Heading on Vacation Soon? We Have Your Healthy Travel Tips

As we continue to trudge through the summer months and temporarily trade our daily lives for some time in paradise, it’s important to keep a few healthy travel tips in the back of your mind.

Learn about your destination

  • Be sure to check for Travel Health Notices for your destination
  • Research whether the area you’re traveling to is at a higher risk for certain natural disasters, including (but not limited to) earthquakes, hurricanes and/or tsunamis
  • Learn about common travel safety concerns
  • Check any current travel warnings/long-term conditions that may make a country dangerous or unstable
  • Check any current travel alerts/short-term conditions that are risks to the security of U.S. citizens (natural disasters, terrorist attacks, violence, high-profile events, etc.)
  • Understand the laws and culture of the places you’ll be visiting

See a doctor before you travel

  • See a doctor at least 4-6 weeks before your trip
  • Give your doctor all the information needed to make recommendations, including where you’re traveling within a country, the length of your trip, any activities you may do and any personal matters/information
  • Make sure you’re up-to-date with all of your routine vaccinations, including a seasonal flu vaccine
  • Consider any recommended vaccines for your destination
  • Discuss any allergies, current medications or other health concerns

Pack smart

  • Pack a copy of your passport and travel documents in each piece of luggage, in case you lose the original document; leave a copy at home as well
  • Pack a travel health kit that includes: prescription medicines you usually take, EpiPen (if applicable), copies of all prescriptions (including the generic names for medications), supplies to prevent illness or injuries, first-aid supplies, health insurance card, water purification tablets, etc.

Plan ahead for any illnesses or injuries/know what to do if you become sick or injured on your trip

  • Check your health insurance plan to see if they will cover your health needs abroad; if it isn’t covered, think about purchasing additional health insurance for your trip
  • Consider purchasing medical evaluation insurance, this will cover the cost of transporting you to other parts of the country/outside the country if you are seriously ill or injured
  • Be prepared to pay out of pocked at the time you receive any medical services while traveling, even if you do have insurance

Know and share important information about your trip

  • Find the American Embassy or Consulate in your destination before traveling – consular personnel at U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad and in the U.S. are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to provide emergency assistance to U.S. citizens
  • Know where healthcare resources are located in your destination before you travel
  • Make arrangements to check in with a contact at home at regular intervals during your trip
  • Register with the U.S. Department of State – this allows you to record information about your trip so an American consular officer can contact and assit you in an emergency.

Pay attention to your health during your trip

  • Use sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection
  • Use insect repellent on uncovered skin when outdoors, especially during the day
  • Wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants when outdoors at night in areas with malaria
  • Wash your hands often

Pay attention to your health when you come home

  • If you are not feeling well, you should see a doctor and mention that you have recently traveled

Safe travels!