We all know that as celiac travelers preparing for an international trip requires extra research of what to eat safely in the destination country, printing translation cards, and always packing gluten-free food. But we must not forget that there are other ways to stay healthy and prevent illness away from home. Do you need vaccinations? Do you have the right insect repellent? Do you have enough medication for your travels? There are lots of things to think about!
The Center for Disease Control recommends all travelers:
- Visit a health care provider, ideally, 4 to 6 weeks before their trip for personalized health advice, vaccines, and medications.
- Avoid bites from mosquitoes and other bugs by using an insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, closed shoes, and hats as much as possible.
- Stay safe around animals. Do not pet, handle, or feed unfamiliar animals, even pets.
- Be safe on international roads. Avoid overcrowded buses and cars, always wear a seat belt, and wear a helmet when riding a bike or motorcycle.
- Wash their hands often with soap and water and use a hand sanitizer, as needed.
As someone that suffered horribly from a water-borne illness in Mexico last summer, I would also suggest drinking and using bottled water, avoiding ice, and being cautious of fruits and vegetables in countries where the water is questionable. I wish I was as careful in Mexico as I had been in Thailand when it comes to using ONLY bottled water.
Additional Travel Resources
- Heading Home Healthy: A program to help travelers stay healthy when they are returning home to visit friends and relatives. Supported by Global TravEpiNet, Massachusetts General Hospital and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- The Travelers’ Rapid Health Information Portal (TRhIP): Customized health information for international travelers based on CDC recommendations
- United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Destination-specific travel health information, recommendations, and notices http://www.cdc.gov/travel, (800) CDC-INFO | (800) 232-4636
- The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Bureau of Communicable Disease: For New York City residents, call (347) 396-2600
- The Global TravEpi Network: Global TravEpiNet is a national network of travel clinics across the United States. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
What is your top planning tip for staying healthy overseas?
The above information comes from the monthly email from Global TravEpiNet.