Getting Health Care During Travel
You can get sick or injured during travel and might need health care. Before your trip, make a plan for how you will get health care when traveling. This plan is especially important for senior citizens, pregnant women, people with underlying medical conditions, and people who will be traveling for more than 6 months.
Make a plan
Before you travel, know how you will get health care.
- Not all medical insurance plans cover international travel. Consider whether you might need travel health or evacuation insurance.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program on the US State Department’s website to receive emergency updates. Have the contact information for the US embassy or consulate at your destination in case you need it during your trip.
- In some countries, prescription drugs and over the counter medication may be illegal and confiscated on arrival.
- Check with the US embassy or consulate at your destination to make sure that your medicines are allowed.
- Take all medications with you on your trip and pack several extra days supply of medication, in case you get delayed during your trip or lose medications.
- Don’t plan on finding your medications in other countries. Some medications in other countries may be counterfeit.
- Prepare a card that identifies your blood type, any chronic illnesses you have, any medicines you are taking, and your allergies. Have this information available in your destination's local language, if possible.
- Wear a MedicAlert bracelet if you have serious medical conditions.
Health Care Resources for Travelers
The following list of resources may help international travelers identify health care providers and facilities around the world. CDC does not endorse any particular provider or medical insurance company, and accreditation does not ensure a good outcome.
- The nearest US embassy or consulate can help travelers locate medical services and notify your friends, family, or employer of an emergency. They are available for emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, overseas and in Washington, DC (888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444).
- The US Department of State maintains a list of travel medical and evacuation insurance providers.
- The International Society of Travel Medicine maintains a directory of health care professionals with expertise in travel medicine in more than 80 countries.
- The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers maintains a network of physicians, hospitals, and clinics that have agreed to provide care to members.
- Travel agencies, hotels, and credit card companies may also provide information on local health care resources.
- A number of countries or national travel medicine societies have websites related to travel medicine that provide access to clinicians, including the following:
- Australia: Travel Medicine Alliance
- Canada: Health Canada (www.phac-aspc.gc.ca and https://travel.gc.ca)
- China: International Travel Healthcare Association
- Great Britain: National Travel Health Network and Centre and British Global and Travel Health Association
- South Africa: South African Society of Travel Medicine