Travel Planning: Health and Safety

Mark Stewart Travel Planning Leave a Comment

Vaccines and Medications for Travel

Depending on where you are headed you might need to get vaccinated.
These are a few of the vaccinations you might want to consider for your destination. Always consult your doctor for specific requirements.
-Hepatitis A
-Hepatitis B
-Yellow Fever
-Measles, Mumps, Rhubella
-Japanese Encephalitis
-Tetanus Booster
And because we LOVE petting stray animals (which I would highly recommend against doing while travelling) we have the rabies shots.

You might not need this many shots, we’ve acquired these all over many years. Having travelled to six continents and spent time in certain high-risk areas, we’ve needed a few others (rabies, Japanese Encephalitis) that you may not.

There are several serious illnesses you can contract from mosquitoes as well. Such as malaria, dengue fever, and the Zika virus. Although anti-malarial medication is available, you’ll need to take steps to avoid the others. Make sure to always pack a high Deet content mosquito repellent, wear long sleeves and pants at night, and sleep with a mosquito net in countries that have these viruses.

We also always carry travellers diarrhoea medication, ciprofloxacin or azithromycin are the most common. The longer you travel, the more likely you’ll have this, and more than once. You get it from eating contaminated foods. Always cook, peel or wash your food in purified water before eating. Understand that “travellers diarrhoea” is not just a case of the shits. It is a bacterial infection in your gut. Don’t take antibiotics unless you really need them. Talk to your doctor to learn more.

This is a great resource for nearly every country in the world and any concerns you might have regarding diseases

Finally, an illness that many travellers don’t plan ahead for is altitude sickness. This is something to be taken very seriously as it can be fatal. If you plan on doing any trekking at higher altitudes, tell your doctor before you leave. Medication is available to help treat the symptoms.

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Safety on the Road

Being aware of your surroundings is key to staying safe wherever you are in the world. Knowing the dangers of a country or specific city (Barcelona, for example, is notorious for pickpockets) will help you stay safe while travelling a country. Read up on the dangers and annoyances of a place before heading there. Knowing what has happened to other travellers or what to watch out for is a big help.

Another example is  when visiting Bogota,, never hail a taxi down in the street. They can be quite dangerous — muggings are incredibly common — so most locals recommend using Uber or a taxi stand so the driver can be tracked. These are the little details you should educate yourself with before heading to a country. We’ve been to many so-called “dangerous” places, yet rarely find ourselves even feeling uncomfortable. Let alone worried for our safety. Having the knowledge before you go, and following simple rules can go a long way in keeping you safe:
Carrying an anti-theft purse is a great way to save from getting robbed of your money and identifications, as well as an RFID wallet to keep from people stealing your plastic money.

Keeping your money in separate pockets is a great idea, so if you do get robbed, they might not take it all. And never resist a robbery, I don’t care how tough you are or think you are, it’s not worth the risk.

Don’t walk around in certain cities at night, especially alone.

When taking a taxi, make sure you see the legal papers in the car and make sure the person knows where they are taking you before getting in.

Try to have a bit of data on your phone for emergencies.

Also, don’t let this deter you from travelling. Anything that can happen on the road can happen in your home country. Travel is the best, just be careful as you would back home and you will have an awesome time.

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