While you’re packing up presents and planning celebrations, prepare for healthy holiday travel:
1. See a health care provider before you leave to get vaccines and medicines needed for your destination. Even if you are leaving soon, a doctor’s visit is still valuable. For example, it’s not too late to get a flu shot! CDC recommends getting a yearly flu shot before travel to protect you and your family/friends abroad that might be at a higher risk
for flu complications.
2. Pack a travel health kit. Include prescription and over-the-counter medicines, sunscreen, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, first aid supplies, health insurance card, insect repellent, and condoms.
3. Protect yourself in hot or cold climates and from sun exposure. Whether traveling to a tropical location or a snowy one, make sure you are prepared for the climate.
4. Prevent insect bites. Using insect repellent can protect you from serious diseases spread by mosquitoes, such as Zika, dengue, and malaria.
5. Wash your hands often. From cruise ships to cooking or eating with family/friends abroad outbreaks of vomiting and diarrhea, primarily caused by norovirus, are common. The best way to prevent illness is frequent handwashing with soap and water.
6. Learn about health risks at your destination. We have recently posted or updated several travel notices, including measles in Israel, Madagascar, Moldova, and Colombia; dengue in Senegal; and polio in Niger.
Need travel vaccines? Plan ahead. Most vaccines need to be given ahead of time to give you full protection against a disease. Visiting another country can put you at risk for diseases that may not normally be found in the United States. Getting vaccinated against certain diseases is one of the most effective things you can do to protect your health abroad.