Once you know you are travelling, book your travel consult as soon as you can. Travel appointments fill up quickly during busy travel seasons and some vaccinations require multiple boosters.
My list of helpful hints for travellers:
I used to tell patients to photocopy their travel documents and leave a copy with friends or family at home. My new advice is to have patients scan important documents and email it to themselves and their emergency contact person.
It is always helpful to have a reuse able water bottle. This will allow you to fill it up once you pass security and have water on the plane without having to balance the cup on that tiny table placed in front of your leg. I find those tables to be equivalent to restraints while flying and defies any leg movement! Water that has been boiled at your destination is generally safe. This is handy to have for your day out and will allow you to avoid any counterfeit bottled water. In a pinch, when you are not sure of the water source, beer and soda may be safer. This is the ONLY time I will tell you to drink beer or soda instead of water💧!!!
Prescription drugs - I advise my patients to take all their prescription drugs in their original bottle. You can use an older bottle if you don't want to take to many with you on your trip. Border guards frown on little pills in ziplock bags!
Fever and pain control - I also recommend that you travel with some Tylenol or Advil (whatever is your preference) for fever and pain.
Cough and cold - your favourite cough and cold med. This is not the time for you to try something new. I also recommend some throat lozenges. For some reason I always feel a cough when I'm at the border with a sign warning me to disclose if I have a cough.
Nausea and vomiting - take some Gravol with you.
Diarrhea- almost everyone who travels experiences a little diarrhea. If it is mild you will want some Imodium, Kaopectate or whatever you are used to taking for diarrhea. Ask your doctor about Dukoral, the traveler's diarrhea or antibiotics to carry in case you get sick during travel.
Electrolytes - If you are prone to diarrhea, you may want to carry some electrolyte crystals with you for rehydration.
This list is by no means exhaustive. It is important that you seek individual medical advice for your travel. I wish all my patients many safe and enjoyable travels in your future! Bon voyage!
Dr. Maria Yu