Before you travel abroad, it’s always a good idea to make sure you’ve taken the time to see your doctor. Not only can your doctor prepare you for the trip with helpful advice, there are a number of precautions he / she can help prepare you for that you may not be aware of. Here are the top reasons why you should visit your doctor before traveling abroad.
Depending on what types of activities you may partake in during your travel and your individual health, your doctor may recommend specific vaccinations before you leave. It’s also a good idea to verify that you are up to date on your routine vaccinations as well; such as the flu shot. There is also an excellent resource for Canadian’s traveling abroad that identifies any require vaccinations for various countries. You can check it out here: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/vaccines
Prescriptions and Medications
Some destinations require medication be taken prior to arrival to prevent illnesses such as malaria. Check with your doctor to find out if there are any specific medications you should be taking in preparation for your trip; such as anti-malaria. It’s also a good idea to update your prescriptions for any allergies you may have as well as confirm that other items; such as EpiPen’s haven’t passed their expiration date.
Blood Clot Prevention
If you are over the age of 40 and are pregnant, on birth control or meet other requirements that your doctor can screen you for, you may wish to prepare for any possible long haul flights by talking with your doctor. Some preventative measures can be taken to prevent blood clots such as small injections and / or anti-embolism stockings. Check with your doctor if you plan to do any long flights or extended periods of sitting.
Other things to discuss with your doctor may be water purification methods, lotions to prevent insect bits such as those with DEET or general advice regarding common illnesses in various countries and how to combat them.
The best time to see your doctor is 4-6 weeks prior to your trip. This is due to the fact that some vaccinations and medications can take a period of time before they begin to become effective. This will also make sure that your trip isn’t hampered by feeling rushed or overwhelmed and will allow you enough time to purchase any medications you may need before you leave.
These are just some of the reasons why checking with your doctor before traveling can provide you with a worry-free experience!