As 2020 rounds second base, we are collectively examining what life will look like in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. While there are many uncertainties about the future of the pandemic, our united focus on public health and keeping each other well is encouraging and inspiring. This renewed vision on the importance of preventing infectious disease will be especially important as international travel picks up in the coming months.

Traveling inherently exposes you to many new and different experiences and environments. It is prudent to look ahead and learn about where you are traveling before you leave so that you can prepare adequately.

Think about it like packing clothes: you always check the weather of a new locale before packing your suitcase, right? Wouldn’t you want to do the same to prepare yourself to be as healthy as possible on your trip?

A travel health consult as an excellent way to do just that. This is an opportunity to talk one on one with a health care provider and discuss where you are going, activities you are planning, and how that fits into your health goals. Here are three benefits of scheduling a travel health consult before your next big international trip:

Get up to date on immunizations recommended for all adults and children

Immunizations are a pivotal piece of both individual and public health. A travel consult is a great way to be sure that you have received all vaccines recommended for adults and children in the US and to catch up on any you may have missed. Vaccine recommendations change overtime. Even if you believe you received all recommended vaccines when you were a kid, there may be additional immunizations you can benefit from now. For example, if you were born before 1985 only one dose of the Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) vaccine was recommended in the standard childhood series. Experts now recommended two lifetime doses of the MMR vaccine to protect yourself and others in the community through heard immunity.

Learn about the risk of disease and current outbreaks in areas where you plan to travel and protect yourself against these risks

While we can’t always predict what will happen during a trip, we can do our best to prepare ourselves for what to expect. Understanding what illness and diseases are common in areas you are traveling to can help you understand how to avoid getting sick while still getting the most out of your travels. This can include getting immunizations for infections common in other parts of the world, taking medication for malaria prevention, and understanding the best actions to take to avoid insect bites or sunburns. As we know now, epidemics and infection trends can change fast. Learn the most up to date information from a health care provider on how to stay healthy in the new area.

Supplement your travel bag with medication to use just in case you get sick during your trip

Getting sick while traveling can be miserable and scary. The last thing you want to do when feeling lousy is navigating an unfamiliar health care system. Providers at a travel health consult can supply “just-in-case” medications for you to bring with you in the event that you do get sick while traveling. Looking forward to eating new and delicious foods but worried about traveler’s diarrhea derailing your plans? Get urinary tract infections a lot, especially when stressed? Excited for a boat trip but nervous about motion sickness? Turn these worries and apprehensions into plans of action that can be used only if needed. This peace of mind will help you relax and be able to get the most out of every experience.

Traveling is a critical way to see life outside of our spheres of influence and to challenge our internal biases of other cultures and races. It is an incredible tool that can enable us to think outside of ourselves and grow to be better humans. Empower yourself to be able to get the most out of a travel experience by strengthening your immune system and preparing for events that can detract from this powerful experience. Promote personal and public health by seeking a travel health consult before you go!

Questions? Comments? Planning a trip sometime soon? Shoot us an email at to learn more about our service and book an appointment with one of our travel expert pharmacists.