Summer is a great time to travel with friends and family. Whether traveling domestically or internationally, here are a few tips to keep in mind for safe summer travels. The Center for Disease Control advises the 3 P’s for travelers. Be Proactive, Prepared and Protected.
Take steps to anticipate any issues that could arise during your trip.
- Learn about your destination.
- See a doctor before you travel.
- Think about your health status.
- Are you too sick to travel? (Recent illnesses, injuries, or surgeries)
- Do you have any special health needs? (Babies and small children, pregnant women, people with disabilities, people with weakened immune systems)
BE PREPARED! (especially when travelling internationally)
No one wants to think about getting sick or hurt during a trip, but sometimes these things happen. You may not be able to prevent every illness or injury, but you can plan ahead to be able to deal with them.
Here are some ideas for a travel health kit:
Special note about prescription medicines
- Pack your prescription medications in your carry-on luggage.
- Pack copies of all prescriptions, including the generic names for medications.
- Pack a note on letterhead stationery from the prescribing physician for controlled substances and injectable medications.
- Leave a copy of your prescriptions at home with a friend or relative.
- Check with the American Embassy or Consulate to make sure that your medicines will be allowed into the country you are visiting. Some countries do not let visitors bring certain medicines into the country.
- Special prescriptions for the trip
- Medicines to prevent malaria, if needed
- Antibiotic prescribed by your doctor for self-treatment of moderate to severe diarrhea
- Over the counter medicines
- Antidiarrheal medication (for example, bismuth subsalicylate, loperamide)
- Decongestant, alone or in combination with antihistamine
- Anti-motion sickness medication
- Medicine for pain or fever (such as acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen)
- Mild laxative
- Cough suppressant/expectorant
- Cough drops
- Antifungal and antibacterial ointments or creams
- 1% hydrocortisone cream
- Supplies to prevent illness or injury
- Insect repellent containing DEET (30%-50%) or picaridin (up to 15%)
- Sunscreen (preferably SPF 15 or greater) that has both UVA and UVB protection
- Antibacterial hand wipes or alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol
- Lubricating eye drops
- First-aid supplies
- First aid quick reference card
- Basic first-aid items (bandages, gauze, ace bandage, antiseptic, tweezers, scissors, cotton-tipped applicators)
- Moleskin for blisters
- Aloe gel for sunburns
- Digital thermometer
- Oral rehydration solution packets
- Health insurance card (either your regular plan or supplemental travel health insurance plan) and copies of claim forms
Other important items
Plan ahead for illnesses or injuries during your trip and know what to do if you become sick or injured
It is important to practice healthy behaviors during your trip
- Use sunscreen and insect repellent as directed.
- Be careful about food and water. Be mindful of foods that are rinsed with water
- Try not to take risks with your health and safety.
- Limit alcohol intake, and do not drink alcohol and drive.
- Wear a seatbelt.
- Wear protective gear when doing adventure activities.
For more information on safe travel information, check out the Center for Disease Control website: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/common-travel-health-topics
Source: Center for Disease Control
Prepared by: Susan Zies, Extension Educator, FCS, Wood County
Reviewed by: Daniel T. Remley, MSPH, PhD, Assistant Professor, Field Specialist.Food, Nutrition, and Wellness