Traveling is made up of wild adventures, decadent meals, swanky festivals and celebrations, long nights awake with new friends, and unlimited euphoria, right?
Sorry to burst your bubble, champ, but it quite often involves nights hugging the toilet, bouts of motion nausea, regrettable altitude ails, unexpected infections, bumps and bruises, and stomach curls that leave you in the fetal position screaming for mommy. Not to mention the tragic and embarrassing mishaps most would like to forget.
Unless you’d like to spend your days trapped inside a disease free plastic bubble, making flights and train rides most uncomfortable, we’d recommend you actively prepare and protect yourself to ensure happy travels. Sure we know it’s near impossible to fight off all unexpected illnesses and ailments, but wouldn’t you sleep better at night knowing you gave it a shot?
What you should look like while traveling… What you shouldn’t look like while traveling…
Let’s see how we can keep that smile….
Are they really necessary? Every mother and health physician in America is screaming, “YES!” Deciding to forgo vaccinations would be like Inspector Gadget showing up to fight crime without his Go-Go-Gadgets: Epic Fail.
Are they covered by travel insurance? Highly doubtful. Think of Travel Insurance as Accident Insurance not Preparatory Insurance.
Does $300+ and multiple visits sound too expensive and time-consuming? When you’re sitting in a hospital bed for weeks, your body seems to be rotting off, and the medical bill could pay for three months in Thailand, you probably won’t be thinkin’ so. Don’t put vaccinations off because you’re “too busy” or would prefer the newest Icebreaker t-shirt. Getting ill costs travel time, travel money, and legendary adventures.
Rich Tip: Start early. Some vaccinations require several treatments and an allotted amount of time in between visits. Visit your local health clinic or Passport Health facility (often cheaper options than your family physician) to discuss your options at least 6 months before departure. Vaccinations vary based on countries you will be visiting. The Center for Disease Control, Travelers Vaccines, NHS Fit for Travel, Medical Advisory Services for Travelers Abroad, & Travel Doctor are noteworthy sites detailing vaccinations by country. Also look into receiving shots abroad if they fall into your timeline as it could save you a few bucks!
While you should have already been vaccinated, double check to be sure these are up to date. Immunization time varies for all.
Europe: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B. Rabies recommended.
Africa: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Malaria, Polio, Yellow Fever. Meningitis & Rabies Recommended.
Asia: Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Hepatitis B, Tetanus-Diphtheria, Meningococcal, Japanese Encephalitis, & Yellow Fever.
Note: Proof of vaccination is required if you are arriving from a country with the risk of Yellow Fever. Malaria & Rabies are recommended but not required.
Australia & New Zealand: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Yellow Fever.
Note: Proof of vaccination is required if you are arriving from a country with the risk of Yellow Fever. Recommended: Japanese Encephalitis & Rabies.
South & Central America: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Yellow Fever, Typhoid, Polio, & Tetanus-Diphtheria. Malaria, Tuberculosis & Rabies Recommended.
In some cases, entry into countries (usually those at risk for disease) will require you to show proof of immunization via The Yellow Card, the international certificate of vaccination issued by The World Health Organization. The certificate is a Medical Passport of sorts, detailing personal information, blood type, medical history, previous treatments, local physician, and updated vaccinations. Be sure each vaccination visit is documented on the card, as well as any medications taken regularly, and then keep with your passport.
Check with consulates for lists of “legal drugs” to ensure transportation is protected. Carry all medications, along with a copy of the prescription in your carry-on luggage.
Rich Tip: Keep photocopies of your Yellow Card, Prescriptions, Travel Insurance, Driver’s License and Passport in your backpack, as well as one in a Dropbox or digital folder in case property is stolen.
It’s inevitable; every nomad finds their nose running, muscles burning, and fighting off crazed bugs. Here’s what you can expect, because it will find you…Brace yourself.
Travel is certainly dampered by unplanned illnesses and ailments. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the country you’re in or create a new impromptu adventure. Look on the bright side of things: You could be stuck in your old 9-to-5′ver. Rich Advice: Research and get proper vaccines. Deal with sickness immediately, not days later. Take all necessary precautions to ensure your trip is snot-free.
Have you ever fell sick while traveling? How did you cope with it? Do you take any precautions to keep from illness?