Traveling is an exciting experience that many people spend months planning. From packing to booking flights and hotels, a seamless travel plan isn’t a simple task. A critical aspect of any good travel plan that often gets overlooked is setting aside time to get your travel vaccinations. We know, getting vaccinations before travel isn’t exactly the most glamorous part of the process, but it’s arguably one of the most important.

Protecting Yourself

Many diseases, such as yellow fever, aren’t ever encountered within the United States. While you don’t have to worry about exposure to the disease at home, your travels could take you to places where exposure is a real possibility.

Exposure to a disease in a foreign country can lead to a severe illness that requires immediate medical attention. Not only will you end up spending much of your travel time stuck in a hospital, but you’ll also be left in an unfamiliar and frightening scenario far away from home!

You should get your travel vaccinations 4-6 weeks before you leave the country to give your body time to create the antibodies it needs. Once you’ve been vaccinated, you’ll be able to enjoy your trip without the fear of contracting a potentially harmful disease.

Returning Home

Unfortunately, any good vacation has to come to an end. At the end of your travels, you’ll be asked if you’ve received certain travel vaccinations before being allowed to reenter the country. If you didn’t receive your vaccinations, your trip would have to be unexpectedly extended.

Travel vaccinations are not only required to reenter the country in some cases, but it’s also required to ensure the safety of your friends and family waiting back home. If you return without your vaccinations, you could be carrying a strain of a potentially harmful disease that those back home have no antibodies to protect against.

Getting Vaccinated

When you begin planning your travels, you should speak with your physician to discuss what vaccines you need to receive and when. The CDC has resources available to help locate vaccination clinics as well. Getting vaccinated will be a quick process with little to no possible side effects.

Most vaccinations are covered under any insurance plan. Even if you do have to pay some out-of-pocket to get vaccinated, it will be much cheaper than paying for a foreign hospital stay when you contract a disease overseas!