When travelling the last thing anyone wants to be thinking about are the potential problems that might arise. Despite this, sometimes it’s best to plan ahead – especially when taking a trip out of the country. Here are five health risks to consider when travelling abroad.

Infectious diseases

No matter where you’re travelling, there will always be the risk you can pick up a potentially deadly infectious disease.

To avoid catching anything that would fall into this category, it’s best to get every jab available to you (relevant to nation) before heading overseas.

This will give you the best chance possible to come back from your lovely trip away without any nasty problems needing serious medical attention.



Heatstroke, or as it’s sometimes referred to, sunstroke, is a condition caused by overexposure to the sun or extremely hot conditions for long periods of time.

While heatstroke is relatively easy to prevent if you’re paying attention, it often goes overlooked due to people neglecting to take note of how serious it is.

Unlike simple sunburn, this can lead to severe issues like dehydration and even fainting if not caught early enough.

Food poisoning


No points for guessing how this one is transmitted. Not every restaurant you eat at overseas will have the same hygiene standards – and some won’t bother to keep their food sanitary at all.

While it’s impossible to pre-empt this, you can always take a variety of steps to help the symptoms quickly pass. Generally speaking, overseas food poisoning is most likely to occur when eating meat and fish, so it might be prudent to avoid if you’re concerned.

Health problems

Before you go anywhere, make sure to get a full check-up – even if you don’t suspect anything is inherently wrong with you. Sometimes underlying health problems can go unnoticed for years, but will surface when you experience a drastic change in climate or conditions.

It’s simple enough to check – just book an appointment with your local GP and make sure they give you the all-clear before travelling.

Also consider any existing medical conditions you may have, including those that are and aren’t life threatening – such as cancer, diabetes and asthma. Pregnant women should also take care when venturing abroad and whilst some insurers will provide insurance cover up to 26 weeks, others will exclude altogether.


Not many people like bugs, but when abroad they become more than just a troublesome pest.

In reality, insects are one of the primary transmitters of disease across the globe, with conditions like HIV and Malaria commonly spread by mosquitos.

Ensure to do everything you can to repel bugs by bringing special repellent with you. These can be found at pretty much any supermarket or convenience store.


There you have it; five health risks to take into account when going travelling. While these might sound a little scary, don’t let them plague your mind too much when having your adventures.

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Disclaimer – This is a collaborative post. The links included lead to useful heath related websites.



Jonny Duncan is a travel blogger and freelance photographer. He specialises in adventure and budget travel with over 20 years of experience. He started blogging in 2013 to give advice for other travellers. He has lived in Japan, Amsterdam, Kiev, and more.

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