Once you’ve finalized your itinerary, you’ll want to take proper steps to prevent picking up an illness while traveling.
Now, it’s time to do a little homework.
1. Check in with these websites. The official government websites, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. State Department offer a number of safe travel resources.
2. Determine which vaccinations are necessary. Remember that diseases that are now considered rare in the U.S. may still be common in other countries, so it’s important use these website resources, select your destination, and read the information provided.
As an example, we selected Australia on the CDC country map and this is a snapshot of the current information:
Required vaccinations also depend on the time of year you plan to visit – monsoon season or dry, for example. In some regions of the world, for example, yellow fever is common.
3. Find a travel medical care clinic. Your primary care doctor can offer a lot of the typical vaccinations, but for vaccinations that are not typical to the U.S., you’ll likely need to seek out a travel medical clinic. Note: travel clinic appointments fill up quickly, and you’ll need to plan extra time after you receive the vaccinations to be sure there are no adverse reactions. So, make your appointment quickly. Your primary care doctor’s office can usually point you to a travel medical facility where you can obtain the necessary vaccinations. If not, try your local health department.
4. Last, understand your health care coverage. If you’re traveling outside the U.S., it’s important to understand that your health care coverage is not likely to be accepted outside the country, nor is Medicare. If your health care does not extend to your travel destination, check our medical care coverage guide for travel insurance companies who do.