A CDC Guide for Healthy Travel
A CDC Guide for Healthy Travel
Whatever your reason for travel, make sure you stay healthy! Follow CDC’s recommendations to avoid illness and injury during your trip.
Before your trip, visit cdc.gov/travel for destination specific information. Learn about vaccine and medicine recommendations and other ways to stay healthy while you travel.
Talk to your health care provider.
- See a health care provider 4-6 weeks before your trip and tell him or her where you are traveling and what activities you have planned.
- Discuss any existing medical issues that may affect your trip.
- Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines, including your flu shot.
- Get travel vaccines and medicines for your specific destination.
Tip: Depending on your destination and planned activities, different travel vaccines and medicines may be recommended, such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, or yellow fever.
Save room in your suitcase for a travel health kit; make sure to include:
- First-aid kit
- Over-the-counter medication
- Prescription medication and copies of your prescriptions
- Insect repellent
- Other health items you may need, like a bed net
Tip: Download the full list from cdc.gov/travel or customize your own on CDC’s TravWell app.
Avoid Insect Bites
Mosquitoes spread diseases such as Zika, malaria, and dengue.
- Use repellent that contains one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol, or 2-undecanone. Reapply as directed.
- Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts when you can.
- Stay in rooms with air conditioning and window/door screens or use a bed net if sleeping outside.
- Tip: Apply sunscreen first, then repellent.
Make Smart Choices
Know what to eat and drink. Contaminated food and water can cause travelers’ diarrhea and other diseases. Download CDC’s Can I Eat This? app to help you make smart choices while you travel.
- Bottled water, soda, or sports drinks
- Food that is cooked and served hot
- Fruits or veggies that you have washed in clean water or peeled
- Water or ice made from tap or well water
- Food served at room temperature; raw or uncooked meat or fish
- Salads; raw fruits and veggies that you can’t or didn’t wash
Stay safe on the road. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among healthy travelers. Travel safe by following these tips:
- As a driver: Wear your seat belt. Follow local traffic laws. Don’t drink and drive.
- As a passenger: Wear your seat belt. Avoid overcrowded buses or vans. Ride in marked taxis.
- As a pedestrian: Be alert when crossing the street. Don’t expect vehicles to stop for you.
Planning ahead is key for healthy travel, but even the most careful traveler can get sick.
If you get sick after traveling, see a health care provider and tell him or her:
- Where you traveled
- What you did on your trip
- How long you were gone
- What you ate and drank while you were there
- Whether you were bitten by bugs
- Any other possible exposures (sex, tattoos, piercings)
- Note: Malaria can develop up to one year after exposure
- Page created: January 05, 2018
- Page last updated: January 10, 2018
- Page last reviewed: January 10, 2018
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