Travelling for Ramadan

Travelling abroad during Ramadan? Careful preparation helps you have a safe and healthy trip
Travelling for Ramadan

Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims and many people travel abroad to visit friends and family at this time. In 2024, this holy month is expected to begin on Monday 11 March and is due to end on Tuesday 9 April 2024. These are approximate dates, as the official start of Ramadan 2024 follows the lunar calendar [1].

Advice for travellers

Before you travel

Check our TravelHealthPro Country Information pages for advice about recommended vaccines, infections like dengue spread by insects, flu, MERS-CoV and malaria at your destination.

If you are planning to travel to Saudi Arabia during Ramadan for Umrah, check our specific advice for Hajj and Umrah pilgrims and see our country information for Saudi Arabia

See your GP, practice nurse, pharmacist or travel clinic to make sure all your recommended travel and routine United Kingdom (UK) vaccines, including polio, diphtheria and tetanus and measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) are in date and to check if you need malaria prevention tablets.

Even if time is short, last-minute advice is still helpful; vaccines and malaria tablets can be given just before travel. If you have any medical conditions, discuss your travel plans with your doctor or hospital specialist. Ensure you are well prepared for carrying medication abroad if you need regular prescribed medicines.

Make sure you have appropriate foreign travel health insurance with cover for the whole trip, all pre-existing conditions and any planned activities.

Check Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) foreign travel advice for information on safety and security at your destination and be aware of your personal safety during your trip.

Observance of Ramadan varies in different countries and cultures. Check the travel advice and website of the relevant British embassy for more information.

While you are away

As a visitor to a country where many people may be observing Ramadan, be considerate to those who are fasting, and pay attention so as not to break civil law and/or offend Islamic values by observing the rules of Ramadan in public [2].

Further information about travelling during Ramadan is available from FCDO [2].

If you are fasting during your trip:

  • drink plenty of fluids during your non-fasting period.
  • eat well-balanced meals in the evening [3].

Reduce your risk of injury and illness by:

When you return

Get urgent medical attention if you are unwell when you return home and remember to tell your doctor you have been abroad, including details of all the countries you visited. This is especially important if you have been to countries with a risk of malaria.

If malaria tablets were recommended for your trip, remember to complete the full course as recommended. If you develop any symptoms such as high fever, a flu like illness and severe headache, you must get urgent medical help, tell your doctor/health professional that you visited a malaria risk area and that you need a same-day result malaria blood test.

If you develop symptoms of a respiratory infection when you get home, follow current guidance.

Advice for health professionals

Health professionals advising those who plan to travel internationally for Ramadan can check our Country Information pages for vaccine recommendations and specific risk advice.

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