Before you jet off to a foreign country, you should find out whether or not you need any vaccinations. Obviously the last thing you want is to get sick while you’re on vacation, or worse, catch a serious illness.
The quickest way to find out what vaccinations you’ll need is to look up what country you’re visiting on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website. There you’ll find updated information for every country in the world.
Assuming that you’ve booked your trip through a reliable travel agency, you can expect your reservationist to provide you with this information before crossing borders. Friendly Planet Travel provides this information to all of our travelers. However the CDC’s website is also a good resource to hit if you want to get the information before you book.
And I’ll add a few tips of my own to help you make sure you stay in tip-top health while you’re on vacation. First, check with your personal physician to find out if you’ve had vaccinations for tetanus, hepatitis A, or hepatitis B. All travelers should have these vaccines no matter where they are traveling, including within the U.S.
These diseases can be contracted anywhere and can make you very sick. The good news is that they’re easily preventable with their vaccines, which you’ve probably already received if you’ve had routine vaccinations throughout your life. If you need additional vaccinations, be sure to get them in time for your trip, and definitely check with your health insurance carrier to determine if your expense in getting your vaccinations is covered.
Personally, I recommend going one step further and asking your doctor to refer you to a travel medicine specialist or you can locate a travel medicine clinic near you. A travel doctor will know precisely what vaccinations you need.
An added benefit of a travel medicine specialists is that they have knowledge about specific areas of countries and how you should vaccinate according to your itinerary. For instance, it’s generally recommended that if you’re traveling to India you should take malaria prevention medicines. However if you’re only visiting Deli, Agra, and Jaipur, you most likely don’t need it. This medicine can have some side effects. You only want to take it if absolutely necessary.
When in doubt, definitely err on the side of caution when it comes to vaccinations before you travel. Feel free to write to me if you have any questions or leave a comment on this post.