Travel Medicine: Everything You Need to Know

Sep 20, 2022

Travel Medicine

Travel Medicine: Everything You Need to Know

As the world gets back slowly to its feet after the height of the pandemic, many international destinations have opened up for travelers. However, while you may have the best gear and a detailed itinerary, there is always a risk to one's physical and mental well-being when traveling. 43%–79% of travelers to low- and middle-income countries suffer from travel-related health concerns. That’s why you should know how to properly protect your health before traveling. In such cases, travel medicine comes in handy.

Travel medicine is dedicated to keeping travelers safe and healthy. It is an essential health service that focuses on assessing the hazards associated with international travel, discussing travel health precautions, and treating ailments brought on by travel. It covers everything from necessary travel vaccinations to destination-specific safety procedures, as well as common problems like jet lag and altitude sickness.

Let’s learn more about travel medicine, its types, process, and benefits.

Types of Travel Medicine

There are four types of travel medicine:

1. Prevention: Vaccination laws, health risks, and other travel-related advice concerning the countries you are planning to travel.

2. Assistance: Helping you with medical treatment while traveling and helping you return safely to your country in case of a medical emergency.

3. Wilderness medicines: Here, you will be given medical assistance in extreme geographic regions like high-altitude, seas and oceans, and other expeditions.

4. Access to healthcare: This is covered by your travel insurance, where your medical bills in foreign countries will be covered.

A Guide to the Travel Medicine Process

When planning a trip abroad, scheduling a consultation with a travel medicine and vaccination center is crucial. Consulting with a travel medicine specialist near you at least six weeks before your departure date is advised because certain procedures call for multiple appointments.

Medical checks and immunizations against endemic infectious diseases before travel lessen the likelihood of getting infectious diseases like malaria and diarrhea while visiting endemic regions. Drugs for self-treatment of common illnesses are also covered under travel medicine.

Travel Medicine Process Before and After Travel


You should consult a travel medicine specialist at least six weeks before departure. This will allow the physician to assess your immunization details and potential health risks in a timely manner. The doctor may ask for your past medical and allergy history alongside the locations you intend to visit, the timing of the trip, the purpose for your visit, and the expected length of stay.

This is because the indications and contraindications of vaccines are influenced by current illnesses, drugs, and allergies. Each piece of information can aid in assessing your relative health risks and the advantages of travel-related vaccinations and medications.


You may need to visit your travel medicine physician again for important post-travel multi-dose immunizations and medications. This is crucial if you are returning from a recently hit endemic region, get sick after returning home, or have an infectious disease that is widespread in far-flung locations due to bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi.

Why Travel Medicine Is Beneficial

Every traveler should be aware of the growing significance of travel medicine. The advantages of travel medicine are as follows:

  • Preventing illness:

With the help of travel medicine, you may create a personalized preventative care plan that will help you travel securely, lower your chance of contracting an illness abroad, and prevent blood clots, jet lag, and other illnesses.

  • Getting the required vaccinations:

When you travel, you may come in contact with a common disease in that country, so it's important that you're fully protected against it. Obtain vaccinations against dangerous travel-related infections. For instance, for those traveling to South America or Africa, the yellow fever vaccine is a requirement. This certificate, which is also referred to as a "yellow card," is important since it serves as formal documentation of your vaccination status.

  • Understanding the medication you need to take:

Travel medicine can help you understand which medications to bring with you and what to avoid when you get to your destination. Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are counterfeited in numerous nations. By writing you the proper medications, a travel medicine expert gets you ready for potential health problems like traveler's diarrhea.

Educate Yourself About Eating and Lifestyle Habits While Traveling

When you plan to travel to an unknown destination, you need to take extra care of your health. Find out about environmental considerations, food and water safety, and how to look out for signs of disease when you get to your destination. Eat food when served hot, as that will prevent the growth of germs. Packaged and sealed foods approved by a government agency also possess less risk. Search for food outlets and brands you already know. Avoid raw foods and street foods that you are unfamiliar with.

Consult with StatMD Urgent Care to Get Adequate Information on Travel Medicine

No matter how long you've been traveling abroad, seeing a travel medicine provider is always a good idea. It is important to stay up-to-date on information about staying safe when traveling. A travel medicine physician stays up-to-date with recommendations and ensures you have the tools to stay safe and healthy while traveling. Additionally, their knowledge extends beyond medicine. Whether you need help getting around the city you'll be staying in, or preventing jet lag, travel medicine doctors can help.

If you are looking for travel medicine near you in Bakersfield, CA, you can walk into StatMD Urgent Care clinic. Our travel medicine specialist can address any international travel-related concern: from preventative care to travel vaccinations and more. Schedule an appointment with us today!

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