5 Important Health Considerations for Travellers
Many people dream of the day they can travel to far off destinations to relax and learn more about the world. Besides budgeting, though, there are other considerations that travellers need to keep in mind. One of the most important travel issues is health.
Consider Your Destination
While planning your trip you should take into consideration characteristics of your destination that might affect your health. Few people realize that even something as trivial as altitude can have a dramatic effect on your health. When traveling to new destinations people will often be puzzled by a sudden onset of headaches and dizziness and not understand that the cause is usually altitude sickness.
Pollution is another huge consideration, especially if you are traveling out of the U.S. Many countries do not regulate pollution control in the same way that the U.S. does. High levels of air pollution can contribute to or aggravate existing lung and breathing problems. If you already have issues with these problems, you should take some time to research the area you will be visiting to see if there are high levels of air pollution and to learn about how to avoid it. Water is also a huge consideration, especially when traveling abroad. If you will be traveling to an area that has water pollution issues, it is a good idea to pack your own drinking water, or to only drink bottled water.
If you will be traveling outside of the U.S. it is of utmost importance that you are up to date on all vaccinations. Travel is one of the top causes of the spread of infectious disease. Being properly vaccinated not only keeps you safer as you travel, but it also keeps the individuals you will come into contact with safe as well. You can visit www.cdc.gov/travel for more information on required vaccinations for travellers.
Medical Insurance Abroad
Before traveling abroad, you will need to check with your medical insurance company to see if they will provide coverage that is accepted in the area you will be visiting. Most insurance that covers U.S. citizens is not taken in foreign countries. Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare are also not accepted. In the event that you do not have insurance that will cover medical treatment abroad, you will need to consider purchasing a short term plan that will provide needed medical coverage.
If you have existing medical conditions that require medications, you will need to check with the U.S. embassy of the country you will be visiting to make sure that none of your medications are considered illegal in that area. You should also pack your medications in their original bottles that are clearly labelled. It is also a good idea to get a letter from your doctor describing any medical conditions that you many have so that should you need medical attention, medical personnel will have a better understanding of the problem. Individuals suffering from allergies should also consider wearing a medical alert bracelet and carrying a fully charged Epi-pen.
Relax and Enjoy
Once you have given proper attention to these considerations, choose a destination where you can relax, unwind and learn a little about the world. Traveling abroad can be a wonderful life changing experience. However, without proper attention to health concerns you could meet with some difficult situations. A little pre-planning in this area will go a long way to ensure you have a wonderful journey.