Travel Health and Vaccinations Tips

Tips for safe travels

There is nothing quite as exciting as a trip abroad. Whether for business or pleasure, exploring unfamiliar destinations is always an adventure. Unfortunately, these trips are not without risk. Health and social conditions vary from country to country and not all travel destinations are safe. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to stay healthy while abroad:

  • Protect yourself with available vaccinations. Do the research before you travel.
  • Take along a Travel Health Kit.

  • Avoid eating and drinking contaminated food or water. Remember this simple rule – boil it, cook it, peel it or forget it.

  • Wash your hands with soap or a hand sanitizer frequently.

  • Make sure you have private health insurance as your provincial health insurance program may not cover you while you are abroad.

  • Carry emergency contact information and give your travel itinerary to your home contacts.

Traveling with medications

  • Original containers – Pack all prescription and non-prescription medications in their original containers with clear labels. Customs officials require proper identification of medications. It is recommended to carry copies of your prescriptions with you as part of your travel documentation. Include both the generic and brand drug names. If you need a copy of your prescriptions that you have already filled with us we can provide you with a copy for your record.
    Sure you pack enough medication for the duration of your stay, plus a little extra in case your trip has to be extended.
  • Controlled substances and injections – Carry a note from your doctor on letterhead stationery if you are prescribed these medications. Certain restricted medications and controlled substances are not permitted in all countries. If there is a question about controlled substances, contact the embassy or consulate of the destination country.

Travel Health Kit

Your Travel Health Kit is useful only when it is available. Pack it in a carry-on bag and keep it with you at all times. Due to airline security, there are restrictions on sharp objects, liquids and gels. Contact your airline for details before you pack.

  • All regular prescription medications

  • Pain reliever: acetaminophen, aspirin or ibuprofen

  • Stomach upset or antidiarrheal: loperamide or bismuth subsalicylate, oral dehydration solution packets, mild laxative, antacid. Depending on your destination, you may want to ask your doctor for a prescription for antibiotics or a vaccine to prevent traveller’s diarrhea.

  • Colds and allergies: antihistamine, decongestant, cough suppressant, throat lozenges, nasal spray.

  • Motion sickness: dirnenhydrinate tablets, motion sickness travel bands or patches.

  • First aid and other supplies: adhesive bandages, gauze, tape, disposable gloves, tensor bandage, tweezers, antibacterial ointments and eye drops, antifungal and hydrocortisone creams, anti-itch gels, antiseptic, digital thermometer, aloe gel for sunburns, sunscreen SPF 15 or greater, insect repellent containing DEET, antibacterial hand wipes or alcohol-based hand sanitizer, water purification tablets, sunglasses and hats, extra pair of prescription eyeglasses.

  • Your Content Goes Here

Travelling with children

  • Infants and children may be more susceptible to ear discomfort during air travel. Infants should nurse or suck on a bottle. Older children should try chewing gum.
  • If you are traveling across time zones, try to keep children active outside during daylight hours when you first arrive to help adapt to jet lag.

  • Ensure shoes are worn to prevent parasite infections in susceptible countries.

  • Read labels on sunscreens and insect repellents. They are usually not recommended for infants and small children. Proper clothing cover, hats and mosquito nets are best.

  • Always pack safe water and snacks, child-safe hand wipes, oral rehydration solution packets, medication for pain and fever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, and an oral syringe for administering medication.

  • Each child should carry identifying information and contact numbers in clothing or pockets in case he or she becomes separated from other family members.

For more information about Travel Health: