If you’re planning a trip anywhere, especially outside of the country, there are certain medical precautions you need to take to protect yourself and your loved ones. Knowing what vaccinations to receive, what medications to pack, and other necessities can seem like an endless list, but it doesn’t have to be. Let’s take a look at five steps you can take to medically prepare for your vacation before taking off.

Get Vaccinated

There is no straightforward answer as to what vaccinations you need to receive before traveling, but there are steps you can take to find out. The CDC recommends checking with a local health care professional before traveling to get properly vaccinated. The vaccinations you receive will depend on where you’re traveling, what you’ll be doing during your trip, and the status of your overall health before you leave. Many vaccinations need to be in your system for days or weeks before travel, so don’t make this a last-minute visit. Visit an urgent care clinic a month before travel to discuss what vaccinations are appropriate for your trip.

Bring Necessary Documents

While packing for your trip, it seems like common sense to bring your travel documents, but what about medical documents? Bring a copy of your health insurance or supplemental travel health insurance card. If you have any medical conditions or regularly taken medications, bring a print out of that information with you to keep in your purse or wallet. This could save your life in the case of an emergency. If you need immediate medical attention in a foreign place, it’s important that the medical staff understands your medical history and current conditions before treating you.

Be Prepared for Unsanitary Conditions

Although a vacation should be a perfect paradise, that isn’t always the case. Be sure to pack plenty of hand sanitizer, water cleansing tablets, and other sanitation supplies. Regularly wash your hands during your trip and read up on the local water and environmental conditions before taking off.

Fill your Prescriptions

Be sure to refill all of your prescriptions before heading out to your destination. You won’t be able to refill medications in another country and if your trip unexpectedly gets extended or delayed, you don’t want to run out of an important medication. Bring copies of prescriptions if necessary for airport security to check, but don’t board your flight or cruise without your medications.

Create a Travel Kit

In addition to your prescription medications, it’s a good idea to bring a kit filled with any over the counter remedy you may need. For medications, consider packing an anti-diarrheal, decongestant, anti-nausea, antihistamine, cough suppressant, hydrocortisone cream, and pain reliever. Be sure to pack band-aids and other basic first-aid essentials as well in case you find yourself needing them. Don’t forget the sunscreen and bug spray to protect yourself from the elements!

Consult with your medical provider before traveling anywhere outside of the country and discuss what you have prepared and what else you may need to prepare. Proper preparation and vaccination before leaving for your trip will ensure you get to enjoy your time, rather than being sick or having to cut the trip short!

Be sure to visit AFC Urgent Care prior to your departure!  We provide travel medicine and vaccinations including medicines for malaria, diarrhea, motion sickness, altitude sickness, medical screenings and more.  As some vaccinations require multiple doses, we recommend consulting with a physician at at our walk-in clinic at least 4-6 weeks before your trip.  Contact us today for more information!