Spring Adventures: 6 Apps for Healthier TravelsPosted on by
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It’s that time of the year again! Students and parents are packing their bags for Spring Break! Before you set out on your next big adventure, be sure to take a look at these helpful mobile apps to prepare for your trip.
CDC’s TravWell app helps you plan for safe and healthy international travel. This app allows you to get vaccine recommendations for specific destinations, a checklist of tasks to prepare for travel, and a customizable, healthy packing list. You can also use this app to keep your medication and immunization records and set reminders to take medicines or get vaccine booster doses while you’re traveling. This would be especially important for someone taking medicines like malaria prophylactics (drugs to prevent malaria). TravWell also lets you take pictures of important documents (passport, visa, etc.) and store them on the app as a backup in case they get lost. This app also has up-to-date recommendations from CDC for international travelers. Another great bonus is that many features are available offline, so you don’t need a data connection to access information. The app also includes local emergency service phone numbers for each country.
Can I Eat This?
The dreaded Montezuma’s revenge, Delhi belly, or travelers’ diarrhea—whatever you call it, can really zap the fun out of international travel. Download CDC’s Can I Eat This? app to help keep your stomach steady. First, select the country you’re in and the app will ask you a few questions about what you’re preparing to eat or drink (e.g. Does the water have ice in it? Is the meal from a street vendor?). The app will tell you whether it’s likely to be safe to eat. With this app in your corner, you can be more confident about making healthy choices abroad so you won’t spend your international trip in the bathroom. Another advantage of this app is that a data connection is not needed for access.
We’re not talking about that old phone book! CDC Health Information for International Travel (commonly called the Yellow Book) is published every two years by CDC as a reference for health professionals. However, you may find it to be a useful reference to make sure you’re following CDC recommendations for immunizations. This app is a good resource if you are planning to meet with your healthcare provider before traveling internationally. It also has advice on how to monitor yourself for illnesses after returning from international travel, which is especially important if there is a current disease outbreak where you are traveling. The app has a simple display, is easy to understand, and includes maps for several countries.
You don’t need to leave the continent to practice personal preparedness! The FEMA app is a great resource for preparedness alerts and safety tips while traveling within the U.S. Not only does the app allow you to set up alerts from the National Weather Service, but it also provides FEMA safety tips on how to stay safe in over 20 types of emergency situations. When you are traveling in an unfamiliar area, it’s also important to be aware of local disaster resources. The FEMA App provides driving directions to local shelters and other disaster recovery centers. The app is also available in Spanish.
Stay safe and be smart while traveling abroad. The Smart Traveler app, developed by the State Department, gives you easy access to official country information, including maps and U.S. embassy locations. Get travel alerts and warnings all in one place and create personal itineraries and organize your trips. The app also allows you to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) for free. This program helps the State Department assist you in an emergency, including natural disasters. It can also help your family and friends get in contact with you if there is an emergency.
This American Red Cross First Aid app gives you expert first aid advice for your day-to-day emergencies. The app provides step-by-step instructions for first aid situations you might encounter in your day to day life. You can also get safety and preparedness tips for a variety of emergencies, including winter weather, hurricanes and tornados. No internet access is required and the content is available in Spanish.
For more information on making international travel plans, visit CDC’s Traveler Health page. Happy trails!