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Modern realities have changed the art and science of traveling. These days, when we seek “to move, to breathe, to fly, to float,” we sometimes need inhalers or motion sickness pills to ease the journey. Whether your next sojourn takes you across the state or around the world, keep these tips in mind to make it a safe and healthy trip.

Before You Go …
Get prescriptions filled. Make arrangements with your doctor and pharmacist to make sure you’ll have enough of your medications to last the duration of your trip.
Get vaccinated. Research whether any immunizations or other shots are recommended for people visiting the place(s) where you’re going.

  • Know where to go for care. Look into what pharmacies, medical facilities and providers are available in the area where you’ll be traveling.
  • Alert your insurance. Contact your insurance carrier to see what type of coverage you’ll have in the region where you’re headed.
  • Do your local homework. Find out about any health-related issues that affect travelers in the area(s) where you’ll be. Can you drink the water? Are bedbugs common? Are there any public health concerns you should know about?

Add to Your Packing Pile …

  • Your health insurance card. Slip this into your wallet alongside your ID and credit card.
  • Prescription medications. Consider separating out your daily or weekly dosages into smaller containers.
  • Over-the-counter medicines and supplements. Include pain relievers, antacids, vitamins or anything else that you use regularly at home.
  • Emergency contact information. Write down names and phone numbers of family, neighbors and your doctor – anybody you’d want or need to reach in the event of an emergency.
  • Mini health histories. Document any important health details for each person in your group that would be considered relevant in an emergency medical situation.
  • First aid kit. Buy a pre-made kit or assemble your own collection of adhesive bandages, antiseptic wipes, sterile gauze and antibiotic ointment. Customize your kit according to your planned activities. 
  • Healthy snacks. Take along nuts, granola bars, protein bars and fruit. They’re better between-meal pick-me-ups than the high-fat, high-calorie options that will tempt you on the road. 

While Traveling …

  • Hydrate. Drink plenty of water at every stage of your trip. It will help sustain you in dry airplane cabins, on long walking tours and in arid climates. Drink purified bottled water if you’re unsure about the safety of local sources.
  • Stretch.  This is especially important on long airplane trips or tours that require extended periods of sitting. Get up, move around, get your circulation moving – even if you only have a limited amount of space in which to do it.  
  • Wash your hands. Ward off germs by maintaining a rigorous hygiene ritual. Soap and water work great, but you can also pack antibacterial wipes and sanitizers in your bag.
  • Wear sunscreen. Nothing ruins a vacation like a nasty sunburn (or an elevated risk of skin cancer!). Take along plenty of protection in the form of SPF 30 or higher.
  • Stay active. Build exercise into your trip to boost your energy … and justify those extra calories you might be consuming.

Relax and have fun! Traveling is good for the heart, the soul, the mind and the body. Getting away from your daily routine can relieve stress and reconnect you with family and friends. So make it a healthy trip by making the most of your much-deserved time away.