Stay Healthy and Safe on Spring Break
Bitten by the travel bug for spring break this year? Follow these tips to reduce your risk of illness or injury abroad.
As winter’s hold weakens, hopeful spring breakers will make their way to balmy beach resorts, rugged rain forests, and coastal cruise ship destinations. Wherever your spring break plans take you, CDC wants you to be informed and make smart choices. If international travel is part of your spring break plan, the CDC Travelers’ Health website is a great first stop to make sure that you are Proactive, Prepared, and Protected when it comes to your health while traveling.
Before You Go
- Find out about vaccines and any health concerns at your destination. Visit your local health department or a travel medicine specialist at least 4 to 6 weeks before you leave the United States.
- Make extra copies of your passport and other travel documents that you can leave with a family member or friend.
- Check with your health insurance provider to find out about medical coverage outside the United States. Consider additional insurance that covers medical care and emergency evacuation, especially if you will participate in extreme sports or travel to remote areas.
- Check the US Department of State website for information on security risks. Register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program so the US embassy or consulate can contact you in an emergency.
- Pack smart and prepare a travel health kit with the items you may need on your trip including medicines, sunscreen, and bug bite protection.
During Your Trip
- Be careful about indulging in the local cuisine. In developing countries, eat only food that has been fully cooked and served hot. Do not eat fresh vegetables and fruits unless you can peel them yourself. Drink only bottled, sealed beverages, and steer clear of ice—it was probably made with tap water. Get food and water advice in CDC’s Can I Eat This? app to avoid spending your vacation in the bathroom!
- Don’t leave your healthy habits at home – “what happens on spring break stays on spring break” may imply that taking risks is expected, but you should always play it safe when it comes to your health!
- Use latex condoms the right way every time you have sex; see Sexually Transmitted Diseases.
- Avoid getting tattoos or piercings to prevent infections such as HIV and hepatitis B.
- Drink responsibly and be sure to have a designated driver.
- Adventure travel is most fun when risks are managed. Whether you are reef-diving, surfing, or zip-lining, depend on reliable and properly trained outfitters for success.
- Don’t be another statistic: Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among healthy travelers. Remember the basics of safe driving: wear seatbelts, maintain the speed limit, and avoid distractions like talking on the phone or texting.
After You Return
If you are not feeling well, see a doctor and mention that you have recently traveled. It is important to “think travel” whenever you don’t feel right after returning from a trip.
To learn more about the recommendations for your specific travel destination visit:http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.