International travelers open themselves up to health risks and diseases that would make us shudder. It’s better to be prepared. Obtaining the proper immunizations for travel can eliminate the risk of contracting locally contained diseases – like Yellow Fever or parasites (ew!).

The vaccination requirements vary based on the area of the world being traveled. Whether getting a booster for a vaccination you already had as a child or getting your first dose of a typhoid immunization, you need to be fully prepared for your trip. Always work with a licensed healthcare provider to finalize your immunization plans and administration.

You can follow basic guidelines when planning a trip overseas to help determine if you should be immunized for travel.

  1. Check with the CDC or a healthcare provider to determine the most up-to-date vaccination needs for the area to which you are traveling. The CDC has an excellent tool to show the necessary immunizations.
  2. Get the proper immunizations as soon as you can. Some may require “rebound” time, so you’ll want to give yourself time to become yourself again.
  3. Double-check with your healthcare provider that your current immunizations are still relevant. You may need boosters of the common vaccinations you may have received some time ago (Tetnus/Diphtheria, MMR, Polio and Yellow Fever).
  4. Obtain a “yellow health card” for your trip overseas. Your healthcare provider must fill it out and then it will need an official stamp from the health department. You may need this card if traveling to an area where a Yellow Fever immunization is required.
  5. Be cautious if receiving a vaccination outside of your home country. Developing countries have less healthcare regulations and may administer immunizations that are unsanitary.
  6. Plan for the unexpected – equip yourself with travel insurance that provides you with medical coverage that fits the needs of your trip. This can often be fulfilled with a comprehensive plan, which includes medical coverage and medical evacuation coverage.