Playing It Safe

Health & Safety
Adventure Medical Kits
Adventure Medical Kits produces all sorts of portable first-aid and medicinal packets, from the über-adventurous $400 Mountain Medic to the $25 S.O.L. Survival Pack

Being sick while you're traveling can be as much of a bummer as a stolen wallet or missing camera. Check with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to learn if you'll need pre-trip vaccinations or other precautions. A check-up with your doctor and dentist can also prevent small problems at home from becoming big ones on the road.

Understand your travel insurance options. As you research, read the fine print to ensure your activities will be covered, says Lansky. (You don't want to plan a bungee-jumping trip to New Zealand and then find it on the list of no-no's right before you take the plunge.)

Carry a small emergency kit. (Lansky's book, The Rough Guide to Travel Survival, has tips about putting one together.) For many destinations, you'll want to take sun and bug protection, too.

Choose your food and water wisely on the road. Chris Grabar of Greaves Tours recommends that travelers to India use bottled water not only for drinking, but to brush teeth and rinse contacts, too. Even though that cooling salad might look great in the heat, she says, skip it—look for fruits that you can wash (with bottled water) and peel before eating.

If you do get sick, Journeywoman editor Hannon suggests calling the U.S. Embassy to get recommendations for doctors and dentists. Women travelers should request that another woman be in the room when they are examined.

Published: 10 Oct 2008 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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