This podcast gives international travelers simple tips on how they can be proactive, prepared, and protected when planning a trip abroad. Created: 2/1/2008 by National Center for the Prevention, Detection and Control of Infectious Diseases (NCPDCID).
Date Released: 2/8/2008. Series Name: Travel Safe.
[Announcer] This podcast is presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC - safer, healthier people.
Hello, this is Kelly Holton from CDC in Atlanta, bringing you another key to traveling safely. Are you planning an international trip in the near future? Whatever your reason for traveling, you want to make sure your trip isn’t spoiled by an illness or injury. Here at CDC, we’ve found that the healthiest travelers are proactive, prepared, and protected. We call these the 3 P’s of travel. With a little planning, you can follow these simple principles to help ensure that you stay safe and healthy during your trip. Let’s start with the first P: travelers should be proactive. Before leaving for a trip, find out as much as you can about the country or countries you will be visiting.
• First, do some research. Find out what you will need to know, what you will need to bring, and what to expect to make your trip safe and successful.
• Find out about the local laws and customs.
• Look at the CDC and U.S. Department of State websites to see if there are any health recommendations, such as vaccinations or health warnings or travel notices, posted for the country you will be visiting.
• Write down the phone number and address of the American Embassy or Consulate nearest your destination.
Simple enough, right? And now the second P: travelers should be prepared. Anything can happen while you are on a trip. You can prepare for the unexpected by doing a few simple things before you leave.
• Make multiple copies of all your important documents, such as passports, vaccination records, prescriptions, and identification cards. Pack one copy in your suitcase. Be sure to leave another copy with a close friend or relative.
• Pack a travel first-aid kit, including bandages and over-the-counter medicines. Put your prescription medications in your carry on bag; don’t pack them in your checked luggage.
• Make sure your health insurance will cover you while you are traveling. Depending on your destination, it may be important to have medical evacuation insurance.
And last, but never least, the third P: travelers should be protected. CDC recommends that you visit a travel medicine specialist or another health care provider knowledgeable about travel medicine at least 4-6 weeks before leaving. You’ll need to get advice on how to keep from getting sick or injured while you’re away. Make sure to find out if you need shots or medicine to prevent malaria. Remember, you’ll want to pack insect repellent and sun block and use them as directed during your trip. When you reach your destination, try not to engage in risky behavior. Limit alcohol intake, always wear a seatbelt, and be sure to wear protective gear when participating in adventure activities.
No one wants to miss a vacation because they’re feeling under the weather. However, for your safety and that of your fellow passengers, it is sometimes best for an ill person not to travel. If you are ill or are just getting over an illness, please see your doctor for advice on when you can travel. Depending on how sick you are, you may be asked to postpone the trip for a little while. If you become ill while on an airplane or a cruise ship, notify a crew member as soon as possible. They will be able to assist you in getting medical care. If you become ill after you have arrived at your destination, contact a U.S. consular officer for assistance in locating medical services and informing your friends or family. Consular personnel at U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad and in the U.S. are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide emergency assistance to U.S. citizens. Should you become ill after you return home, it’s also important to see your healthcare provider and to inform him or her of your recent travel. Most of the time, you can prevent the inconvenience of an illness or injury. By following the 3 P’s of travel, you can make your trip safer and more enjoyable.
You can find more information about travel health tips on the CDC Travelers’ Health website at www.cdc.gov/travel. To find out more about services of the U.S. Consulate, please visit the Department of State website at www.travel.state.gov.
[Announcer] The CDC Travelers' Health and Animal Importation Branch is pleased to present this travel tip and wishes all travelers a safer, healthier trip.
[Announcer] To access the most accurate and relevant health information that affects you, your family and your community, please visit www.cdc.gov.