Health & Safety - Holidays in Greece - Greek Destinations

Greece is a very safe holiday destination by world standards, with no major travel warnings at present.

The Greek National Health system holds a reciprocal agreement with the British NHS for basic medical care. Each member of the family should take with them a European Health Insurance Card, which replaced the old E111 forms in 2005. The card provides free reciprocal healthcare between citizens of all EU countries. But this does not include fees for private clinics or non-urgent treatment of a long standing medical problem. It's a good idea get take out travel insurance which encompasses medical care before you travel.

Doctors and medical facilities are plentiful and of good quality on the Greek mainland, but may be slightly more limited on the islands. The number of ambulances available on the islands is also significantly less. Virtually all doctors in Greece can speak English and other European languages.

It is a good idea to pack any prescription medicine you might need while abroad in its original packaging, but pharmacists can provide you with medication for run of the mill aches, pains, and allergies. Common over the counter preventatives and cures are available in Greek pharmacies for ailments like stomach upsets. Cola drinks can help those suffering tummy problems from an olive-oil heavy Mediterranean diet.

If you're prone to seasickness it pays to arm yourself with medication before you hop onboard the Greek ferries, not known as the smoothest rides around.

You can avoid most pain and discomfort on holiday by taking care of yourself. Greece's summer temperatures can soar between June and September so remember to cover up liberally with a high-SPF sunscreen, and drink plenty of fluids to fend off dehydration.

You don't need any particular form of vaccination to enter the country at all. Because of the unpredictability of illness and injury it does pay to take a few sensible precautions before you head abroad. Holiday insurance is quick and easy to purchase before you go on holiday and can save you a myriad of worries further down the line for the sake of a few pounds.

The most common cause of hospital admissions for travellers is not illness, but injury in road accidents. Greece is renowned for high rates of traffic accidents and unruly drivers, so British tourists visiting Greece and hiring motor vehicles should take extra care. Remember that if you don't wear a helmet on a hired motorbike or scooter this can invalidate your insurance.

There's also the chance that your luggage could get lost or stolen - but with a solid insurance policy you needn't worry about these things at all. The best travel insurance for you depends on what you need - would you rather pay up front and get your expenses reimbursed, or have the company pay your bills directly?

On a final, practical note - Greek plumbing systems are very old and cannot handle items being flushed down the loo. You are encouraged to put toilet paper and other waste in the bin provided by the toilet to prevent blockages and other unsavoury incidents. It can also pay to carry an emergency supply of tissues or toilet paper with you to prevent being caught short.

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