Five Tips on how to Stay Healthy While Traveling

Jory Cross by Jory Cross | Licensed since 2012
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This article was updated on: 10/05/2018

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For many people, one of the genuine pleasures of retirement is the opportunity to travel. If you have the wanderlust, you’ll want to take note of some tips on how to stay healthy while traveling.

1) Stay healthy by researching your destination

If you’re traveling to exotic destinations or developing countries, you can find valuable information on how to stay healthy by visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. The CDC website contains a searchable database that provides country-specific advice on recommended and required vaccinations, along with information on prevalent illnesses and other safety risks.

2) Stay healthy by checking-in with your doctor before you travel

It’s wise to visit your doctor before you travel, especially if you are planning to travel abroad or if you have a chronic health condition. As the CDC explains, your doctor will be able to help you know how to stay healthy by verifying whether you are up-to-date on your routine vaccinations, including seasonal ones like the flu shot, and help you get the recommended or required vaccinations for your travel destination. He or she may offer precautions you need to take on your trip to help you how to stay healthy and enjoy your vacation. Your doctor may also be able to help you identify healthcare resources at your travel destination if you need care (e.g., specialist care or dialysis centers).

Your doctor can provide a list of the generic names of your medications and the names of equivalent medications. If you are traveling outside the United States, carrying this list of your medications is important because you may find that pharmacists where you travel are unfamiliar with American brand names of medications. The Cleveland Clinic and CDC recommend you schedule an appointment with your doctor or a physician familiar with travel medicine at least 4 -6 weeks prior to your travel to ensure adequate time for the administration of any needed vaccinations and other accommodations to help you how to stay healthy during your travels.

3) Stay healthy by packing your medications and supplies when you are traveling

It’s best to take a full supply of any medications with you, and leave them in their original containers so they are identifiable by TSA and Security officials. Filling a prescription can be time-consuming. Nonprescription medications (such as aspirin, vitamins or supplements) may not be available when you are traveling abroad in the same form you’re accustomed to. If you wear hearing aids, be sure to bring spare batteries — it can be difficult to find a specific size abroad.

4) Stay healthy and safe by using vehicle transport with caution

The CDC notes that motor vehicle crashes are the #1 killer of healthy U.S. citizens in foreign countries. The agency suggests that seniors can reduce their risk of serious injuries while traveling by following these guidelines:

  • Always wear a seatbelt
  • Don’t ride in cars after dark in developing countries
  • Don’t travel at night in questionable areas

5) Check your insurance coverage before traveling abroad

Verify with your insurer whether you have coverage for emergency medical care in foreign countries on your travel itinerary. If not, you may want to look into buying a supplemental policy that provides travel coverage. If you’re traveling to an area where quality health care is lacking, evacuation insurance coverage will pay the cost of transport for treatment elsewhere. Even if you have insurance, be aware that you may be required to pay medical costs up front in some foreign destinations.

Do you have further questions about healthy traveling? Would you like help understanding what types of Medicare plans may provide limited coverage for emergency medical care received while traveling abroad? I would be happy to help you.

  • To get some more Medicare plan information to review, use the links below; you can schedule a phone call with me or have me email you plan options available through eHealth.
  • If you’d like to compare some of the Medicare plans, use the Compare Plans button on this page.

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