Taking a vacation and traveling can be relaxing but takes additional planning for people who have a chronic medical condition such as, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, sickle cell anemia, & arthritis especially when traveling overseas. Medications and medical supplies like inhalers, glucose test strips and insulin needles should be packed to last enough for the entire trip. If you plan to go for more than 30-days, talk with your healthcare provider about how to get enough medicine for the entire trip stay. All medications should be packed in a carry on bag or luggage to avoid the chance of it getting stuck under the plane or in case the suite case gets lost. Transportation Security Admission (TSA) regulations require medications to be in their original prescription bottles and label. Some regions of the world may also require certain medications and vaccines to protect against tropical diseases like malaria, yellow fever and typhoid fever. People with weakened immune systems are also more prone to traveler’s diarrhea, therefore adhere to safe eating and drinking travel advice and wash hands often. Speak with your healthcare provider about the trip-specifics and/or see a travel medicine specialist. If you see a travel medicine specialist, bring a list of all medications you currently take to prevent drug interactions with prescribed travel medications and your shot records. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) also recommends purchasing trip cancellation insurance, travel health insurance and medical evacuation insurance in case of an emergency. When purchasing travel insurance, always read the contract carefully to ensure the policy covers what is needed. Other helpful preparation tips are to carry in your wallet a Health Passport Card that has important medical information about your medical condition(s), food and drug allergies and red cell antibodies for those who have sickle cell anemia. Include your healthcare provider’s contact information in case you need to make an international call. Last ‘Pearl of Advice’, make an appointment with your primary healthcare provider or a travel medicine clinic at least 2 weeks prior to travel. Re-Printed from Healthy Tidbits Newsletter, Vol. 4(2) 2014. Photo by: INSUREANDGO For more information, go to www.cdc.gov/travel. Safe Travels, Dr. Nina

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