Plan Ahead

Vaccinations you may need and tips for packing a traveler’s health kit

While you’re eagerly planning social activities, sightseeing trips and other excursions for your trip, you also need to know how to keep your family healthy and safe. No matter where you’re headed, it’s important to do your homework by researching your destination and being prepared to prevent illness and injury.

Pack a Traveler’s Health Kit.

This will ensure you have the essentials to take care of minor health problems and help prevent the worsening of pre-existing medical conditions. The contents of the kit will depend on your destination, the length of the trip, type of travel and your family’s existing medical conditions.

  • Over-the-counter medications for headaches, diarrhea, allergies, fever and pain
  • Anti-motion sickness medication, as recommended by your health care provider
  • An extra pair of eyeglasses and/or contacts
  • Digital thermometer
Travel Safety
  • Prescription medications in their original containers, as well as other medical supplies you use on a daily basis. Be sure to take enough prescription medication to cover your entire trip, especially if you’re going overseas. Ask your health care provider if you need to adjust dosages if your eating and sleeping schedules change due to time changes. Bring copies of all prescription medications, including the generic names, as well as a note from your doctor on his/her letterhead for controlled substances and injectable medications. Prepare a sheet with your family’s medical history and your doctor’s contact information.
  • Over-the-counter medications for headaches, diarrhea, allergies, fever and pain
  • Prescription medications in their original containers, as well as other medical supplies you use on a daily basis. Be sure to take enough prescription medication to cover your entire trip, especially if you’re going overseas. Ask your health care provider if you need to adjust dosages if your eating and sleeping schedules change due to time changes. Bring copies of all prescription medications, including the generic names, as well as a note from your doctor on his/her letterhead for controlled substances and injectable medications. Prepare a sheet with your family’s medical history and your doctor’s contact information.
  • Anti-motion sickness medication, as recommended by your health care provider
  • An extra pair of eyeglasses and/or contacts
  • Digital thermometer

Contact your health insurance carrier.

Find out what your plan will pay for if you need to see a doctor in another country.

Get updated information about disease and safety risks.

Travel advisories, including current disease activity around the world, food and water safety, insects and more are available online. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a specialized travel section on its Web site at www.cdc.gov/travel.

Make copies of travel documents (e.g., passports, travel tickets) and get traveler’s checks.

Traveler’s checks are more secure than carrying cash, although many travelers are opting to pay or withdraw cash using a debit or credit card to take advantage of better exchange rates. You’ll be glad you made copies of your documents if you happen to lose your passport or airline ticket while you’re away. Give a copy of your itinerary to a friend or family member at home, too.

Carry emergency phone numbers with you.

This should include your doctor’s office, a family member or friend in your hometown and contact information for local hospitals.

See the Staying Healthy While You’re Away from Home article in this guide for more tips and information.

© 2014. National Women's Health Resource Center, Inc. All rights reserved. All content provided in this guide is for information purposes only. Any information herein relating to specific medical conditions, preventive care and/or healthy lifestyles does not suggest individual diagnosis or treatment and is not a substitute for medical attention.

Back to Healthy Travel Guide Home Page

Back to HealthyWomen Home Page

© 2014 Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. and its subsidiaries