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Your Health and Safety

  Tips Home >> Travelling Tips >> Your Health and Safety


How can I protect my health when I travel?
If you have any food allergies, learn the names of those foods in the languages used in the countries you’ll be visiting. This way you’ll be better equipped to stay on the look out for them.
Find out what types of diseases are common to the area you’ll be visiting and take actions to prevent your exposure to those diseases.
Find out what types of vaccinations you will need to enter the country, there may also be medications you’ll need to take before, during and even after your trip. Get you vaccinations done early in case you have a reaction and need some recovery time.
You should consider a dental appointment if you haven’t had a check up in a while.
Be careful what you eat and drink.
Carry complete health information with you on your trip.
Consider joining Medic Alert or IAMAT, the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers.
Where can I find information that will help keep me healthy while traveling?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Travel Information web page. This site contains updated information and articles on diseases. It also includes guidelines for travel to areas that have suffered a recent natural disaster. The most valuable section of the site is the destination section. This area of the site contains detailed specific information on diseases common to particular regions of the world, along with the recommended precautions and vaccines advised to avoid those diseases.
The World Health Organization’s International Travel and Health web page. This site contains information on recommended vaccinations and general health advice for travelers.
The World Health Organization’s Geographical distribution of potential health hazards to travelers web page. This site contains information, divided by regions of the globe, on potential health hazards for travelers within that region.

Where can I find information that could help me to secure proper medical care while I’m traveling?
The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers homepage. This is a nonprofit organization that helps travelers to avoid illness while traveling abroad. It also helps guide travelers in 125 countries to competent medical care with doctors trained in Western countries that speak either French or English in addition to their native tongues. There is no charge for membership in this organization, but donations are appreciated to help continue IAMAT’s work.
The Medic Alert homepage. This is a nonprofit organization that provides bracelets that identify diseases or allergies from which you suffer. The bracelet also contains a phone number that can be called so medical personnel can have access to your medical records 24-hours a day. There is a registration and yearly membership fee to receive this service.
What health information should I carry with me?
Complete and take with you a personal medical history. Your doctor should be able to help you complete the history. It should include:
Your Insurance Company’s name and address.
Trip Insurance contact information.
Contact person in case of emergency.
Your blood type.
A copy of your eyeglass prescription.
A list of current medications with their generic names, brand names can vary in foreign countries.
A list of allergies, including any known food or drug allergies.
A list of immunizations with their dates.
A basic description of your past and present medical condition, including past hospitalizations and any current problems.
Do I need Trip Insurance?
Check with your insurance agent to see if your current medical coverage will cover you outside the country.
Even if you are covered, you may still be expected to pay the bill in cash and be reimbursed from your insurance. Make sure you receive a completely itemized bill, in English, if possible.
Medicare and Medicaid do not provide payments for medical care given outside the United States.
If you don’t have any coverage that will apply, you should strongly consider travel insurance that will cover you outside the country.
Be sure to read the trip insurance policy carefully, noting any deductibles, exceptions or exemptions for pre-existing conditions, activities, diseases or areas of the world.
You also want to see if the policy covers any medical evacuation costs, especially if you plan on traveling to an area of the world that may not be able to provide you the type of medical care you will need.
You may be making your travel plans months in advance. Many things can happen in that time that would cause you to have to cancel your trip and possibly lose your deposits.
You are susceptible to travel delays, often ones beyond your control, which can cause you to miss all or part of your trip.
Check the policy to make sure you are covered for expenses caused by travel delays, as well as, cancellation coverage.
How can I protect my safety while traveling?
Do the research so you’ll know the particular risks you face.
Know the local laws and abide by them.
Dress conservatively and try to blend in.
Take care when choosing your hotel and transportation providers.
If you haven’t left your valuables at home, leave them in your hotel’s safe.
Don’t draw attention to yourself, avoid wearing flashy jewelry and don’t display large amounts of cash. Carry only enough cash to make it through the day and leave the rest in the hotel’s safe.
Avoid traveling alone.
Be careful about sharing your travel plans with strangers.
Stick to the main roads and avoid taking shortcuts down narrow alleys and/or poorly lit streets.
Always be aware of what is going on around you.
Only use taxis, tours and other transportation services with official markings. Only select transportation from official pickup points at transportation hubs.
Never accept gifts or packages from unknown parties.
Approach any "special deals" with caution, especially if you have to go off the beaten path to get them.
Take precautions to protect your money and avoid pickpockets.
How can I avoid being the victim of a pickpocket?
Don’t travel in narrow alleys or poorly lit streets.
When possible, avoid having crowds of people surrounding you.
Carry a dummy wallet and put your money in your front pocket.
Place a rubber band around your wallet, it will make it much more difficult to remove from your pocket without your knowledge.
Carry your purse under your arm.
Carry your money under your clothes.
Know some of the pickpocket's tricks.
What are some of the pickpocket’s tricks?
There are lots of situations that pickpockets use to create opportunities to relieve you of all that heavy cash. Be especially aware of your money when you find yourself in the following situations.
Getting bumped by someone else.
Having something spilled on you or someone pointing out a spot on your clothing.
Someone approaching you and asking for help or directions.
Someone causing a disturbance that draws everyone’s attention.
Being surrounded by a crowd, especially if you are surrounded by groups of children.


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