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Boots Chief Pharmacist’s travel health checklist for classic holiday destinations

18 July 2022
News Healthcare
  • Marc Donovan’s advice includes checking health risks of your destination, ensuring the right protection and packing the right medicines 
  • Boots offers the biggest range of health and wellness products and aexpanding number of services including travel vaccinations, malaria prevention and treatment for jet lag  

Whether you are heading to romantic, far-flung destinations such as Thailand or Bali, or preparing for a family holiday closer to home in European hot spots like France, Spain or Italy, Boots Chief Pharmacist Marc Donovan shares his top tips for helping stay healthy this holiday season.

Boots Chief Pharmacist, Marc Donovan, said: “For many of us, this summer is the first time abroad since before the pandemic and we should be making the most of every second! As we move into the busy holiday season, my advice to help stay feeling well during your holiday is to plan. Consider what you need to do before your holiday – such as finding out whether any travel vaccinations or anti-malarial medicines should be considered for your destination or if any COVID-19 testing is required.

“Also, ensure you have an adequate supply of any prescription medicines that you take and perhaps consider packing some other basic healthcare items such as a first aid kit containing pain relief and something to relieve stomach upsets. And if there’s anything you’re not sure about, your local Boots pharmacy team is here to help.”

Here is Marc’s quick and easy checklist of the top things to consider for making a holiday health plan:

Check the health risks in the country you are going to

“When you travel abroad you may be exposed to viruses and diseases you haven't come across before, but there are vaccinations and other medicines that can help protect you. You should also check the malaria risk of the country you’re travelling to. Malaria is a serious infection and can be life-threatening but is preventable. At we have an online tool to help you identify the health risks of the country you are visiting and any anti-malarial medicines and vaccinations you should consider. The Foreign Office travel advice pages are very helpful too. And the Boots Vaccinations and Travel Advice Service can provide expert advice alongside vaccinations and malaria prevention, that’s tailored to your destination.”

Check your destination’s COVID-19 testing requirements

“It’s important to stay up to date on relevant COVID-19 testing requirements. Popular locations such as Spain, still require either a vaccination, negative test, or confirmation you’ve recovered from COVID-19 in the last 6 months.1 If you start to experience any COVID-19 symptoms it is always wise to take a test before you travel too, as the UK government recommends not flying if you have tested positive. Boots offers a range of COVID-19 testing services, from at-home lateral flow tests, to in-store testing services.”*

Anticipate jet lag if flying long-haul

“If you are travelling to a destination far away in a different time zone – like the Americas – you might be at risk of jet lag. Make sure you drink plenty of water, keep active by regularly stretching and walking around the cabin and try to sleep if it's night time at your destination. Boots Online Doctor also offers a Jet Lag Treatment service, which offers advice and treatment if appropriate.”**

Pack the right healthcare products for your destination

“Whether you are jetting off on a plane or keeping it local this summer, it’s always wise to prepare and pack a few healthcare products tailored to the destination you’re travelling to. A small first aid kit may be a good start. I’d include paracetamol, antihistamines, plasters and antiseptic cream. If you are heading to hotter climates, insects can leave you with some nasty bites so make sure you pack plenty of repellent, making sure it will be effective for the common insects in the country you’re heading to. Finally, make sure you have an adequate supply of any prescription medicines that you take .”

Stay sun safe

“UV rays can have damaging short term and long-term effects, so wherever you are but especially in warmer climates, you need to ensure you’re reapplying sun cream with a high SPF regularly throughout the day. Spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm, cover up with suitable clothing and sunglasses and take extra care with children.”

Boots is the leading healthcare provider on the high street, offering the biggest range of health and wellness products and an expanding range of services. Visit the Boots Health Hub to find its travel health services.


* Availability in selected stores, charges apply. Subject to specially trained colleague and stock availability. You must register and order your test on the ReCoVa-19 portal before booking your appointment. Appointments can be booked up to 28 days in advance. Please note our in-store private testing services are not suitable for anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, or anyone who thinks they may have COVID-19. It is a legal requirement that Boots, as a provider of the service, share all COVID-19 test results (positive, negative, inconclusive and failed) to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). Visit for further information on COVID-19 testing services available at Boots

**Access to prescription only medicine is subject to a consultation with a clinician to assess suitability. Charges apply.



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Boots is the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer with over 52,000 team members and around 1,900 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 31 May 2024