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How to Stay Healthy on an International Vacation

By Lana Bandoim

After months of planning to visit Europe, the suitcases are packed, and the tickets are ready. You may have an itinerary, but international vacation plans also require a strategy for staying healthy. Traveling abroad can be exciting, so do not neglect your health because it can affect the entire vacation.  

Check Vaccines

Traveling to some countries may require additional vaccinations. It is important to plan ahead if you need more immunizations. Some vaccines must be administered six weeks before traveling to another country. For example, traveling to South America may require Hepatitis A, yellow fever and other vaccines. Talk to a doctor about specific immunization requirements for each country on your itinerary.

Get Medications

Whether you need insulin or statins, it is important to get the necessary medications before going on vacation. It may be difficult or impossible to obtain some drugs abroad as a traveler. In addition, you may need to take specific medications such as malaria pills while abroad. Make sure a doctor provides all the necessary information and prescriptions before leaving.

Check on Health Insurance

Many travelers are surprised to learn that their health insurance does not cover traveling abroad. Consider talking to your insurance company to verify coverage for international vacations. In some cases, buying additional travel medical insurance may be necessary.

Pay Attention to Food and Water

Not only can contaminated or undercooked food destroy a vacation, water can also be a problem. You may have to avoid tap water or ice cubes in some countries. Try to eat cooked food instead of raw fruit or vegetables that may not have been washed. Avoid eating food from street vendors while traveling in some parts of the world.

Bring a First Aid Kit

It may be necessary to bring a first aid kit with you. Make sure it includes bandages, sunscreen, prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs and other items. Check the latest updates on prohibited items from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) before packing.  

Think About Prevention

In some cases, it may be easier to bring your own mosquito net or insect repellant instead of hoping to buy it abroad. Consider packing additional items to prevent diseases spread by mosquitoes or other insects. Research each country on the itinerary and pay attention to recommendations from doctors.

As you plan an international vacation, stop and think about staying healthy. Talk to a doctor and get answers before going abroad.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in The Woodlands, Tex.

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