Planning Ahead

The individual who benefits most from traveling away from home is the one who takes time to plan ahead. Most pleasure trips are planned far enough in advance to accommodate both work and home schedules.The trick is to take advantage of the time waiting for your departure day to arrive.

Check with your insurance company to be certain your health insurance policy is valid overseas. Many are not, most notably Medicare. If you have a serious underlying illness or if you are contemplating a long journey, it may be wise to consider obtaining additional coverage for medical emergencies and/or medical evacuations.

Pre-trip Health Advice and Immunizations

Depending on your itinerary, you may need vaccinations to enter certain areas or they may be recommended to prevent a variety of illnesses. Individuals traveling to areas where sanitation may be a problem (e.g. Africa, Asia, South and Central America, the South Pacific and Middle and Far East) face greater health risks than those traveling to developed areas (e.g. Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Western Europe and Japan). Having your complete itinerary on hand, including stopovers, will help Travel Well determine which immunizations you need prior to your departure.

A list of any health problems, including medications you currently are taking (prescription and over-the-counter drugs), food and/or drug allergies, and a brief summary of your medical history are extremely important for Travel Well to know. This information is needed for us to immunize you adequately and advise you of unexpected health problems and their preventions.

Traveler's Health Kit

Listed below is your ticket to healthy traveling. Depending on your destination, style and length of travel, some or all of the following items may be necessary. Use your own judgement - but if in doubt, pack it!

  • Supply of prescription drugs with a list in case of lost luggage
  • Aspirin or Tylenol
  • Pepto Bismol
  • Kaopectate for children
  • Imodium
  • Alcohol-based hand wash
  • Sunscreen with at least 15 SPF
  • Antihistamine/Decongestant combination
  • Insect repellent containing DEET (concentration - 35 percent)
  • Rehydration solution packets
  • 1 percent hydrocortisone cream
  • Potable aqua (iodine release tabs or tincture of iodine) for water purification
  • Mild sedative (e.g. Ambien)
  • Anti-anxiety medication (e.g. Xanax)
  • Thermometer
  • Bandages, qauze and adhesives
  • Antibiotic solution
  • Antacid (e.g. Mylanta)
  • Anti-motion sickness medication (e.g. Dramamine, transdermal patches)
  • Mild laxative (e.g. Milk of Magnesia)
  • Cough preparation (e.g. Robitussin-DM)
  • Topical anti-fungal (e.g. Lotrimin) and antibacterial ointment (e.g. Bacitracin)
  • Antibiotic for treatment of moderate to severe traveler's diarrhea
  • Antimalarial (if prescribed)
  • High altitude preventive (e.g. Diamox)

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Items You Are Bound To Need If You Leave Home Without Them:

  • Sunglasses (two pairs - you know you will lose one)
  • Wide - brimmed hat (especially if you only take one pair of sunglasses)
  • Umbrella (it never rains if you have one)
  • Camera and film (send us some pictures)
  • Travel diary and pen (record details of any health problems)
  • Needle, thread, and safety pins (you never know)
  • Tweezers (also useful for tick removal)
  • Two paperback books (for unexpected transportation delays)
  • Address book (for those you need to write and those you meet on your trip)
  • Pocket-size language quide (it is nice to be able to communicate a little)
  • Contact lens paraphernalia/glasses (it is nice to see where you are going)

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