Victorians packing their bags for a summer trip are being urged to take simple steps to stay safe and healthy while travelling in Australia and overseas.

Victoria's Acting Chief Health Officer Dr Brett Sutton today launched an extensive new travel advice section on the Better Health Channel website.

The new section provides vital health and safety advice on what all travellers should do before they leave, while away and when they get back.

"Victorian's love to travel - exploring exotic countries, trying new experiences and meeting new people and cultures," Dr Sutton said.

"However, unexpected dangers can ruin your holiday and the joys of travelling. The best way to stay safe is to plan ahead and be travel-ready.

"We all know to get the right visa - but it's just as important to make sure we are fully vaccinated and protected against diseases occurring in other countries, like measles in Bali and polio in PNG.

"And people should get their vaccinations early so they have time to build immunity against any disease before they leave home."

Some top tips include:

  • visit your doctor six to eight weeks prior to departure for a health check and organise any vaccinations and medications you may need
  • keep up to date with the latest travel advice and register with the Smarttraveller website.
  • consider taking out travel insurance which includes health cover
  • pack for the location and season and include a first-aid kit
  • practice good hygiene and make sensible choices about food while you're away to avoid illnesses like gastro
  • mozzie-proof your holiday - mosquitoes can carry serious illnesses such as malaria, the Zika virus, yellow fever and dengue fever
  • if you're due to travel but feel unwell, consider delaying travel and seek medical advice
  • if you're already travelling and unwell, remember diseases can spread quickly in spaces like planes so tell someone you're unwell and get assistance
  • some diseases can travel with you, so even after you've arrived home, if you're unwell, seek medical assistance and avoid contact with others until you've got the 'all clear'.

Dr Sutton said when we take a break and go on a holiday, our health benefits too - it reduces our stress levels, increases our physical activity and makes us take time out to get plenty of rest.

"So get the most out of your holiday and don't let illness ruin your trip, And if you return home feeling unwell with symptoms like fever or a rash - see a doctor immediately and stay away from others. Diseases like measles are highly infections and can spread rapidly, " Dr Sutton said.

For more information visit the Better Health Channel.

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