Medical Tips for a Safe Spring Break

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When Quigley family members travel, we go through a checklist that focuses on preparation and information. We make sure that all family members have full knowledge of the trip timeline and schedule regular check-in calls to be sure all is OK. As a physician, I also research healthcare facilities in the destination location, as well as security concerns.

Spring break travel is a rite of passage for many. When the weather turns warmer, college students and families with school-aged children take advantage of academic breaks to explore new locations.

We embrace the excitement, adventure and relaxation travel can bring, but at the same time, we always tell our members to expect the best but have a plan just in case. Preparation before a trip can be the difference between a dream spring break and a travel nightmare.

While no two trips are the same, the medical tips that follow are good advice for any international destination (we’ll take a look at security tips in a post next week). You should pass this information along to your travelers, even though these leisure trips are not likely for official company business. This information helps create a positive experience while putting traveler safety at the forefront.

Some medical tips:

  • Manage your medications and health — Countries have different rules and regulations about prescription and over-the-counter medications. If you know that you will need to carry medications abroad, be sure to check the local laws that might affect you. Pack extra medicine in case your travel is delayed. Purchasing medicine abroad is not advisable as the standards, quality, dosages and even names might be different.
  • Enjoy local flavors without fear — Food-borne illness and local strains of bacteria can run havoc on a vacationer’s digestive system. Before you leave, check if your destination has safe tap water or certain foods to avoid. Bottled beverages are always your safest bet and be careful about ice and fountain beverages.
  • Research is key – Spend time ahead of the trip investigating what medical care is available at the destination. Care varies widely around the world, so when you travel abroad, do not expect the same level that is available in your home country. If you need medical help abroad, call your travel assistance provider.
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