Health tips when traveling locally or abroad

 

Spring & Summer Travel Tips

It’s that time of year again — families are heading off to explore new places, from the Dells, to Daytona, to Dubai. Our spring ThedaCare magazine shared some of our doctors’ favorite tips for healthy travel. Here are a few more ideas to help you stay safe, healthy and prepared in the states and abroad.

Travel Essentials

Organize a travel medicine kit with non-prescription medications and first-aid items, including:

  • Pepto-Bismol®/diarrhea
  • Benadryl®/antihistamine
  • Motion sickness medicine for flying or ship
  • Laxative
  • Antacid
  • Hydrocortisone cream for bug bites
  • Ibuprofen
  • Aspirin to chew to counteract chest pain
  • Band-Aids®
  • Aloe vera for sunburn
  • Thermometer
  • Ace wrap
  • Gauze
  • Cotton swabs


Specific Travel Concerns

Flying

  • Relieve altitude pressure with a nasal decongestant or nasal spray.
  • Move around every 30-60 minutes to reduce the risk of blood clots (also applies to long road trips).
  • Manage jet lag by taking 2-4 mg of melatonin before bed on the day of travel and for four days after you arrive.


Hiking or Camping

  • Use an insect repellant with Deet to avoid bug bites and ticks.
  • Boil or filter any water from streams.


Going International

  • Know your vaccinations and be up to date. Your doctor, the ThedaCare at Work Travel Medicine Clinic, or websites like www.cdc.gov or www.travel.state.gov are great resources.
  • Visit a travel clinic 4-6 weeks before leaving. Many vaccines are given in a series, and some need a special stamp from the state.
  • Consider purchasing travel insurance or evacuation insurance. U.S. insurance plans often won’t cover health issues abroad.
  • Opt for bottled water or boil it before drinking, and remember, ice cubes are water too. Also peel any fruit washed in local water.
  • ThedaCare’s interpreters can assist in translating medication lists or health information.


Traveling with Kids

  • Traveling while pregnant is usually quite safe — just see your doctor before leaving if you know your pregnancy has complications.
  • For infants, pre-fill a few bottles with water. They’ll come in handy to mix formula if you’re stuck in an airport or elsewhere without a nearby water source.
  • For older kids, keep healthy snacks on hand for long waits or car rides.


Medications

  • Double check your medications before heading out.
  • Consider getting prescriptions from a national chain store so you can obtain them more quickly in an emergency.
  • Wear a medical alert bracelet at all times if you have anaphylactic allergies, and have an EpiPen® in your carry-on bag.
  • Be aware of temperature limitations of medications — extreme heat or cold can reduce effectiveness.
  • Pack a list of all your prescriptions, including the brand name and generic names (Safe travel hint: Leave a copy of this list with friends or family at home, in case your luggage is lost or stolen). Also include a doctor’s letter for any injectibles or controlled substances you must take.