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Travel Safe Internationally

When preparing for international travel, the best approach is to stick to the saying, “Hope for the best and plan for the worst.” Nobody likes to think of the bad things that could happen on vacation, but if something goes wrong and someone gets sick, you need a safety net in place.

Before zipping up your suitcases, take the following precautions before you go and when you arrive. This is especially important for senior citizens, pregnant women, people with underlying medical conditions, and people who will be traveling for more than six months.

Know before you go

Check your destination for country-specific health risks and safety concerns. You should also know your health status before you make travel plans. If you are contagious, postpone your travel and stay home.

See your doctor

Make an appointment with your primary care doctor at least a month before you leave. Plan to get destination-specific vaccines, routine vaccinations that may have lapsed, medicines and advice. Discuss your itinerary and planned activities with your doctor.  They can make customized recommendations to ensure a healthy and safe journey.

Prepare for emergencies

Leave copies of important travel documents (e.g., itinerary, contact information, credit cards, passport, proof of school enrollment) with someone at home in case you lose them during travel. Make sure someone at home can reach you in an emergency, and always carry your emergency contacts with you.

Be smart

Enroll with the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). Monitor travel warnings for your destination. Enrolling also ensures that the US Department of State knows where you are if you have serious legal, medical, or financial difficulties while traveling.

Get travel insurance

Don’t assume your health insurance covers you if you’re headed out of the country – many plans don’t! A travel medical insurance plan can cover healthcare and emergency evacuation, especially if you are heading to remote areas. GeoBlue plans offer short-term coverage for single or multiple trips abroad. GeoBlue employer-sponsored plans can provide blanket coverage for employees, whether on business travel or vacation. There are also GeoBlue solutions for missionaries, yacht crews, faculty and students heading out of the country.

Now you’re ready to roll and hit all the highlights on that itinerary.


Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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