I thought it might be helpful to create an international travel list of doctor-suggested items. Especially when traveling overseas the first time, you don't know what you don't know.
Preparing for a vacation out of the country is stressful enough these days. Having an international travel list just makes life easier.
I'm traveling quite a bit this year, and as I was renewing my passport, it occurred to me that I may need to take some medical precautions.
I know I need to be up to date on any routine vaccines, but were there others that I needed to consider? We're hearing a lot about the Zika virus, but as I'm not in those child-bearing years any longer, I wasn't really worried about that. Though there is a wealth of information online, when it comes to my health, it's better to be sure and talk with a doctor.
Most doctors have an international travel list of their own, so they will let you know from their standpoint what you need to do.
One of my doctors suggested I refer to the CDC website for an international travel list as that is what doctors do when giving advice on what you need to do in each country.
I didn't realize this, so it was great information for future travel as they list what you need to be concerned about in the particular area you are visiting.
After discussing this with my doctor, I found there were basically six items we should consider when preparing for an international travel trip.
Doctor Suggested International Travel List
First and foremost, my doctor checked to see if I was up-to-date on my regular immunizations.
I shared that I would be traveling internationally, and wanted to be sure I didn't need other vaccines, as well. We chatted about a couple of vaccines that she thought would be important.
First, she suggested I get the Hepatitis A foodborne vaccine. It does seem that one of the top reasons people get sick is foodborne illnesses.
A couple of ways to avoid this is to not drink tap water and not have ice in your drinks. That last one will be a tough one, but I'm going to be very careful as I don't want to end up sick.
Second, she suggested the Japanese Encephalitis vaccine. As mosquitos seem to gravitate to me, I think that's one I will have to get as well. Finally, she said I need to make sure my Tetanus vaccine is up to date.
Another suggestion was to get a prescription for Malarone which prevents Malaria. Your doctor can call it into your local pharmacy.
Now, I can go to my local pharmacy and get my vaccinations. I do recommend you call ahead to the pharmacy. I did, and found out that pharmacies in my state can give most vaccines to people 18 years and older without a prescription. Perfect!
Health Insurance Card
You have your passport, so you're set, right? No! You should always carry your health insurance card.
And because most providers outside of the US don't utilize tax identification numbers, you may have to pay and submit your claim once you're home.
Even if it ends up that you can't use your card, you will still want the number to call in an emergency to find out what your provider suggests. Better safe! Be sure to add this to your international travel list.
Think it's silly to carry the stuff? Well, hopefully, you'll have soap and water, but my husband used a public bathroom in another country recently and there was no means of washing your hands. Ewwww!
Once he joined our group, he used hand sanitizer, which is the next best thing. You can pick up a small bottle and attach it to your backpack or briefcase. Seriously, don't leave home without it. In fact, why not get a small first aid kit containing the next three items and add the hand santizer. You'll be set!
Heard of traveler's diarrhea? Let's hope you don't have to deal with it, but just in case, having Pepto-Bismal or another product for diarrhea is better than having to figure out where a pharmacy is in the middle of the night, right?
Stick it in your toiletry kit for when you need it. It also reduces the symptoms of heartburn, nausea, indigestion, and gas.
Again, if you wake up with a splitting headache, who wants to get dressed and go down to guest services? A small bottle of aspirin or acetaminophen is good to have whenever you're traveling. Believe it or not, I was in a small country in Europe and had trouble finding aspirin.
Bacitracin and Neosporin work to prevent minor skin infections from cuts or scrapes, as well as mosquito and spider bites. Again, grab a small tube and put it in your toiletry kit.
It's always better to be safe than sorry, and it will take you less than an hour (excluding those vaccines) to put your must-have items together.
Need help with packing? Check out these free printable packing lists to help you prepare for your trip.