Traveling overseas is full of fun and excitement, but it is not without risk.  However, there are many steps people can take to reduce their risk of health issues overseas.  Here are some ways people can alleviate their own, friends’ and family members’ health concerns about overseas travel.


Any international travel must begin with a visit to the appropriate government websites.  In addition to the foreign government’s site on proper documentation, people should visit two U.S.  government sites.  The Department of State keeps people current on the state of affairs around the world.  Meanwhile, the CDC has a site that explains what vaccinations are needed for travel in different areas of the world.

 Visit a Doctor

Even if a doctor’s appointment is not necessary before a trip, visiting one is often a wise choice.  With a doctor or nurse, a traveler can go over the necessary vaccinations, potential health risks and appropriate safety precautions.  Anyone who is traveling with a family member who receives regular medical care from an aide, such as a certified nursing assistant, must talk with that nurse aide.  They should ask about every detail in the care provided by the CNA, so the family will know how to care for their loved one away from home.  Of course, many people who receive this type of aid are not able to travel.  A doctor can help make that decision.                                                                                                                   

Consume Treated Water

Locating a reliable source of water can be a challenging aspect of traveling in a third-world country.  Typical ways of treating water use tablets and carbon filtering systems.  Boiling drinking water, of course, is a dependable method of treating water, as well.  If vacationers are unsure about the water they are given, they ought to personally use their own carbon filter.  Carbon filters remove dirt left behind by boiling, and they work faster than iodine tablets.  Water bottles are another reliable supply; however, the bottles can't be opened up.

Wash Your Hands

Washing one's hands is a standard precautionary measure; however, many people fail to wash their hands routinely.  Cleaning your hands abroad is just as important as cleaning them in the U.S.  is.  It can be even more important, since the risk of food poisoning is often higher in developing countries.

Consume Fresh, Cooked and Very Hot Foods

These are three properties vacationers need to seek out when looking for meals overseas: hot, very fresh and cooked.  Foods that aren't fresh might have germs on it.  Food that is not hot could have been sitting out and growing bacteria, which can cause illnesses.  Thus, travelers ought to look for food that is still piping hot and that hasn't been put on a warmer.  Lastly, completely cooking food is the most important step in the battle against bacteria-caused diseases. 

These tips will help people travel safely abroad.  Of course, all the risks of travel cannot be eliminated, and there are even more precautionary steps that people can take to reduce their risk of illness or injury.  These are simply a good starting point for safe travel.

This Guest Post was written by: Wayne Page

About the Author:
Wayne Page writes for this site, which helps nurse aides train in Illinois.  The Department of State has excellent resources for travelers.