The Travel Assessment ProcessBefore traveling abroad, it is important to ask your regular healthcare provider whether it is safe for you to travel in your state of health. You may also choose to visit a healthcare provider specializing in travel medicine, who can provide vaccines and information on the best ways to prevent travel-related illnesses.
The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) does not recommend specific travel medicine, healthcare providers or immunizations, but some registered clinics can be found online. Clinics in Indiana offering the yellow fever vaccine may also provide other travel immunizations, but be sure to check before scheduling an appointment.
Be prepared to provide answers for the following questions for a discussion with your healthcare provider:
Review your itinerary
- What countries will you visit and in what order?
Some countries require proof of vaccination when you enter from certain countries because of diseases that may be occurring in those areas.
- How long will you stay in each country?
With longer trips, you have more potential exposure to insects, food- and water-borne illness and other infectious diseases.
- When does your trip begin?
Be sure to schedule a travel medicine appointment at least 6 weeks before your departure. If you're leaving in less than two weeks, you may not have time to get all the recommended doses of vaccine, or you may not have developed full protection yet.
- Are you aware of travel health notices in the countries you will be visiting?
Review or sign up for current CDC Travel Health Notices here. You can also learn more about US Department of State Travel Alerts and Warnings here. Enrolling in the US Department of State “STEP” Program allows you to receive better information and assistance in case of an emergency while you are abroad.
Risk factors for health problems on your trip
- What type of accommodations will you stay in?
Are you staying in hostels, hotels, or with a local family? Do these accommodations have screens, air conditioning, or access to clean water? Your healthcare provider may be able to provide additional vaccines or education regarding specific types of high-risk travel activities.
- Where will you eat your meals and get water to drink?
You are at a higher risk for food- and water-borne illness from eating street food or drinking water from an unsafe source.
- What types of activities will you participate in on your trip?
Do they involve high altitude, swimming in areas with water-borne bacteria or parasites, possible exposure to bites of domestic or wild animals, etc.? Your healthcare provider may be able to provide additional vaccines or education regarding specific types of high-risk travel activities.
- What diseases can be spread by insects at your destination?
Diseases spread by mosquitoes occur all over the world, even in areas of the world we usually think of as safe (Mexico and Hawaii).
Review of your medical history
- Chronic illnesses or medical conditions
Medical and emergency care while traveling
- Where would you get health care in an emergency during your trip?
- What first aid supplies should you bring with you?
- Do you have prescription medications or eyeglasses?
Vaccine requirements and recommendations
- Which vaccines are required or recommended? What vaccines have you already had?
- How to schedule needed doses-some vaccines may be given together, some must be separated in time from other vaccines, some require more than one dose and have specific minimum time intervals.
- Some vaccines or medications (for example, anti-malarial medication and oral typhoid vaccine) require a prescription.
Talk to your healthcare provider and visit the CDC Traveler’s Health website for more information.