Warm temperatures, a break from school and extended daylight make June through August a peak travel season. Traveling locally or internationally, it can be a transformative and unforgettable experience, but if not properly prepared, you may encounter some preventable health risks.
Conducting thorough research about the health risks of your destination is a vital step in preparing for a trip. If traveling internationally, research vaccinations you may need and how to receive them. It is essential that you arrange vaccinations or medications to protect against diseases prominent in the region at least four to six weeks before traveling. Contracting diseases such as hepatitis, typhoid and malaria can be prevented by a simple vaccination. Many countries legally require tourists to undergo specific vaccinations, such as yellow fever, before they are allowed entry. Your doctor will administer a vaccine based on your age and medical history. Make sure you are up-to-date on your vaccines and healthy.
Travelers with chronic illnesses, disabilities, weakened immune systems, and senior citizens should take extra precautions such as:
- Ensuring all necessary medications are safe and secure in a travel kit with them while they travel
- Packing a list of emergency contact numbers for physicians and loved ones
- Locating the nearest clinic or hospital closest to your travel destination
- Keeping your health insurance information on hand in case you need it
- Understanding your personal food allergies and the quality of food and water in your travels
If traveling by airplane, place your medications in your carry-on bag in case of an emergency. Your medication may not be available in the area you are visiting, so bring enough medication to last the entire trip and extra in case of delays, as well as a copy of your prescription. In the case of a food allergy, travel with a food allergy ID card that indicates your allergies both in English and the language(s) of the country in which you may travel.
Traveling does not have to be a burden if you stay prepared. Check out our International Travel Q&A page for more information.