It’s March. That must mean one thing – SPRING BREAK– that last big blowout to help students (or is it teachers…or maybe parents?) survive the final weeks of school before summer vacation. Whether you’re planning a trip with your family, a school group, cruising to warmer climes, or hitting the beach, the slopes, or trails with friends, make sure you are prepared.
Prior to embarking on your trip, make sure you see your healthcare provider.
If you are traveling internationally, make an appointment with your healthcare provider before you leave. They can help you get destination-specific vaccines, medicines, and information. Discussing health concerns as well as your itinerary and planned activities with your provider allows them to give more specific advice and recommendations.
Plan for unexpected issues.
It is important to plan for unexpected events as much as possible. Doing so can help you get quality health care or avoid being stranded at a destination. A few steps you can take to plan for unexpected events are to get travel insurance, learn where to get health care during travel, and pack a travel health kit.
Protect yourself during travel.
If taking a trip to get some Vitamin Sea and sand, protect yourself by wearing sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher. If camping or hiking, avoid bug bites by using insect repellent, and choose foods that don’t require a cooler or refrigeration.
Do not travel if you are sick, have tested positive for COVID-19, are waiting for results of a COVID-19 test, or have had close contact with a person with COVID-19 and are recommended to quarantine.
If you feel sick or have a fever after your trip, contact a healthcare provider immediately and make sure to tell them about any areas you recently traveled to. Avoid contact with other people while you are sick. If you get sick during travel, stay in your accommodations, unless you need medical care.
If you have a pre-existing medical condition, carry a letter from your primary healthcare provider describing the condition and any prescription medicines you are currently taking. These should include generic names for these medicines.
Be sure to bring any medicines you are taking with you outside the United States in their clearly labeled original containers. Some medicines are considered to be illegal narcotics in foreign countries.
For students traveling with someone other than family members, make sure you have the proper Emergency Medical Authorization papers signed which gives school personnel, family friends, or others you might be traveling with authorization to seek medical treatment in the absence of your parent/guardian.
Also remember that you have access to your electronic medical records through Iris should a need arise and you need to provide access to your medical history.
Drink bottled water.
Remember to stay hydrated, which is an important part of traveling no matter what vacation route you choose. Water is essential for our body to function properly, and one of the best things we can do to stay active and healthy. Listen to your body. It will tell you when it needs more fluids.
One of the many common travel mistakes is drinking tap water where you shouldn’t. Most developed countries offer pure tap water that’s clean enough for anyone to drink. But, drinking tap water in other less developed countries might be risky. Also, avoid drinking ice in these countries unless they are made with filtered or distilled water.
Get plenty of sleep.
You want to be well rested to get out and enjoy each and every day to the fullest. A good night’s sleep will help you be refreshed and ready to tackle what the next day holds.
But, most of all, have a wonderful time! Bon voyage! Au revoir, adios, and buh-bye!