[ back to Travel Health ]

There are a lot of things to consider when you are planning international travel. One of the Top-10 things to consider when planning international travel is sorting out your vaccinations or immunizations.

How important this is will depend on what country you are visiting. Many countries deal with diseases that most of us don't think about. Most of us are very fortunate to live in a country where many diseases are not present like they are overseas.

Top-10 Things Vaccination Tips for Travellers

  1. Start Early: plan ahead, don't leave it until too late to sort out your vaccinations. It may take several weeks for immunity to develop, and you may need more than one dose of a vaccine for full protection

  2. Where are you going? the required vaccines will depend on where you are going. You can easily search online and find out which vaccines are required, and what is recommended. Your doctor or travel health clinic can also help advise you on what is required.

  3. Check the guidelines: You may not need to get all the recommended vaccines. Some vaccines and anti-malarials aren't appropriate for infants and children, pregnant women or people with certain chronic medical conditions.

  4. Keep a Record: If you receive any vaccines, ask your doctor or travel medicine clinic for a record of these vaccines. It will be useful for the next time you travel to have a record of what you took, as some vaccines will still be offering protection. 

  5. Carry a Copy: Keep a summary of your medical history on you at all times in an easy-to-read format in case you are in a country of another language. You may need to show evidence when you enter some countries

  6. Cover Up: You should take extra precautions if you are traveling to a country that is known to have malaria outbreaks. Malaria medications are usually required to be taken while you are away. In addition, you should be covering up exposed skin to stop you from getting bitten in the first place.

  7. Avoid Certain Foods: Be careful with open markets and ingesting such things as water, raw or undercooked meat, fruits and vegetables (especially without cleaning them in something other than tap water) and dairy products.

  8. Monitor your health: Vaccines are not 100% effective, and you will not have a vaccine for all possible illnesses, so you may still get sick. Research the symptoms of the common illnesses of travellers so you can take appropriate action.

  9. Stay Safe: Take common-sense precautions to avoid getting sick, avoid certain foods, the water in some countries, and crowds in confined spaces where some diseases are easily spread. Wear a mask if appropriate.

  10. Tell Your Doctor: Be sure to let your physician know before you leave and when you get back, so that if you get sick after your return there is prior knowledge about possible problems.

More Information

Do you have feedback, a comment or correction? Let us know