Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content

Healthy Travel to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Planning on going to London for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games? Follow these simple tips to make sure your trip is a safe and healthy one.

Be Up-to-Date on Your Jabs

Some illnesses that are very rare in the United States, such as measles, may be common in other countries. Make sure that you and any children traveling with you have had all shots. Even if you had all routine vaccines as a child, ask your doctor if you need a tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis booster.

Watch Out for that Lorry!

In the United States, you’re taught to look left, look right, and look left again before you cross the road. In England, however, they drive on the left side of the road. That means you should always look right, look left, and look right again to avoid stepping into the path of traffic driving on the left.

Photo: Olympic medalsGet Thee to an A&E

If you get hit by a lorry, don’t call 911, call 999, and don’t ask to be taken to the ER, ask for the A&E (Accident and Emergency). Only call 999 in the event of a serious illness or injury. For cuts and scrapes, muscle strains, or minor illnesses, visit a pharmacy or walk-in center (no appointment needed). To find a pharmacy or walk-in center, visit www.nhs.uk/London2012 or call 0845-4647.

Note that the health insurance that covers you in the United States probably won’t cover you while you’re overseas, so you may have to pay out-of-pocket for any care you receive in London. Consider purchasing travel health insurance that will reimburse you for any costs you incur.

Photo: Couple taking pictures in LondonGo on Holiday (But Not from Healthy Habits)

Have a great time in London, and make sure you take your healthy habits with you:

  • Wash hands frequently, or use hand sanitizer.
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve (not your hand).
  • When outdoors during the day, wear sunscreen, stay hydrated, and seek shade if you get too hot.
  • When indoors or at large events, know where emergency exits are.
  • If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
  • Use latex condoms, if you have sex.

Speak Like a Native

Some terms, including health-related terms, differ between British English and American English. Be familiar with these to avoid confusion if you need medical care.

British EnglishAmerican English
A&E (Accident and Emergency)ER (Emergency Room), ED (Emergency Department)
ChemistPharmacist
ConsultantAttending Physician
GiddyDizzy, Unbalanced
Gip ("My back is giving me gip.")Aches, Pains ("My back hurts.")
HolidayVacation
JabsShots, Vaccinations
LorryTruck
LooRestroom
ParacetamolAcetaminophen
Plaster, ElastoplastElastic Bandage, Band-Aid
SurgeryDoctor's Office
Surgical SpiritRubbing Alcohol

More Information

CDC works 24/7 saving lives and protecting people from health threats to have a more secure nation. A US federal agency, CDC helps make the healthy choice the easy choice by putting science and prevention into action. CDC works to help people live longer, healthier and more productive lives.

Top