Every year more and more Americans are traveling internationally — for vacation, business, and volunteerism, and to visit friends and family. Whatever your reason for traveling, the information on this page will help you to be Proactive, Prepared, and Protected when it comes to your health—and the health of others—while you are traveling.
Take steps to anticipate any issues that could arise during your trip. The information in this section will help you plan for a safe and healthy trip.
- Learn about your destination.
- See a doctor before you travel.
- Think about your health status.
- Are you too sick to travel? (Recent illnesses, injuries, or surgeries)
- Do you have any special health needs? (Babies and small children, pregnant women, people with disabilities, people with weakened immune systems)
No one wants to think about getting sick or hurt during a trip, but sometimes these things happen. You may not be able to prevent every illness or injury, but you can plan ahead to be able to deal with them.
- Pack smart.
- Plan ahead for illnesses or injuries during your trip.
- Know what to do if you become sick or injured on your trip.
- Know and share important information about your trip.
It is important to practice healthy behaviors during your trip and after you return home. This section outlines how you can protect yourself and others from illness during your trip.
- Pay attention to your health during your trip.
- Use sunscreen and insect repellent as directed.
- Be careful about food and water.
- Try not to take risks with your health and safety.
- Limit alcohol intake, and do not drink alcohol and drive.
- Wear a seatbelt.
- Wear protective gear when doing adventure activities.
- Respect your host country and its people by following local laws and customs.
- Pay attention to your health when you come home.
For more information on your responsibilities as a traveler, listen to “The Three P’s of Safe and Healthy Travel” podcast.
Page last reviewed: January 13, 2011
National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID)
Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ)