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The Travel Checklist

In the excitement of preparing for a vacation, it is easy to forget to plan for your health and well being while away. It is positive thinking to assume that you will stay in optimum health on your dream vacation; however, it is also wise to be prepared against a number of infectious diseases and other illnesses that can be easily transmitted during your travels. The good news is that most travel-related ailments are preventable. All experienced travelers make up a travel checklist that they follow before embarking on their journey. A little preparation helps to protect you from unexpected illness.

Before you go…
Depending on your destination, you may need to receive a series of vaccinations from your doctor before leaving. In some countries, vaccination is mandatory before being granted entry while in others, vaccination is merely recommended. For example, in developing countries, malaria is a common infectious disease transmitted by mosquitoes and can only be avoided with the proper vaccination. In either case, it is crucial that you consult your doctor prior to your departure. In addition, you should consult a travel advisory website regarding your destination country and find out if any health notices have been posted.

Be aware
Infectious diseases can be found in many countries. The prevalence of the West Nile virus has been on the rise in a number of countries, including North America. As a general rule, wherever you find mosquitoes, you are at risk of contracting a disease. To protect yourself from the bite of a mosquito, be sure to do the following:

• Use insect repellent. There are many brands on the market that help to ward off pesky insects, namely mosquitoes. Although repellent cannot guarantee that you will not be bitten, it can definitely help to protect you. It is recommended that you wear repellent with up to 50% DEET.

• Dress appropriately. If you will be hiking through wooded areas, make sure that your travel checklist includes packing clothes that cover you entirely so you can protect your skin from the bites of mosquitoes.

• Use mosquito netting. Netting is your best defense. Unfortunately, repellent and long clothing may not always repel mosquitoes effectively. Depending on the season, a mosquito population can be large and aggressive. If this is the case, it is very useful to add mosquito netting on your travel checklist. It can be worn or it can be set up around a common sitting area outside. The appropriate netting guarantees that you will not be bitten and allows you to enjoy yourself worry-free outdoors.


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