Travel Health Tips for the Elderly and the Young

Travel is the moving transfer of individuals between different geographic locations. Travel can be accomplished by land, sea, air, car, train, bus, boat, plane or any other mode and is one way or roundtrip. It is important to know how to pack for a vacation before you leave and learn the best routes to take to get from point A to point B. When travel is routine or infrequent, carry only essential items that you can easily carry with you. Pack in layers to make packing for travel easier.

Traveling brings many advantages, including meeting new people, experiencing the culture and learning new ways to enjoy the area you are visiting. But travel also brings with it some risks, including the risk of becoming infected with a disease that is spread through contact with an infected person. The most common types of infectious diseases that can be spread through travel are colds, influenza, measles, mumps, shingles, hepatitis, gastroenteritis, tularemia and viral meningitis. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so be sure to follow these tips to decrease the risk of travel sickness:

Stay Home. People most at risk of becoming ill while traveling are young children, senior citizens and those with disabilities. Because they are at a higher risk of developing problems while traveling, they are also at a higher risk of contracting an illness while on their travels. If you know you will be traveling to an area where there are not adequate hospital facilities or services available, stay home. If possible, arrange travel accommodations at a hotel that will meet your specific needs.

Get vaccinated. Although it may not be possible to have a reliable heart-to-heart discussion with your doctor prior to deciding to travel, discussing vaccination and potential risks with your doctor two to three weeks before the planned trip is advisable. Some vaccines that should be known to travelers and family members are: flu, rabies and toxoplasmosis. These vaccinations will be required for all travelers, even those returning home. Failure to receive these recommended vaccinations can result in serious health complications.

Be Safe, Wash Your Hands. It’s easy to contract disease when you are not properly cleaned after dealing with it. If you are traveling to another state, you should ensure you wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. This is especially important if you are using a non-standard traveling clinic. Those who do not adhere to proper cleanliness can bring serious health risks into play.

Travel safely. While travel may be an adventure for many, it can also be a dangerous proposition. By following these general tips, you can reduce your chances of getting sick when traveling.

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