues during your trip which could cloud your overall travel experience. 

Members save 10% on Travel Insurance*

National Seniors members receive a 10% discount on travel insurance policies*.

With some cruise cover automatically included, as well as cover for some coronavirus-related events, for when things don’t go to plan.

Sources: myGov, healthdirect, Smartraveller 

National Seniors Australia Ltd, ABN 89 050 523 003, AR 282736 is an authorised representative of nib Travel Services (Australia) Pty Ltd (nib), ABN 81 115 932 173, AFSL 308461 and act as nib's agent and not as your agent. This is general advice only. Before you buy, you should consider your needs, the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), Financial Services Guide (FSG) and Target Market Determination available from us. This insurance is underwritten by Pacific International Insurance Pty Ltd, ABN 83 169 311 193 *The discount applies to the total National Seniors travel insurance premium and is for National Seniors Australia members only. Discounts do not apply to the rate of GST and stamp duty or any changes you make to the policy. nib has the discretion to withdraw or amend this discount offer at any time. This discount cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotional offer or discount.  

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