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Traveling can bring great adventures and opportunities to relax and unwind. But, if you're not prepared, vacations can quickly be ruined by a nasty mishap or illness.

Use these tips to ensure safe travel:

  • Allow plenty of time before travel to be properly vaccinated. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site for information about recommended and required immunizations.

  • If traveling in a developing country, don't drink the tap water. Drink only beverages made with boiled water,
    such as tea and coffee. Canned or bottled carbonated drinks are also a safe choice.

  • Avoid large cities or stay indoors when air quality is poor. Air pollution can pose a serious threat to those with asthma or other respiratory conditions.

  • If you will be driving, learn about local driving customs. Always use seat belts and travel during daylight when you can.

  • Contact your country's embassy or consulate if you become seriously ill while traveling. They will be able to help you find medical care.

Proper planning is the key to staying healthy. The Travel Medicine Clinic at Virginia Mason provides travelers with proper immunizations, prophylactic medications and travel information to help make your trip safe and healthy. Advice is individualized, depending on your itinerary, planned activities and chronic medical conditions. Call (206) 583-6585 to make an appointment.

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