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Pre-Trip Planning Checklist

  1. Call for a travel health clinic visit
  2. Begin preparing well in advance of your departure date. At least 8 weeks in advance. It can take a few months for immunizations and to develop immunity.
  3. Educate yourself about the health risks and preventive measures to take in each of the countries you plan to visit. You may want to visit these free web sources:
  4. Obtain the necessary immunizations and keep in mind that they are designed to protect you from diseases that you may be exposed to in your travel. Even though they may not be required for entry into a country, they may be recommended for your protection.
  5. Consult with your health care provider regarding any special precautions to take for health problems you may have.
  6. Carry a wallet card or wear a bracelet or necklace stating any medical condition(s) you have such as diabetes, penicillin allergy, seizure disorder etc.
  7. Include your current health insurance information with other important documents (such as your passport). You may want to check into a traveler’s health insurance as not all health insurance policies cover you out of the country.
  8. Carry copies of prescriptions for any medications you take regularly and a letter from your physician stating the need for the medications, syringes, inhalers, etc. Keep medication in the original, labeled containers to avoid confusion and a copy of the list of medications, including chemical names.
  9. If you wear glasses or contacts, take an extra pair along plus a copy of your lens prescription. Pack enough cleaning solution for the entire trip. Bring a copy of your prescription (numbers are recognized worldwide), spare glasses and contact lens case, and a glass repair kit.
  10. See your dentist for a thorough dental exam before you leave.
  11. Pack a basic first aid kit, including a first aid handbook, to carry with you. Items to include in this kit:
    • Anti-diarrhea medication (like Imodium)
    • Antifungal/anti-itch medication
    • Band-aids
    • Bee sting kit
    • Cold and cough remedies
    • Disposable gloves
    • Feminine hygiene products
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Heartburn medication (like Tums, Pepcid)
    • Insect repellent (30-35% Deet)
    • Laxative (mild)
    • Moleskin for blisters
    • Pain/fever reducers (like ibuprofen or Tylenol)
    • Sunscreen and sunburn medications
    • Thermometer
    • Tweezers
    • Water disinfectant
    • Antibiotic ointment
  12. If you have a disability or special need, check in advance to assure that the necessary accommodations and services will be available to you.
  13. Keep records of any care you receive while you are abroad and inform your health care provider of where you have been when you return home, especially if you experience an illness with a fever in the first year after your trip.
  14. Have a Mantoux PPD TB skin test 3 months after you return home if you travel to a country where there is a high incidence of tuberculosis.

Additional considerations to discuss with your health care provider:

  • A list of contacts for assistance in accessing health care while abroad
  • Food and water precautions
  • Prevention/management of traveler’s diarrhea
  • Insect precautions and repellents (DEET)
  • Kit for management of insect stings or other known severe allergies
  • Sun exposure precautions and sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher
  • Jet lag prevention and management
  • Cold exposure/hypothermia/high altitude/swimming/diving precautions as appropriate to the itinerary
  • Malaria prevention medication
  • Birth control, including emergency contraception
  • Protection from sexually transmitted diseases
  • Precautions to protect against “date rape” and “club drugs” as well as avoiding excessive alcohol consumption that raises vulnerability to robbery, physical violence and sexual assault