Traveling abroad comes with some medical risks that travelers need to consider. There are ways to prevent contracting an illness or disease when traveling. TravelPrecheck.org advises travelers to consider the climate and consult with their doctors before departure. You should also pack enough prescription medication for the duration of your vacation and create a mini first-aid kit. Passengers with carry-on luggage can also have their own medical travel kits that meet airport security standards. The following sections provide helpful information on the best medicine to take on your trip abroad.
Avoiding Infectious Diseases
The first line of defense for preventing disease while traveling abroad are vaccinations. Some countries aren’t as developed as the U.S and have many diseases that you can bring back with you if you’re not careful. Meeting with a physician or a travel doctor prior to your trip helps determine the appropriate vaccinations needed and what you need to take along. This needs to be done at least six weeks before travel, and for extended stays, you may need to visit a health center in the foreign country. TravelPrecheck.org advises travelers to ask their doctors about common infections like Dengue fever, Schistosomiasis, Malaria, Yellow fever, Tuberculosis, Ebola and Typhoid fever. These diseases can be prevented by following health care advice and being vaccinated.
When traveling, beware of the climate, the sanitation and insects. These are the most common ways diseases are transmitted. Prevent insect bites by wearing repellent and use a mosquito net when sleeping. In addition, always drink bottled water. TravelPrecheck.org advises you to bring plenty of hand sanitizer and to wash your hands often.
Travelers with pre-existing conditions will need to fill any prescriptions and ensure they are stored for travel before creating a first-aid kit. International travelers can’t access prescription refills in other countries, and will need to ensure they have enough for their trips. Talk to you doctor to approve the extended prescription with the pharmacy. This also includes your birth control pills and vitamins. Some advice from the TravelPrecheck.org team is to have an alert bracelet or a medical card with your medical condition translated in the country’s language in case of an emergency.
Preparing First Aid Kits
TravelPrecheck.org warns travelers that foreign countries don’t have the same basic medications and first-aid options found at local drug stores in the U.S., and you will need to bring some of these items with you. Find a durable container that can withstand the trip. Next, add essentials like bandages, gauze pads, disinfectant wipes and ointment, tweezers and pain relievers. Uncommon but necessary items include cold relief medication, anti-diarrhea and antacid tablets, motion sickness tablets and anti-itch cream.
The Essentials for Carry-on Travelers
TravelPrecheck.org realizes that travelers who won’t be checking bags and will only be taking carry-ons will have more restrictions on what they can pack. Bring a small bottle of peppermint essential oil to help with nausea and motion sickness. Allergy medications like antihistamines should be carried at all times when traveling. Temperature differences can cause chapped lips, and the best way to avoid this is by always having some lip balm on hand. Travelers should also carry bandages and small bottles of pain medication. TravelPrecheck.org reminds travelers to follow all airport security rules when packing carry-on luggage.