Society Magazine

Illness Abroad – Four Problems Plague Average Holidayer

Posted on the 03 July 2013 by 72point @72hub

The typical Brit returns home from their summer holiday having experienced at least four problems on their sunshine break, research has shown. A study found that despite describing their holiday as ‘relaxing’ and ‘enjoyable’, more than half the study admitted there was always something major that could have gone smoother.

Top grumbles include preventable health woes like tummy trouble and suffering from sunburn, while others, including rough plane rides and the language barrier, make life difficult for many abroad.

The research, which was commissioned by online healthcare hub All About Health, found a third of the 2,000 people studied went on holiday unprepared for holiday health problems, with a quarter having to change their plans because something went wrong.

One fifth even saw a holiday completely ruined by illness.

All About Health pharmacist Joanne Carey said:

“There’s always a lot to think about when venturing abroad and amid all the excitement and the rush to get away, sometimes holiday health preparation can be overlooked.

“What the results show is that nearly a quarter of the disappointment or problems that occur on holiday do so as a result of illness or injury.

“A holiday shouldn’t be tarnished by health problems that in many cases can be prevented with some forward planning.

Dirty hotel rooms, unexpected building work and fierce competition for sun loungers were also common difficulties experienced and made the top 20 list.

Heat stroke, family members coming down with illness and travel sickness were also likely to taint people’s holiday memories.

The study showed that over a third of holiday makers worry about things going wrong while away, and one in seven worry ‘most of the time’.

But despite this, one in four people have traveled without medical insurance – mainly because they preferred to ‘take the gamble’.

Unfortunately, one in eight people have suffered a bad medical experience when abroad.

More than a quarter of holidays abroad don’t go to plan because of members of the  party falling ill while away, with one in four describing their holiday experience as ‘stressful’.

An unlucky 44% often have trouble with insect bites while holidaying abroad, and one in six don’t take precautions before exposing themselves to the sun.

Perhaps not surprisingly, an eighth touched down in the UK with a health problem being their most memorable experience of their time away from home.

In fact, Joanne Carey added:

“A holiday should be enjoyable, so preparing for health problems should be as important as packing your suitcase.

“The chances of health problems can always be reduced with a bit of preparation. Your local All About Health pharmacy can help with this and make you aware of any risks that might limit the chances of ending up under the weather, when you should be out enjoying it.”


  1. Unable to sleep on long plane journey
  2. Plane delayed
  3. Sat next to a crying baby on the plane
  4. Got bad sunburn
  5. Suffered an upset stomach
  6. Person in front of you laid their seat back on the plane leaving you with no leg room
  7. Aeroplane food was not appetising
  8. Suffered from bad insect bites
  9. Loud/drunken passengers on plane (stag/hen do’s etc.)
  10. Family member was sick
  11. Noisy area at night time
  12. Dirty hotel rooms
  13. Got sun stroke/heat stroke
  14. Bags lost by airline
  15. Nobody spoke English
  16. Suffered from travel sickness
  17. Hotel/resort pool too crowded/ no sunbeds
  18. Found it difficult to find what you wanted in local shops
  19. Dirty resort/restaurants
  20. Unexpected building work at resort/hotel

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