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Staff Travel Handbook



Travel details form

Itinerary details form

Arrangements for emergencies

Personal security

Inoculations and prophylactic drugs

Emergency medical kit

Medical conditions and medications

Health advice

Documentation required


Plan at least 2 months in advance of the travel to prevent problems. So:

Choose accommodation with en suite facilities and restaurants

Arrangements for emergencies

Personal security

Here are a few simple rules to follow to keep you safe when abroad:

Safety advice from the Suzy Lamplugh Trust

The Foreign Office website provides information on many of the countries considered potentially risky, at This site gives information on safety and security, terrorism, local laws and customs, and the nearest British Embassy or Consulate. There is also a list of Dos and Don'ts on the ‘Travellers Tips’ page, which gives more detailed information on local laws and customs. If you need a translator for any reason, an English-speaking lawyer may be useful to you.  A list of them is available at

‘No go’ areas

In many countries, there are areas that are unsafe for travellers to visit because of the risk of violence. Seek Foreign Office advice before you go to ensure you have up-to-date information, and ask reputable local sources at your destination about areas which are best avoided in that locality.

Inoculations and prophylactic drugs

You will need to be immunised against certain diseases when visiting some countries. Contact your GP or Travel Health Clinic at least 2 months in advance if travelling outside Europe Union country, North America, Australia and New Zealand, so that any necessary immunisations and prophylactic drugs can be given over the optimum timescale.

The following is general advice from the Department of Health, but requirements do change so you should check with your GP or Travel Health Clinic in case of any additional needs.

For your information, you can find the specific inoculations required for the country you are visiting at:  Your GP or Travel Health Clinic can carry out any immunisation required. If you have been previously inoculated it may be worthwhile checking whether a booster is required.

Emergency medical kit

You will need to take an emergency medical kit when travelling to some areas. Ask your GP or Travel Health Clinic if you think this may apply to your travel.

Emergency medical kits contain a variety of sterilised and sealed items of equipment, such as syringes, needles and suture materials. They should normally be handed to a doctor or nurse to use if you experience a medical emergency in a country where the safety of such items cannot be assured.

A typical kit should contain:

Additional items such as an intravenous giving set and a blood substitute solution may be advisable for journeys to remote areas. Your GP or Travel Health Clinic will be able to provide more information.  If you need to use any of the above items, please remember to dispose of them safely.

Emergency medical travel kits can be obtained from pharmacies. The kits should carry sufficient identification to ensure their acceptance by customs officials, but the contents should not be opened until needed. It is also unwise to carry loose syringes or needles unless you have a doctor's letter explaining their purpose (e.g. insulin injections for diabetes). Further information can be obtained from:

Medical conditions and medications

Keep a written record on your person of any medical condition affecting you, such as angina pectoris, diabetes or haemophilia, and the proper names (not the trade names) of any medication you are taking.  If you want to take any type of medicine with you, either prescribed or bought from a pharmacist, find out if there are any restrictions on taking it in and out of the UK or the country you are visiting. Ask the relevant embassy or high commission, or the Home Office Drugs Branch (tel. 0171 273 3806).  Always carry medicines in a correctly labelled container, as issued by the pharmacist. Otherwise take a letter from your doctor or a personal health record card giving details of the prescribed drug in case you need it to get through customs.  Further information can be obtained from:


Health advice

Travellers' diarrhoea

Travellers' diarrhoea is very common, especially in hot countries.  Travellers' diarrhoea, as well as diseases such as cholera, typhoid and hepatitis A can all be caught from contaminated food and water.  Wherever you are in the world, be careful about what you eat and drink, as food and water can be contaminated in a variety of ways.  This includes the water in swimming pools, lakes, rivers and the sea, so try to avoid swallowing water when you are bathing.

Travellers’ diarrhoea can largely be avoided through simple precautions:

Sunburn / heat stroke

Overexposure to the sun can cause sunburn and heat stroke, and can lead to premature skin ageing and an increased risk of skin cancer.

Sunburn and heat stroke can be avoided by following these simple precautions:


Animal bites can result in infections that can be serious and sometimes fatal so be wary of even tame animals.

Tick-borne diseases such as encephalitis and borreliosis (Lyme disease) are increasingly prevalent in temperate climates. It is therefore not just tropical wooded areas that present insect threats. Use insect-repellent preparations, and cover legs and arms where necessary. If you find a tick in your skin, remove it gently with tweezers gripping it as near your skin as possible. Do not grip it by the abdomen or attempt to smother it in Vaseline as these actions may cause it to regurgitate into the bite and infect you if it is infected.


Do not go swimming alone. Bathing will cool you but remember that fatal accidents can happen very easily and in the most unexpected conditions. Adults should watch each other for signs of trouble when in the water. If you are going to dive into water, make sure that it is deep enough for you to do so safely. Each year, many people are permanently paralysed as a result of injuries sustained from diving into shallow water.

Traffic accidents

Traffic accidents are the major cause of death among travellers. Whether a driver or  pedestrian, always check on local traffic regulations. If you are in a car, always wear a seat belt. If on a motor- or pedal-bike, always wear a helmet and put children in a child restraint. If you hire a car or a bike, check its condition and the insurance cover. Never drink and drive.

Jet lag

The symptoms of jet lag decline after a few days as the body clock synchronises with the new time clock. 

The recommended ways of speeding this up are:

Combating jet lag

Good and bad local times for exposure to natural light in the first two/ three days after a time zone transition are outlined in the table below:


Bad Local Times

Good Local Times

Time zones to the west



4 hours

01.00 – 07.00

17.00 – 23.00

8 hours

21.00 – 03.00

13.00 – 19.00

12 hours

17.00 – 23.00

09.00 – 15.00




Time zones to the east



4 hours

01.00 – 07.00

0900 – 15.00

8 hours

05.00 – 08.00

13.00 – 19.00

12 hours

17.00 – 23.00

09.00 – 15.00

Altitude sickness

Travellers who arrive at high altitude airports and those who climb mountains above 2400 metres are at a risk of developing altitude sickness. There is no way of anticipating who will be affected and neither does one episode predict whether you will be vulnerable on another occasion. It is important to allow time in your schedule for acclimatisation which allows for the physiological changes required to cope with the potentially fatal effects of low oxygen at altitude. If you immediately arrive at a high altitude airport you should try to schedule at least one to two days of rest period before attempting ascent to a higher level. If walking, plan to climb no more than 400 metres each day. However, this should be reduced to 150 to 300 metres per day if your total ascent will be more than 4300 metres. For those visiting multiple destinations, it is important to remember that any physiological changes gained are lost within one to two days after descending to sea level. Therefore plan your itinerary with this in mind.

Simple headaches can be relieved by using paracetamol tablets. Acetazolamide 125-250mg twice daily may provide a useful prophylaxis against acute altitude sickness. Persistent headaches, nausea, vomiting and breathlessness should never be ignored. In these cases it is advisable to descend 300 metres immediately and rest for at least twenty-four hours to see if the symptoms subside. If symptoms persist you should continue to descend.

Documentation Required

Use the checklist below to ensure you have all the necessary documentation for your trip.




Current Passport, expires at least 6 months after your return



Visa, if required



Travel tickets for all journeys



Identity Card issued by your employer



Driving licence



Traveller cheque details



Contact Details Form



Itinerary Details Form



Insurance Policy



Emergency Contact Details



Printed copy of this Travel Handbook



You are strongly advised to take photocopies of all important documents. This should include visas, passport, contact numbers, travel itinerary, insurance documents etc. These should be kept in a safe place separate from the originals. You may also consider scanning and emailing important documents to yourself to allow access by the internet. If you take travellers cheques, keep a record of their numbers separate from the cheques themselves in case you need to get them replaced.


Enjoy your trip.