Healthy Tips

Traveling Internationally? Do Your Research and Make Sure Your Health is Covered

Couple looking out at a lake

Are you planning your next adventure to explore new places and cultures? Here are some steps you can take right now to plan a great international journey. 

  • Do your research. Refer to agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and U.S. Department of State for the latest guidelines and travel advisories about your destination.    
  • Research the required documentation for entry. If you need to renew or get a new passport, the U.S. Department of State recommends getting a jump on the process. You should also research entry requirements for your destination. Some countries may require a visa. Also, the U.S. Department of State recommends safeguarding your documents by making two copies of each. Leave one copy with a trusted friend or relative and carry another separate from your passport and other documentation. 
  • Make sure your health and safety are covered. Buying a short-term international health insurance plan can protect your health and your pocketbook. Your U.S. health plan might not cover everything you need if you get sick or injured in another country. That’s why the U.S. State Department recommends seeking additional coverage to avoid thousands of dollars in unexpected out-of-pocket health care costs.  
  • Bring a list of your current medications. Before you leave, prepare a list of your medications (both the generic and brand names) and dosage. If you require injections (i.e., allergy, insulin), get a letter from your doctor describing the shot’s components. You can also find country-specific equivalents for prescription and over-the-counter medications. Why? Some prescription drugs, including narcotics and even some U.S. over-the-counter medications, are illegal in other countries. Check with the embassy of your travel destination about regulations and documentation before you travel.
  • Learn about local health risks. Research health risks for your destination. Is the water safe to drink? Is there a risk of malaria and yellow fever? You will also want to confirm that your vaccinations are up to date and check with your medical provider on any additional vaccines you should take prior to your trip.
  • Have access to health care information at your destination. GeoBlue provides a mobile app (iOS and Android) that you can download before you travel, so you can locate quality providers, view destination profiles, translate symptoms and medications into the local language, get the latest on any regional safety concerns and so much more.


Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare for your trip. Your health is important and staying safe while away from home should always be a priority. 

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This content is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.


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