Preparing to travel is no small task. From booking flights to packing your bags, the to-do list never seems to end. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of travel plans and forget about the most basic step – travel vaccinations. Travel vaccinations are vital to ensure you’re healthy enough to enjoy your trip and so that you don’t bring a harmful disease back into the states. 

Traveler’s Diarrhea 

Traveling puts you at a high risk to develop this unpleasant condition. Traveler’s diarrhea can be developed from something as small as a sip of water, or something as big as a whole glass! It comes from water that’s been contaminated with e. Coli. In addition to getting travel vaccines, you’ll need to use precautions to help avoid traveler’s diarrhea. Don’t drink the local water, only eat at well-known locations, and of course, be aware of the early warning signs. If you begin to have diarrhea, remember to stay hydrated and visit a local hospital for IV fluids if necessary. 

Typhoid Fever

This condition is specific to the southeast region of Asia. Typhoid fever presents the same symptoms as traveler’s diarrhea, but not because of e. coli. Instead, this comes from ingesting food or drinks contaminated with fecal matter. The typhoid fever vaccination reduces your risk for developing the condition but over 50%, so it’s definitely worth a small needle prick! Over 75% of people who develop the disease during their travels have to be hospitalized before they’re able to continue their travels or return home. Hospitalization in an unknown region puts you at a higher risk to develop other diseases too, so it’s best to steer clear however you can. 

Region Specific Vaccinations 

There is a long list of available travel vaccinations. The specific vaccines you need will depend on where you plan to travel. Visit the CDC website to view a list of all recommended travel vaccinations by region and find your closest vaccination center. 

Travel vaccines should be given 4-6 weeks before traveling for the best results. If your vacation is quickly approaching, don’t waste any more time before you talk to a doctor and get vaccinated! Simple and common travel vaccines may even be available through a local urgent care center or walk-in clinic. It’s best to call and ask what vaccines they have available before showing up, but you may be surprised how easy it is to be vaccinated!