Traveling Internationally With Kids
By John Gobbels – VP, MedjetAssist
Even in today’s economy, more and more Medjet members are traveling internationally and taking their kids along for the adventure. Many travel for vacations, educational purposes or to volunteer. Wherever your travels take you, remember the 3P’s – Being proactive, being prepared, and being protected.
Taking steps to anticipate issues that can arise during your trip is very important. I recommend that you learn about your destination before they travel. From diseases to natural disasters, getting educated before you get there is a must.
Make use of Internet resources. Some good sites that you can reference are listed below.
- CDC: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/notices.aspx
- WHO: http://www.who.int/csr/don/en/index.html
- State Health Department Websites
Be realistic- Let’s be honest, no one likes to admit when we are just too sick to travel. Unfortunately many travelers who may have had recent illnesses, injuries or surgeries often “roll the dice” and travel when they shouldn’t. Listen to your body and listen to your doctor.
- See your doctor before you travel. If you are at risk, and most of us are, it’s important to make sure you are physically prepared for your journey. From vaccinations to your general health condition, your health practitioner can make sure you’re “good to go” before you go.
- Remember that kids are not “Just not small adults,” but may have their own set of vaccinations or precautions when traveling internationally. Make sure that your children are protected with any possible vaccination from their physician as well.
No one likes to think about the “what if” but sometimes things do happen and it’s important to plan ahead to prepare yourself if you do become ill or injured while on your journey.
Being prepared requires smart packing. Here are some good packing points to remember.
- Pack enough medication for the length of your trip plus one week and take copies of all your medications including the generic names.
- Leave a copy of all your medications with a friend or family member not traveling with you and don’t forget to leave your physician and pharmacy information with them as well.
- Remember that some medications that are legal in the U.S may be considered illegal in other countries. Be sure to check with the American Embassy or Consulate to verify that your prescriptions are accepted as legal in the countries you’ll be visiting
- Take enough medications or over the counter medications for your kids. Depending on where you travel you might not find “Pediatric” dose medications.
It’s important to have healthy behaviors during your trip and after you return home. Remember that if you or your kids are not feeling well after an international trip you should see your doctor immediately and tell them that you recently traveled. Your physician may wish to consult with an infectious disease or travel medicine specialist.
Protect your body inside and out. Here are some suggestions.
- Use sunscreen and insect repellent as directed
- Be careful about food and water – remember that ice cubes don’t kill bacteria!!
- Wear protective gear when doing adventure activities
Have a plan in place if a medical emergency interrupts your trip.
- Don’t forget to add the protection of a MedjetAssist membership to your travels.
- Check your health insurance policy and make sure you know what your coverage is for out-of-network healthcare.
Be proactive, prepared and protected. Travel smart, travel often, but don’t travel without your MedjetAssist card!