Make Sure You’re Ready for Your International Vacation

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  • Consult a doctor or travel clinic at least six weeks prior to the trip for up-to-date vaccinations.
  • Bring copies of medical records and take any necessary over-the-counter medications.
  • Address missing/damaged teeth, gum disease, or bad breath before the trip.
  • Pack a first aid kit and sun/cold protection supplies depending on the temperature of the destination country.
  • Research and understand common health risks of destination countries before departure.

Planning an international vacation can be exciting and daunting all at the same time. One of the most critical steps in planning your trip is making sure that you have taken care of all the necessary health and safety requirements before you go. From getting vaccinated to packing the proper medications and supplies, here are a few things everyone should do before they embark on their grand adventure abroad.

Making Sure You’re Vaccinated

Before you leave for your international trip, you must ensure that all of your required vaccines are up-to-date. Depending on where you’re going and how long you plan to stay, you may need vaccinations for everything from hepatitis A to yellow fever.

It’s a good idea to contact your doctor or local travel clinic at least six weeks before departure, so you have enough time to get any needed vaccines or boosters. This is also an excellent opportunity to ask any questions about your destination’s potential health risks.

Furthermore, it’s important to ensure that your regular medications, such as blood pressure or diabetes meds, are up-to-date so that you don’t run out while you’re away. It can also be helpful to bring copies of your medical records with you, just in case.

woman getting vaccinated by a doctor wearing white gloves

Don’t Neglect Oral Health

It’s easy to overlook your oral health when preparing for an international trip, but it’s crucial that you take the necessary steps to make sure your teeth and gums stay healthy while you’re abroad. Before leaving, make sure to solve the following issues:

Missing or Damaged Teeth

If you’re missing any teeth or have damaged ones, it is best to take care of them before you leave. Missing teeth can be replaced with effective and affordable dental implants that will last a lifetime. Damaged teeth can also be repaired with crowns and bridges, so make sure to consult with your dentist prior to the trip.

Gum Disease

Gum disease, while treatable, can cause bleeding and swollen gums and should be addressed before you travel. Make sure to have this condition treated by a professional to ensure that your oral health is not compromised on your trip.


Bad breath, or halitosis, is caused by numerous factors, such as poor oral hygiene and certain medications. If you’re suffering from bad breath, make sure to take the necessary steps to remedy the situation before your international trip. You wouldn’t want to be embarrassed in foreign lands.

Pack Medicine & Supplies

No matter what type of international vacation you’re planning, it’s always important to pack basic medicine and supplies. These items can help prepare you for any potential medical situations during your travels. Here are some over-the-counter medications and supplies to take note of:

Pain Relievers

It’s always a good idea to have pain relievers like ibuprofen or Tylenol on hand in case of headaches, muscle aches, and other minor ailments. This will help reduce the need to purchase them abroad, where the rules might be different.


If you suffer from allergies, make sure to pack antihistamines such as Benadryl to help manage symptoms while abroad. This is especially important if you’re traveling to a place that could have allergens that are not present in your home country.

First-Aid Kit

A well-stocked first aid kit can go a long way in providing relief from bumps or scratches. Make sure to pack band-aids, gauze pads, and antibiotic ointment so that you’re prepared for any minor emergencies.

first aid kit with standard supplies on white background

Understand Common Health Risks in Your Destination Country

It’s smart to familiarize yourself with any common health issues in the country(ies) you’re visiting before leaving home. Understanding what health risks exist in the area will help ensure that you take the necessary precautions while traveling.

For instance, if you’re visiting developing countries, bringing along insect repellent and malaria pills might be a good idea. Additionally, if you’re traveling in an area that is prone to , make sure to take extra precautions when selecting what foods to eat and drink.

If you’re traveling to a place that is known for extreme temperatures, also be sure to pack the necessary items to protect yourself from sunburns or frostbite. It might seem overkill, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to international travel.

With just a little preparation beforehand, anyone can ensure they are prepared for their international vacation. Researching common health risks in your destination country and ensuring all necessary vaccinations are up-to-date are two critical pieces of advice—but don’t forget about packing medications and supplies. By thinking through these essential steps ahead of time, travelers can ensure they have an enjoyable and safe experience abroad.