Travel Health Insurance, Vaccinations and Medications

Your health on the road can make or break a trip. Here is some advice on travel health insurance in case yo do get sick, as well as tips for staying healthy on the road.

If you have any other questions, please let us know by sending us an email and we'll add it to the list below.

Travel Health Insurance

Although we currently use German travel health insurance we used World Nomads Travel Insurance for basic health and equipment insurance for six years. We did not have health insurance in the United States during this time. World Nomads insurance covered us everywhere except if we were within 150 miles of our home base (i.e., address used on application). We had two dental claims to replace a broken crown and one camera theft claim. They were easy to work with and the coverage is relatively inexpensive. On trips to the United States where travel insurance did not cover us, we usually bought short-term health insurance with a high deductible. Fortunately, we never had to use it.

Travel Vaccinations

We made regular visits to the travel health clinic in Prague to sort our which vaccinations we needed based on our itinerary. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is a great resource to research what vaccinations and medications you’ll need for your route. Basic vaccinations include: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Meningitis, MMR, Polio, Tetanus/Diphtheria (Td) (check your levels, get a booster), Typhoid, Yellow Fever (some countries require this). Note: Depending upon your route (e.g., Southeast Asia or Latin America), you may want to get some vaccinations at the beginning of your journey as it will be much less expensive.

Medications and Basic Travel Health Advice

There is a basic set of medications that you should take with you, as well as knowledge on how to treat basic travel illnesses (e.g., Delhi belly). Read on for a full description on medications and travel health tips. Depending upon your route, you might want to purchase these on the road as many countries don’t require prescriptions to buy basic antibiotics and other medications over-the-counter.

Dealing with Stomach Problems

It's impossible to guarantee that you'll avoid getting stomach ailments, whether on the road or at home. But there are some actions you can take to still enjoy local food, but try to protect yourself at the same time: wash your hands often, go to stalls with high turnover, avoid uncooked vegetables, avoid ice, etc. For a full article on the topic of staying healthy, read How to Travel the World Without Hugging the Bowl: 10 Tips for Staying Healthy on the Road. One of our friends, Jodi Ettenberg, wrote a great book about exploring food while traveling that includes food safety tips.

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