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13 Reasons Why You Should Get A Pre-Travel Medical Check-Up

With so many benefits to getting a pre-travel medical check-up, it would be silly to get on a plane without one. Read our 13 reasons why.

Traveling – whether it’s a family vacation, a business trip, or another kind of adventure – is always an exciting prospect. With all this excitement, it’s sometimes easy to overlook fundamental aspects of travel preparation – like your health. Getting a pre-travel medical check-up might not be at the top of your to-do list, but it should be.
Here’s why. 👇

Who Should Get a Pre-Travel Checkup?

First things first, who needs a pre-travel health check? The short answer is everyone. However, certain people stand to benefit even more:

  • Children: Their immune systems are still developing, making them more susceptible to infections.
  • Pregnant Women: Ensuring the well-being of both the mother and the baby during travel is paramount.
  • Elderly People: Age brings wisdom, and it can also bring health considerations that need attention.
  • Those with Chronic Conditions or Special Health Needs: Managing conditions like diabetes or specific health needs requires careful planning, especially in new environments.

Now, let’s find out why you should get a pre-travel medical check-up.

Pre travel medical checkup

13 Reasons Why You Should Get a Pre-Travel Check-up (or See a Doctor) Before Your Trip

Planning your next adventure?
Before you start packing and head out on your next journey – you might want to consider getting a pre-travel medical check-up. Here are some reasons why you should:

1. To Get Vaccinated:

Use this opportunity to make sure you’re up to date on all your vaccinations. This not only protects you, but also protects communities you visit from preventable diseases specific to your destination. Your immune system is your first line of defense — so why not reinforce it?

We even wrote a blog post on: Vaccine-Ready Travel: What You Need To Know About Vaccine Requirements for Travel. It’s got a list of vaccine requirements for each country.

2. For a General Health Check-Up:

Your body powers your adventures – and it needs taking care of. A thorough pre-travel medical check-up not only catches potential issues early on, but also provides a baseline for your health during and after your travels.

3. Stock Up Your First Aid Kit:

While you’re at the travel clinic or doing your rounds of pre-trip shopping, make sure you equip yourself with the basics for any unexpected bumps on the road. A well-prepared first aid kit can turn an inconvenience into a minor detour – minimizing trip disruptions and keeping you on the travel train.

Here’s a brief bulleted list of essentials for a basic first-aid kit:

  • Adhesive Bandages: Various sizes for covering small cuts and abrasions.
  • Sterile Gauze Pads and Adhesive Tape: For larger wounds and to secure dressings.
  • Antiseptic Wipes or Solution: To clean wounds and prevent infection.
  • Tweezers: For removing splinters or foreign objects.
  • Scissors: To cut tape, gauze, or clothing if necessary.
  • Pain Relievers: Over-the-counter pain medication like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
  • Antihistamines: For allergic reactions or insect bites.
  • Disposable Gloves: To protect both the caregiver and the injured person.
  • Thermometer: To monitor body temperature.
  • Instant Cold Packs: For treating sprains, strains, or reducing swelling.
  • First-Aid Manual: Basic instructions for administering first aid.
  • CPR Face Shield: A barrier device for performing CPR safely.
  • Prescription Medications: If you have specific medications, carry an extra supply.
  • Emergency Contact Information: A card with important contacts, including local emergency numbers.
  • Personal Medications List: Document detailing your allergies and current medications.
  • Burn Cream or Aloe Vera Gel: For minor burns or sunburn.
  • Elastic Bandages: To wrap and support injured joints or limbs.
  • Safety Pins: Useful for securing bandages or creating slings.
  • Insect Repellent: Especially important in areas with a risk of insect-borne diseases.
  • Sunscreen: To protect against harmful UV rays.

Remember to check every once in a while, to ensure that all supplies are in good condition and medications have not expired. Additionally, tailor your kit based on your specific needs, destination, and the activities you plan to engage in.

4. Stock Up on Meds:

Don’t let a medication shortage throw a wrench in your plans. Make use of your pre-travel check-up to get a refill or a new prescription to ensure you have an ample supply during your travels. This will help you avoid the hassle of trying to find medication in an unfamiliar place – trust us, it’s not always straight forward.

But if you do find yourself in this situation. . . We have a blog post for you:

Traveler’s Guide: What To Do If You Lost or Forgot Your Medication on Vacation?

Pre travel checkup first aid kit

5. Consider Pre-Existing Conditions:

If you have unique health needs, like allergies or chronic conditions, your pre-travel check-up is the opportune time to discuss this.

It’s important that you discuss these topics to understand safety requirements tailored to your situation. Discuss any pre-existing conditions or special health considerations with your healthcare provider so you can customize your travel plans. This way, your adventures can be tailored to fit your healthcare needs.

Here’s a blog post on: Traveling with Chronic Illness: Your Guide to Health on the Go.

6. Get Destination-Specific Advice:

Many travel clinics are goldmine of travel health information. During your pre-travel medical check-up ask your healthcare provider if they have any information or advice specific to your destination. Discussing your destination helps you understand specific health considerations – like whether it’s safe food choices or water hygiene.

Either way, it’s always best to prepare yourself against unexpected health challenges.

7. Take Travel Precautions:

Your travel experience isn’t just dependent on your itinerary – it’s also dependent on your health. That’s why it’s important to travel safely and look after your well-being. Use your pre-travel check-up to discuss travel practice – from drinking in moderation to staying hydrated.

Let’s make sure your adventures are exhilarating without compromising your well-being.

8. Access Useful Resources:

Travel clinics and facilities that offer pre-travel medical check-ups often offer more than just prescriptions and vaccinations. Remember when we said they were a goldmine of travel health information? Well, we meant it. So why not tap into their knowledge and ask if they have any travel-friendly health guides, tips, and resources.

If not, you can always Google this – anything to make you a well-informed and savvy traveler.

Pre travel medical checkup lady after vaccination

9. Have Peace of Mind Abroad:

This might be the most valuable benefit of getting a pre-travel check-up.
Knowing that you’ve covered all the bases before you head off, adds an extra layer of confidence and peace of mind to your travel experience. After all, your well-being is a key factor to experiencing a worry-free trip.

10. Avoid Unexpected Medical Expenses:

Pre-travel check-ups could also help you avoid surprise medical costs later on.
Addressing potential health issues early on can save you from unexpected overseas medical expenses. So, why get a pre-travel medical check-up and ensure your budget is only spent on souvenirs, and not sudden medical bills?

11. Get Personalized Travel Advice:

Your destination isn’t generic, so why should your healthcare advice be?
Make the most of your pre-travel check-up and receive personalized recommendations based on your health needs and where you’re headed. Again, if the travel clinic can’t help you, you can Google this or contact the local embassy for your destination country.

Trust us, this will make your journey as stress-free as it can be.

Pre travel checkup globe

12. Tips and Recommendations, ie. Insurance and Emergency Preparedness:

Travel clinics are a great place to receive recommendations for travel insurance and emergency contact information for your overseas destinations. So make sure you make use of any resources you can, and don’t be shy to ask for recommendations – remember, they see travelers on a daily basis.

Plus, being prepared for the unexpected safeguards your health and wallet simultaneously.

13. Protect Your Health and Safety:

Ultimately, the biggest reason you should get a pre-travel check-up is to ensure you can enjoy your adventures without compromising your well-being. Pre-travel medical check-ups are a shield, protecting you from potential health hazards and ensuring your experiences are happy ones.

Remember, every destination presents different requirements and healthcare challenges. So do your research before your trip, and make sure you check with reputable sources too, and you’ll be good to go!

Download the Air Doctor App Just In Case

And don’t forget to take the ultimate travel companion with you – the Air Doctor app.

Our easy-to-use app gives you:

  • Access to over 20,000 multi-lingual doctors worldwide
  • Choice of clinic, at-home (hotel), and video visits
  • Local, valid prescriptions
  • Quality medical care, including urgent visits, anywhere, anytime
  • 24/7 multi-lingual customer support
  • Video consultation services in up to 21 languages
  • Partnered with leading insurance providers

Download the app, just in case.

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Jenny Cohen Drefler

Jenny Cohen Derfler

Air Dr CEO & Co-Founder

Jenny is the CEO and one of the Co-Founders at Air Doctor. She spent more than 20 years at Intel, most recently as general manager of its manufacturing facility in Israel and before that in various engineering and manufacturing roles in Silicon Valley. Air Doctor is her second startup having previously founded electric vehicle company ElectRoad.