What do I need to know before I travel?
Public Health Scotland logo

Fit for Travel Logo

Information on how to stay safe and healthy abroad. About us.

Staying Healthy if Travelling Abroad this Summer

24 Jul 2023

During the summer holiday season many people are preparing to travel abroad. Health risks abroad vary between country to country.

You can help to protect the health and safety of yourself and your family when travelling abroad this summer by following the advice and tips below.

Before Travel

Before travelling abroad, make sure you:

During Travel

You can stay healthy and protect yourself and family against most of the common health risks when travelling abroad, by:

Taking care with respiratory hygiene and hand hygiene:

Taking safe food and water precautions:

Practicing effective insect and tick bite avoidance at all times of the day and night:

Trying to avoid contact with animals to reduce your risk of animal bites and scratches:

Practicing safer sex

Practicing sun safety

Carrying a simple first aid kit to self-manage basic health problems

Trying to limit your intake of alcohol and/or drug use as these can lead to risk-taking behaviours which may increase your risk of accidents and/or injuries occurring. Be aware that in some countries, the penalties for possessing drugs can be very severe.

Considering your Personal Safety.  Make sure you :

Type of Travel

Depending on the reason for your trip, additional information specific to each of the following types of travel is available:

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

  • The risk of FGM for girls travelling abroad during the summer months (also known as ‘cutting season’) is high.
  • FGM is child abuse and against the law in the UK. If you perform FGM, help to perform FGM, or fail to protect a child from FGM, you could face up to 14 years in prison.
  • If you, or someone you know, is at risk of FGM, or has undergone FGM then help is available.

After Travel

If you or your family become unwell in the weeks/months after travel, particularly with a high fever, flu-like symptoms, rash and/or diarrhoea, you should seek urgent medical advice. Make sure you mention your recent travel history to the health professional, particularly if you have travelled to a country where malaria is a risk.

Further Resources