Preparing for Summer Travel

Summer Travel advice before you take to the skies or seas

KXAN’s Kylie McGivern spoke to ADC Travel Clinic director, Crystal Cherico, RN about how to protect yourself and your family while traveling this summer.  First and foremost, if you are traveling to a foreign country make sure you visit a Travel Clinic as part of your planning process.  Crystal says ideally, you want to schedule visits 4-6 weeks prior to departure, however, she said it’s not unusual for the office to get calls from patients on the way to the airport to provide medications or immunizations.

Do children need more protection than adults for travel?

Because of school admission requirements, Ms. Cherico says that most children are well vaccinated and often need fewer vaccines than most adults.  She does caution that children will often touch items, put their hands in their mouths or have open mouths in showers so they may have some issues with diarrhea.  However, there are medications that she and her team can provide families, especially those traveling to locations where malaria and travelers diarrhea are a concern.

Is Zika still something to worry about?

For most normal, healthy adults and children an exposure to the Zika virus may result in an experience of mild, flu-like symptoms.  However, for women who are pregnant, there are a whole set of guidelines for travel to help avoid birth defects from Zika.  Avoiding Zika prones areas for expectant mothers is recommended, as insect repellents are not 100% effective.

Questions about where you will be traveling?

Crystal recommends the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website for travelers.  https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/   Travelers can find advice on outbreaks, medications, tropical diseases and a broad overview of travel advice.  It will not be as personalized as the advice you will get at the ADC Travel Clinic, but it is a good starting place when planning.

Tips for international travel

  • Visit a Travel Clinic
  • Make sure to take your sunscreen and insect repellent – Don’t count on your destination having a reliable supply.
  • Check embassy websites for any precautions or outbreaks
  • Take more of your prescription medication(s) than just for your days of travel.  Keep them in the prescription bottles with your name on it.  Just in case your travel lasts longer than expected, you’ll have a supply of the medications you need.