Travelling abroad? Plan a healthy trip with these tips

“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

“Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” – Terry Pratchett

Toronto, ON (May 23, 2014) – When travelling, whether it is for business or pleasure, one of your main objectives should be to plan for a healthy trip. Enjoying good health during your time away, and avoiding any subsequent health issues arising from your travels, will help make the trip worthwhile and memorable in the longer term.

As with so many things in life, planning and managing the risk involved is the prudent approach when it comes to travel. Carefully preparations for the trip will bring many of the health risks to light and let you minimize the potential problems they may create.

Choosing a Destination

Deciding which countries or regions you would like to travel in provides a good starting point.

  • Check official sites such as the Government of Canada travel website, which offers health-related information about many destinations;
  • Ask your doctor, who may refer you to a travel clinic, for health-related advice. Preventative measures against some diseases or ailments may be appropriate, such as vaccination against malaria for travellers to tropical regions.

Selecting your Itinerary

The trip of a lifetime or even just a brief vacation away should match your capabilities. Be aware of what a trip may entail and plan accordingly.

  • Don’t plan a trip which will overextend your abilities: a hiking, biking or climbing tour could be a mistake for someone with physical issues, or cardiac or breathing issues;
  • Be prepared to pass on parts of your trip if the exertion levels prove beyond you.

Drugs and Medication

If you are currently taking drugs or similar forms of treatment, your doctor or treatment specialist should be able to advise any changes given your travel plans.

  • Be sure you take adequate supplies of all drugs and treatments with you;
  • Consider packing them in your carry-on luggage for safekeeping and ease of access.


Ensure that you take the steps that will mitigate the risks of travel to your health. Then seek out insurance to help you should something beyond your control – accident, health issue – require assistance. You manage the risks during your trip; be sure to do the same with the travel insurance you buy:

Understand what you are buying:

  • What is covered and what isn’t (check the fine print);
  • Be honest and open when buying – don’t be refused later at claim time;
  • Be sure to take your information with you.

Prepare properly – manage the risks with insurance coverage – and then enjoy your trip!

By Doug Grant, CIP