Sussex pharmacists and GPs are warning people to take precautions and make sure their holiday is memorable for all the right reasons.

One of the first things to check before going abroad is whether any vaccinations are needed.

Simon Fisher, a pharmacist from Lewes, said: "A large number of holiday-makers do not get medical advice before visiting exotic locations. It is vital to get information on the right injections or discover whether any previous vaccinations you have had are still working.

"There are different brands of anti-malaria tablets on the market so it is important to make sure people get the ones that are best suited to them."

People should look for advice on vaccinations six weeks before leaving the country and no later than two weeks before. A course of anti-rabies jabs, for example, can take about a month.

People are also urged to take mosquito repellent with them. The most common mosquito-spread infection is malaria and more than 2,000 Britons contracted it last year.

Protection against the sun is also vital.

Cancer Research UK's SunSmart campaign says skin cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, with more than 65,000 cases reported every year.

However, most cases could be prevented by protecting skin from the sun's damaging rays.

Campaign co-ordinator Sara Hiom said: "It is estimated as much as 80 per cent of our exposure to the sun takes place in childhood and adolescence.

"With that in mind, parents need to ensure that, as well as protecting their own skin, they are particularly careful about their children. They should also keep an eye on teenagers, who have been known to swap factor 15 for factor four.

"Burning can greatly increase your risk of skin cancer in later life and, with the sunshine we have been experiencing recently in the UK, parents also need to protect their families at home as they would abroad."

But sunscreen does not offer total protection and should be just one part of a holiday routine.

The campaign suggests people follow five steps:

Stay in the shade between 11am and 3pm when the sun is most dangerous.

Remember to take extra care with children - young skin is delicate. Keep babies out of the sun completely.

Use factor 15 plus sunscreen. Apply it generously 15-30 minutes before you go outside (it does not work immediately) and reapply it often.

Never burn. Sunburn can double your risk of skin cancer.

Always cover up with a T-shirt, wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.

Even getting to a holiday destination can cause problems. Long-haul flights can increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), when blood clots form in a deep vein, usually in the legs.

One in four cases with obvious symptoms, such as calf pain, result in the clot travelling to the lung, which can be fatal.

Those at greatest risk include the obese, people with varicose veins and women taking a contraceptive pill.

You can keep blood circulating while sitting down by wiggling your toes and rotating your ankles.

Special foot cushions can help and so can walking around for five minutes during every hour of travel.

Bad cases of travel sickness can lead to dehydration through vomiting. If someone feels ill while travelling, they should try to lie down and avoid reading.

There is a range of travel sickness tablets and chewing crystallised ginger can help.

About half of UK travellers abroad get diarrhoea. This is nearly always caused by a microbe, usually a form of E. coli, transmitted through poor hygiene.

If possible, people should use boiled or purified water, even for ice cubes or cleaning their teeth. They should also avoid green salads and make sure all fruit is peeled.

Treatments include anti-diarrhoea tablets, indigestion remedies and rehydration formulas.

The body needs fluid, salts and minerals. Loss of water and salts in vulnerable people, such as children or the elderly, can lead to death if untreated.