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Happy and Healthy Checklist for Holiday Travel

By Aolani Donegan | July 1, 2019 | Healthy Lifestyle

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Summer is here! Whether you’re planning a trip near home, far away, to the coast, to the mountains or anywhere in between there are a few things you should always include on your packing list and questions you should ask yourself. Be prepared for whatever comes your way and stay happy and healthy while you travel.

Questions to Ask Before Traveling

There are a few questions to ask before you travel. It will make your trip more enjoyable and can help keep you safe. 

Do you have any dietary restrictions? If so, does the place you’re going have resources to accommodate them?

If you know where you will be staying, you can call ahead or do a quick Google search to find restaurants and grocery stores in the area. This will help you stick to your diet or meal plans if you are staying for an extended period of time. 

Where is the nearest hospital or medical center in the area you will be staying?

Storing the numbers ahead of time will allow you to be prepared for an emergency. Doctors can be found using Blue Cross NC’s Blue Connect Mobile.

Will you be outdoors or doing any physical activity?

Take sunscreen and insect repellent for protection and a reusable water bottle for consistent hydration.

If your destination is outside the U.S., what diseases are prevalent there and how can you protect yourself from them?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends planning ahead to make sure you have all needed vaccines. A comprehensive list based on where you’re traveling can be found on their website. The World Health Organization and Department of State also have resources on disease prevention and area-specific safety suggestions.

What if you get sick before or during your travel?

If your allergies flare up or you get sick while traveling, take advantage of telehealth. We offer a telehealth service in some plans that connects you to a board-certified doctor or pediatrician through secure online video consults on your mobile phone, tablet or computer. An appointment isn’t needed and video consultations are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Check Blue Connect Mobile to see if this service is included in your plan.

Packing List Essentials

Packing a first-aid kit is essential in case you or a loved one gets a scrape or has stomach trouble. These are especially important if you’re traveling outside the U.S. since the quality of medicines in other countries cannot be guaranteed. 

Your first-aid kit should include:

  • Bandages of varying sizes
  • Antibiotic, antibacterial and antifungal ointments
  • Fever and pain reducer
  • Motion sickness remedy
  • Anti-itch cream and medicine for allergic reactions
  • Stomachache medicine, mild laxative, and antacid
  • Cold and flu relief medication
  • Rehydration tablets
  • Thermometer, cotton swabs, and tweezers
  • Alcohol wipes and hand sanitizer/wipes
  • Sting relief medication
  • Stretchable bandages and tourniquet 

Other medical supplies you may need are:

  • Vitamins and prescription medications
  • Medicines to prevent malaria
  • Glasses, contacts and eye drops
  • Medical alert bracelet or necklace
  • Diabetes testing supplies and Insulin
  • Inhaler and allergy medication

Be mindful about the cleanliness and safety of the area, and pack these items to prevent illness or injury:

  • Hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol) or antibacterial hand wipes
  • Water purification tablets
  • Insect repellent (with an active ingredient like DEET or picaridin)
  • Sunscreen (with UVA and UVB protection, SPF 30 or higher), sunglasses and hat
  • Earplugs

Travel Documents You Will Need 

Before you travel, make sure you have all your paperwork in order, especially if you’re traveling out of the country. Having documents at the ready will help if there’s an emergency or if you need to visit a doctor.

Remember these important documents:

  • Copies of your passport and travel documents
  • Copies of all prescriptions (medications, glasses, or medical supplies)
  • Health insurance card and documents
  • Proof of yellow fever vaccination (if required for your trip)
  • Contact card with the street addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of close contact in the United States
  • Health care provider(s) at home
  • List of your allergies
  • US embassy or consulate information in the destination country

Before you leave, also make sure you download Blue Connect Mobile to access your digital Member ID card and health insurance information. The app also lets you view your benefits, deductibles, copayments, reviews on doctors and comparisons on procedure costs at different facilities so decision-making will be easier on the trip.

Your summer vacation should not be a time to stress and worry. By making sure you think ahead and pack the essentials we know you’ll be prepared for whatever comes your way.