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From Marrakech to Margate; Boots UK busts those tricky travel myths

31 July 2015
Feature Brand

Good news - not only can a holiday mean time away from work and a chance to spend time with family and friends, but it also has great health benefits! In fact, 89%1 of people experience a significant drop in everyday stress after only a day or two away. However, more than a third of Brits also admit to suffering from health woes whilst on holiday2, as when travelling abroad you can come into contact with different bacteria and viruses – right from sitting in close contact with other passengers on the plane, to different drinking water or eating exotic foods.

This summer, whether you’re planning a holiday of a lifetime to an exotic island, or would like some sound advice on travel items for a staycation in the UK, Boots UK can help take care of your family's travel health needs - so you can enjoy your time away with confidence.

To help you get ready and stay healthy on your ultimate summer holiday, Travel Health Expert and Boots Pharmacist, Jan Jones, sorts the facts from the fiction when it comes to preparing for your next globetrotting adventure:

1.Myth:  Malaria prevention and travel vaccinations need to be done weeks in advance - I don’t have time before my trip

Busted:  We would generally advise you to book a travel appointment six to eight weeks before your trip as some vaccinations take time to work whilst others need a course with more than one dose in order to get the maximum protection. Even if time is short, however, there are often options available (ask your pharmacist for advice). For example, some malaria prevention medication can be started one to two days before departure. There are around 2,300 Boots stores across the UK that offer the malaria prevention service and where you can get travel advice and 180 stores nationwide which offer the Travel Vaccinations and Health Advice Service so you can be prepared, even at the last minute.
2.Myth:  It’s better to buy insect repellent abroad as the local products are stronger and more effective against regional insects

Busted: This is a common misconception – buying insect repellent from a trusted pharmacy before you travel means that you can be sure that the product has been tested and manufactured to meet highest quality standards. It also means that you’ll be able to protect yourself from the minute you land. With the Boots Order and Collect service, you can collect all your travel items right before you board by selecting to collect your order from a Boots airport store – saving you valuable space in your suitcase!
3.Myth: Mosquitoes only come out when it’s wet or raining      

Busted:  Mosquitoes do prefer the wet season as they breed in water; however, they are still present in warm and dry weather too, so it’s important that you help protect yourself all year round from malaria if you are travelling to an area where there is a risk. It’s best to use an insect repellent which includes between 20% and 50% DEET which is proven to reduce your risk of being bitten, in combination with the correct malaria prevention treatment. Using DEET-containing products will not only help protect you from mosquitoes carrying the malaria parasite but also from a range of other diseases spread by mosquitoes and other insects.
4.Myth: If I haven’t been bitten on holiday, I don’t need to continue taking my malaria tablets once I’m back

Busted: Whilst most people can see and feel if they have been bitten, for some, the bites might not be itchy or easily seen by the naked eye. The parasites causing malaria mature in the blood stream over time so it’s important to finish the course of malaria medication to continue your protection even when you have returned home.
5.Myth: I won’t catch rabies as I would never pet a dog that’s foaming at the mouth

Busted: Rabid animals that are contagious don’t always show symptoms such as excessive drooling (or frothing at the mouth). Remember it’s not just dogs you can catch rabies from - feeding monkeys or other animals which can be popular tourist attractions or petting animals in or around your hotel all raise the risk.
6. Myth: I can get all the injections for my trip free from my GP

Busted: While your GP is able to provide you with some travel vaccinations, not all are available on the NHS. Vaccinations against diseases such as rabies, hepatitis B and yellow fever do need to be purchased privately. Boots Pharmacies offering the Travel Vaccination and Health Advice Service3 have a wide range of vaccinations which can be administered following a consultation with a pharmacist.

For your travel health information this summer, Boots UK is on hand to help. The Boots Travel Vaccinations and Health Advice Service3 can offer advice and support on travel vaccinations and malaria prevention that is recommended for your destination, and Boots colleagues are able to advise on the best products to buy for sun protection whether you are travelling abroad or on a staycation!
Getting an appointment for tailored travel advice is easy - simply enter details of your trip into the quick check online tool and find out whether malaria prevention medication is recommended for your trip and which vaccinations you may need to consider. You will then be able to make an appointment in one of our Boots Pharmacies offering the Travel Vaccinations and Health Advice Service nationwide at a time to suit you. To find your nearest Boots store offering this service check the store locator. Don’t forget that you can pick up a free Repel or Soltan Mini product with any travel vaccination or antimalarial medication4.
Now that you have your travel vaccinations and antimalarials covered, why not try some of our key travel items to keep you prepared wherever you are travelling this summer!

Boots Repel Tropical Strength Insect Repellent Spray (125ml) £7.29 

Containing 50% DEET it gives effective protection against mosquitoes and midges and is suitable for areas with a higher risk of malaria and other insect transmitted diseases. (Age six months+, suitable for use in last six months of pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding). Simply apply generously, avoiding eyes and lips and renew the application every 4-5 hours as necessary and after swimming.  Boots has a range of repellents suitable for children, and for when you are in exotic locations. Ask your pharmacist to help you find the one that’s most suitable for you. Use insect repellents safely, always read the label and product information before use.

Boots Hot Weather Cooling Spray (150ml), £4.19
Boots Pharmaceuticals Hot Weather Cooling Spray instantly cools and hydrates the face and body - the perfect pick me up for after long journeys.

Boots Motion Sickness Tablets, £2.89
(active ingredient Cinnarizine 15 mg, always read the label) Boots Pharmaceuticals Motion Sickness Tablets are effective to relieve the symptoms of travel (motion) sickness such as feeling sick and being sick. They are suitable for adults and children five years and over and can be sucked, chewed or swallowed whole with water.

Boots Pharmaceuticals Bite and Sting Relief antihistamine cream 20g, £3.69
(active ingredient, Mepyramine Maleate, always read the label) A soothing antihistamine cream for the relief of pain, itching and swelling caused by insect bites and stings and nettle rash. Also suitable for children aged over two years old.

Boots Travel Insurance
Purchasing travel insurance can sometimes be confusing and with so many options available, it’s important to ensure you have the right level of cover to suit your travel needs – but this doesn’t mean it should break the bank! Boots is on a mission to make sure that no matter what your age5, prescription or medical condition everyone deserves to be insured for their holiday at an affordable rate.
Boots new travel insurance benefits include no age limit6 for single trip policies, an introduction of age banding- meaning cheaper premiums for younger age groups, children are covered for free and a wide range of medical conditions are covered.
So no matter if you’re over 50 or are being treated for a specific health condition such as cancer, Boots Travel Insurance will be able to cover your time away. To find out more information, simply head over to the Boots Travel Insurance hub.

- ENDS -

For further information, please contact the Boots Summer Team on 020 7025 6657 or email us at
2 Daily Mirror, article titled 19th June 2014
3 Suitable for age 5 and over. Subject to eligibility criteria and pharmacist availablitiy
4 Ends 18 August 2015 terms and conditions apply, please visit for more details
5 Upper age limit extended to 115 years of age
About Boots UK
Boots UK (, the UK’s leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer, is part of the Retail Pharmacy International Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA), the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise.  With 2,511* stores in the UK, Boots UK is committed to providing exceptional customer and patient care, be the first choice for pharmacy and healthcare and offer innovative 'only at Boots' exclusive products such as the UK’s leading skincare brand No7, all delivered with the great value customers love. Created over 165 years ago, the Boots brand is still at the heart of the communities it serves.
*As at 31 May 2015 excluding equity method investments.


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Boots is the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer with over 52,000 team members and 2,100 stores, ranging from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty stores.*

Boots serves its customers and patients for life as the leading provider of healthcare on the high street and the UK’s number one beauty destination. It offers an unrivalled depth and breadth of products, which incorporates its extensive own brand range and innovative portfolio of brands, including No7, the UK’s No1 skincare brand, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle Beauty and Sleek MakeUP.

2024 marks Boots’ 175th anniversary year. Founder John Boot opened a herbalist store in Nottingham in 1849 to offer an affordable alternative to traditional medicines. His son Jesse expanded the business to become a modern retailer and the biggest chemist in Britain. Throughout its history, Boots has listened, learned and innovated, and it continues to challenge itself to improve its products and services every day.

Boots is part of Walgreens Boots Alliance, which is a global leader in pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing retail.  More company information is available on

*Figures accurate as of 30 November 2023