Traveling to a different country can be a life-changing experience. However, nothing puts a damper on a trip of a lifetime like getting sick. While you certainly can’t predict every health issue you may encounter, with some planning before and during your trip, you can increase your chances of staying in good shape to explore and enjoy your holiday destination. Here are five recommendations to help you stay healthy while traveling abroad.

Visit your local travel clinic

doctor talking to her male patient at office

The knowledgeable travel nurses and clinicians at your local travel clinic will provide you with recommendations about what additional vaccines you need based on disease risks in the country you’ll be visiting. In addition, they’ll make sure you’re up to date on all of your previous vaccines to ensure you stay healthy. The travel clinic staff can also recommend other precautionary measures, such as anti-malarial pills for certain regions of the world. They may also recommend bringing some antibiotics along in case you run into trouble and can’t get a prescription filled abroad. Travel clinics can also provide advice on which types of food (or water) to avoid when traveling to certain countries. All this to say, it’s worth taking these precautionary measures before embarking on your international trip.

Pack any medications or medical devices you may need

Fill any prescriptions and purchase over-the-counter medications you may need during your trip. Pain and digestive tract medications are always good to have on hand. If you plan to travel to places with drastically different altitudes than you are used to, you may consider bringing altitude sickness medications. Likewise, plan ahead for any problems you may encounter using medical devices overseas. Be sure to take into account electrical differences (outlets, voltage, etc.), reliable access to electricity, and how to best pack and store your devices as you travel.

Know your travel health insurance policy

travel insurance forms

Hopefully you won’t need to use it, but it’s important to know your travel health insurance policy and have all of the information readily available. Things to pay attention to include: coverage for hospitalization, how much you will need to pay on the spot, and medevac information. Knowing this information will give you peace of mind and allow you to fully enjoy your travel adventure.

Stay hydrated

This may sound obvious, but there are a lot of travelers who get so wrapped up in the experience that they forget to drink enough water. If tap water where you are traveling is not safe to drink, be sure to come up with a hydration plan (purchase bottled water at grocery stores, ask for bottled water at restaurants, etc.). The hotter the climate, the more important it is to drink plenty of water.

Get enough rest

Summer vacations concept, Happy woman with white bikini, hat and shorts Jeans relaxing in hammock on tropical beach at sunset, Koh mak, Thailand

It can be tempting to want to pack your schedule full of activities. However, exhaustion can lead to health problems along the way. Getting enough rest doesn’t just mean getting lots of sleep at night, it also involved pacing yourself so you don’t get exhausted during the day.

Do you have any other advice on how to stay healthy while traveling abroad? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section.

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About The Author

An insatiable foodie, art collector, and international literature aficionado, I have traveled throughout Europe, Asia, the U.S. and Canada. For the past fifteen years, I have written about my adventures for various travel and literary publications. I am the owner of Lucidité Writing ( and Bouchard Design Co.