Backpacker Vaccinations: Everything you need to know.

Let’s be honest, when you’re planning your backpacking getaway, the last thing on your mind is getting sick. But infection and disease is out there – and both can spoil your adventures. Rather than succumbing to nasties like polio, yellow fever or the dreaded malaria while you’re away – get yourself jabbed. 

Traveller vaccinations are easy to get hold of and they are the protective shield that allows you to backpack through the best time of your life.

Read on as we give you all the information you need on backpacker vaccines. 

Do I Need Vaccinations When I Go Backpacking? 

It largely depends on where you’re travelling. Backpacking is an opportunity that most people hope to experience at least once in their life-time. It can offer unrestricted freedom and the prospect of experiencing the culture of a place in an invigorating way – but it can also bring with it some risks that a package holiday doesn’t. 

If you’re planning a backpacking expedition, it’s worth knowing that travel vaccinations can protect you from infection or disease. As you’re more likely to be staying in rural areas, the chance of picking up water-borne illnesses is higher. Being vaccinated against typhoid and yellow fever can help prevent these diseases.

Staying in hostels is definitely part of the backpacking experience but it does mean that you could be more likely to pick up disease or infection because you’re in much closer contact with other tourists. 

Backpackers like to live life on the adventurous side but hikes and climbs bring risks that can be lessened with smart traveller vaccinations such as hepatitis, polio and yellow fever.

Which vaccinations do I need?

If you’re planning to backpack round a series of European cities, you probably won’t need any travel vaccinations. If you’ve opted to roam around more tropical climes, much further off the beaten track – then, yes, you will need jabs for travelling. 

The NHS Fit For Travel List details vaccine requirements by country. It offers helpful information on travel certificates, vaccines and boosters. 

It’s not just where you’re going that needs considering, you need to think about your own susceptibility to infection or disease. We’re all different and this means that some of us are more prone to picking up illnesses when we travel. 

Consider these questions before you head off: 

  • How old are you? 

Young and old are more vulnerable when it comes to both disease and infection.

  • How long are you back packing for?

The longer you stay, the more likely you are to pick something up that could make you ill.

  • What is your general health like? 

If you’re currently unwell or suffering from a long-term condition, you’re going to be   more prone to contracting illnesses when travelling.

  • When are you travelling?

Mosquitos are much more prevalent during the warmer, rainier seasons. If you’re going to be abroad in the hotter seasons, you’re at a higher risk of contracting malaria.

  • What activities will you be enjoying?

The more adventurous the activity, the greater the risk of being exposed to infection or disease. Talk to a health professional who will know which vaccines are critical. 

  • Are you visiting an area prone to a particular disease? 

It’s clear that the chances of contracting that disease will be higher. If you also have conditions or illnesses that decrease your immune system, you’re going to be more vulnerable.

Unsure about your own personal risk? Our nurse-led team can help. At the London Vaccination Clinic our staff can take you through a thorough health assessment to put your mind at rest and ensure you get just the right traveller vaccinations for you – because you matter. 

When Should I Get Vaccinated?

Spur-of-the-moment holiday getaways can be exhilarating – but, if you’re planning on travelling anywhere in the world that requires vaccination, planning ahead is always wise. 

Unfortunately, some travel vaccinations need to be given well in advance of travel to allow time for immunity to develop. Other jabs require multiple doses over a course of weeks. So it might be beneficial to make an appointment with a medical provider around eight weeks before you travel. 

The NHS has advice on the vaccinations you might need when backpacking, and how far in advance of travel they should be administered. 

We have three clinics based in London and offer same day appointments so you can get the vaccines you need in plenty of time for your trip – meaning you can focus on the really exciting parts of holiday preparation. 

Can I Travel Without Vaccinations? 

As we’ve already mentioned, you can travel to many European countries without being vaccinated. However, in developing countries, where diseases such as polio and yellow fever are prevalent, you  will need to present a vaccination certificate to demonstrate your immunity. Without these certificates you will be refused entry into the country.

Do I Need To Take Any Other Travel Precautions? 

While travel jabs are there to protect you against diseases such as typhoid and hepatitis – vaccines are not the only precaution you need to take:

  • maintain good hand hygiene – wash hands regularly and sanitise 
  • use a refillable water bottle – we recommend AquaPure Water Bottle
  • do not drink local water – even bottled water available from street sellers
  • do not eat fruit or vegetables – unless prepared in a hotel
  • use sun protection
  • use an anti-malarial net over your bed and insect repellent to avoid bug bites
  • wear long-sleeved clothing and long trousers when hiking or in rural areas.

These actions will help prevent disease or infection when you are away. 

Our Smart Traveller Vaccination Services

What travel vaccination services do we provide? 

Our nurse-led team are all travel experts. And our passion for travel comes second to our commitment to you. This means we can give you the advice and tips you’re looking for – we’ve got your health and travel interests at heart. 

The minute you remember to put jabs on the holiday To-Do list, we can book you in for an in-depth appointment. Our staff will talk to you about your concerns and ensure that you receive the vaccinations you need to travel safely.

Despite the recent shortages of vaccines, we’ve managed to stay one step ahead of the rest and maintain ample stocks. We can recommend appropriate travel kits, tummy kits and anti-malarial equipment to protect you when you travel too. 

How To Book Jabs For Travelling

Book your appointment online – it’s easy.  

Need a question answered? 

Call us on 020 7112 5198. 

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