Planning for a trip outside of the country is no small task. Booking the flights, packing your bags, and planning an itinerary is all on your never-ending to-do list. However, one of the most crucial needs on that list should be getting your travel vaccinations! Outbreaks of Zika and Ebola in recent years have made many people question the safety of traveling. Thankfully, those diseases are extremely rare. The more common diseases you may encounter while traveling can be prevented with a quick and easy travel vaccine.

The Destination

The specific travel vaccinations you need will vary depending on your vaccination history and more importantly, the destination of your travels. Different areas of the globe carry different potential viruses and illnesses. You can visit the CDC website to learn exactly which vaccines you should be getting before you leave. For instance, South Asia is home to an illness known as Typhoid Fever, while Mexico and Central America are home to traveler’s diarrhea.

Getting Vaccinated

Getting yourself and your family vaccinated before your trip is easy. Simply visit your doctor or a CDC vaccination site, receive the vaccine, and enjoy your travels! The CDC recommends getting travel vaccines 4-6 weeks before your travel date for the best results. Many traveler’s vaccines are even available in an oral or nasal spray form. Children and pregnant women are at a higher risk for contracting diseases during your trip and may require different vaccinations than other family members.

Know the Risks

Before you travel, look up some of the most common infectious diseases found at your destinations. Once you know the potential dangers and their symptoms, you can be on the lookout and catch an illness early. Of course, prevention and awareness are always the best medicine!

Getting sick overseas will not only ruin your vaccination but complicate your arrival back home. The US can even deny reentry until you provide proof that you’ve been vaccinated. Something like traveler’s diarrhea will often require hospitalization to treat exhaustion and dehydration. That means that not only are you sick, but you don’t get to enjoy the rest of your trip either!

Getting your immunizations before traveling is the best way to prevent illness. If you have any questions or specific inquiries about the recommended vaccines, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Travel vaccinations have virtually no side effects and are very safe. Instead of asking yourself if you should be getting vaccinated before you travel, ask yourself why you haven’t done it already!