Summer is a popular time for vacations – let the fun begin! As you plan your holidays, here are a few tips to ensure you enjoy your trips to the maximum.
- Fill Your Prescriptions and Get Vaccinated- When traveling internationally, you may need to get vaccinated for certain diseases that are not found in the United States. Some countries require specific vaccines based on the diseases that are prevalent there. For example, you will be required to get the Yellow Fever vaccine if you travel to Brazil and some other countries in Africa and South America. In addition, your doctor may recommend additional protection from diseases like Malaria, Hepatitis A, Typhoid and other food and insect-borne infections. Reliant Medical Group provides travel vaccinations and related medical services in Worcester, Leominster and Southboro. We offer comprehensive travel counseling, immunizations, prescriptions sent to the pharmacy, and blood tests to check for immunity. Learn more about this great service here. In addition, it is a good practice to inform your primary care doctor about your plan to travel abroad and to ensure that you have adequate supplies of your routine medications for when you are out of the country.
- Update your passport- It is recommended that you renew your passport at least 9 months before it expires. If you find that your passport is expired, visit the U.S. Department of State’s website to find the passport facility closest to you. Typically, it takes 6 weeks to renew a passport, but if you are in a time crunch, you can also pay a higher fee to have it expedited.
- Notify Your Banks/Credit Card Companies- Banks and credit card companies keep a close eye on your purchases. If they notice activity in another country, they may flag it as suspicious and close your account to prevent fraudulent use. It’s a good idea to call ahead and let them know your travel plans so your card isn’t denied while on vacation. There are many credit cards that do not charge foreign transaction fees. Call your credit card and inquire about this if you wish to save a few bucks!!
- Register Your Trip- The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. In case of an emergency, the U.S. government will know where your location is and how to contact you. You are also given the option to share your itinerary with a third party (family, friends) should they try to locate you in an emergency.
- Research Your Destination- It’s very important to know the climate and conditions you will be traveling to. For some areas, insect repellent for mosquito and other insect-borne illnesses are necessary to keep you safe. Additionally, it is wise to check conditions of the food and water and safety of consuming foods while abroad. Lastly, if you are traveling to a warmer climate, be sure to stay safe in the sun by packing appropriate clothes, sun block, and keeping yourself hydrated.
There is a lot of planning that goes into a vacation, but it’s well worth the effort to ensure an incident free holiday! We hope these tips helped you. Do you have any travel tips you want to share? Leave us a comment with your suggestions / experiences.
About Alwyn Rapose, MD
Originally from India, Dr. Alwyn Rapose now enjoys practicing medicine in Massachusetts. He completed his Internal Medicine residency at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester and liked the experience so much that he stayed on board for another year as Chief Resident. He then completed his Infectious Disease fellowship at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas.
Dr. Rapose felt that Reliant Medical Group was a good fit...View profile View posts by this doctor