International Association For Medical Assistance to Travellers

Travel Health Basics

Current, Credible Travel Health Advice to Ensure a Healthy Trip

You’ve come to the trusted source! IAMAT is the longest running provider of travel health advice and our goal is to help you plan a healthy trip with up-to-date and credible health information.

Travel health is all about prevention and common sense: Being aware of health issues that may arise and taking the appropriate measures to prevent illnesses and injuries when you are travelling. Being a responsible traveller means being prepared and doing your part to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

Pre-Trip Planning: Type of Travel, Health Status, Vaccinations and More

When you are planning your trip, the last thing on your mind is getting sick away from home. To ensure a healthy trip, you'll need to determine the type of travel, geographic location, climatic conditions, duration of your trip and your health status. Knowing these factors will help you determine how far in advance you need to prepare, what immunizations and medications you will need, and what precautions you should take during your trip.

Health education:

Vaccinations and medications:

Medical exams and special needs:

Mental health:

Fitness training:

Cultural awareness:

Staying Healthy During Your Trip

First and foremost, enjoy your trip! Don't let all the travel health precautions discourage you. Using common sense with prevention in mind is key to a healthy and safe trip.


  • Drink boiled or bottled water, or use water purifiers / tablets.
  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly with water and soap or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer, especially before handling food.
  • Eat thick skinned fruit that you can peel yourself, such as oranges and bananas.
  • Eat well cooked food while it's hot.
  • Use anti-mosquito measures, including sprays or lotions containing DEET.
  • Wear seat belts in vehicles and a helmet when riding a bicycle, moped, or motorcycle.
  • Stay fit and be well rested.


  • Ice cubes in drinks.
  • Unpasteurized milk and dairy products.
  • Shellfish and large fish.
  • Food from street vendors.
  • Excessive sun exposure.
  • Contact with animals and insect bites.
  • Swimming in fresh water.
  • Unprotected sexual contact.

The most common travel related illnesses are gastro-intestinal infections mainly due to untreated water and poorly prepared food, a common occurrence in all countries.

If you experience the following, visit a health care professional immediately:

Post-Trip Follow-Up

Post-trip follow-up is usually overlooked by many travellers, but it could prevent future health complications and even save your life.

A visit to your health care provider is needed if you experience the following symptoms upon your return:


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