Traveling can be one of the most rewarding experiences but it takes a lot of preparation to do correctly.  From packing to booking flights and hotels, traveling is not a simple “pick up and go” situation for most people. Any decent travel plan that often gets overlooked is setting aside time to get your travel vaccinations. We know, getting vaccinations before travel isn’t exactly the most glamorous part of the process, but it’s arguably one of the most important.

Vaccinations protect yourself from diseases not normally found in the U.S

Diseases such as yellow fever, aren’t ever encountered within the United States. While you don’t have to worry about exposure to the disease at home, your travels could take you to places where exposure is a real possibility. Exposure to a disease in a foreign country can lead to severe illness that requires immediate medical attention. Not only will you end up spending much of your travel time stuck in a hospital, you’ll be left in an unfamiliar and frightening scenario far away from home!

You should get your travel vaccinations 4-6 weeks before you leave the country to give your body time to create the antibodies it needs. Once you’ve been vaccinated, you’ll be able to enjoy your trip without the fear of contracting a potentially harmful disease.

Travel vaccines are sometimes necessary to return home

Unfortunately, any good vacation has to come to an end. At the end of your travels you’ll be asked if you’ve received certain travel vaccinations before being allowed to reenter the country. If you didn’t receive your vaccinations, your trip will have to be unexpectedly extended.

Getting vaccinated is not only required to reenter the country in some cases, it’s also required to ensure the safety of your friends and family waiting back home. If you return without your vaccinations you could be carrying a strain of a potentially harmful disease that those back home have no antibodies to protect against.

Where/How to get an updated travel vaccination

When you begin planning your travels, you should speak with your physician to discuss what vaccines you need to receive and when. The CDC has resources available to help locate vaccination clinics as well. Getting vaccinated will be a quick process with little to no possible side effects. Most vaccinations are covered under any insurance plan. Even if you do have to pay some out-of-pocket to get vaccinated, it will be much cheaper than paying for a foreign hospital stay when you contract a disease overseas!