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Expert Advice on What to Do if You Become Ill on Holiday

The last thing on a holidaymaker’s mind is the possibility of contracting food poisoning / gastric illness but unfortunately, from past experience, illness outbreaks can occur in the nicest of resorts.

Outbreaks often occur as a result of poor hygiene, undercooked poultry, meat, eggs as well as failings in relation to water supplies and swimming pools in resort. Common diagnoses include salmonella, shigella, cryptosporidium and e-coli.

Before travel, ensure you have adequate travel insurance and an EHIC card. Take basic medication with you and find out if any inoculations are required for the country that you are visiting.

If you are unfortunate enough to suffer illness on holiday then, in addition to seeking immediate medical treatment, report the illness to your holiday representative and get written confirmation from them that they are aware of the problem. It is always prudent to visit your GP on returning home as underlying pathogens may remain undetected.

If you become ill whilst on a ‘package’ holiday you may be able to bring a holiday illness claim against the UK tour operator with whom you made the booking. The Package Travel Regulations were created following a European Directive (90/314/EEC) and were adopted by the UK in 1992. The Regulations have impacted greatly on holidaymakers’ consumer rights ever since.

One very important aspect is that the Regulations may allow the consumer to bring a claim against their Tour Operator in this country, rather than pursuing a claim against a foreign hotelier or airline in the country where the illness actually occurred. The Regulations make the Tour Operator/holiday provider/organiser responsible for all services that are provided as part of a ‘package holiday’. Therefore, it makes sense to book a package holiday rather than a DIY holiday.

Defining a ‘package’ can be complex but the Regulations say it:

“means the pre-arranged combination of at least two of the following components when sold or offered for sale at an inclusive price and when the service covers a period of more than twenty-four hours or includes overnight accommodation:—

(a) transport;
(b) accommodation;
(c) other tourist services not ancillary to transport or accommodation and accounting for a significant proportion of the package

and (i) the submission of separate accounts for different components shall not cause the arrangements to be other than a package; (ii) the fact that a combination is arranged at the request of the consumer and in accordance with his specific instructions (whether modified or not) shall not of itself cause it to be treated as other than pre-arranged”

Slater & Gordon Lawyers offer a free consultation for people who fall ill on holiday. To speak with a No Win, No Fee Personal Injury Solicitor call freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and we will happily call you back.

The Travel Claims Lawyers at Slater and Gordon have offices in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Milton Keynes, Merseyside, Bristol, Newcastle, Halifax, Wakefield, Derby, Cambridge and meeting rooms in Bramhall, Cheshire and in Hull, Yorkshire.