IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers| IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers|

Visiting Friends and Relatives

Travellers who are visiting friends and relatives (known as VFR travellers) face unique health challenges. A VFR traveller is someone who resides in one country and returns to their home country (often a lower-income country than the one they reside in) to visit friends or relatives. VFR travellers are likely to bring their children or spouses, who may have been born in the country of residence.

Compared to other travellers, VFR travellers have a higher likelihood of exposure to preventable infectious diseases such as Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Malaria, Dengue and Tuberculosis because they are more likely to travel to destinations with a higher risk of infectious diseases. They may also stay for longer periods of time, stay in local homes and visit remote areas, and may not be aware of the need to take travel health precautions such as food and water safety and mosquito bite prevention.

VFR traveller tip sheets

If you are planning to travel overseas to visit friends and relatives, the following tip sheets can help you and your family prepare. Before your trip, book an appointment with your doctor or a travel medicine specialist to get personalized advice on staying healthy during your trip.

Fake medications

Food and water safety

Malaria prevention


Mosquito bite prevention


Road injury prevention




Clinicians and healthcare practitioners

The above resources can be used during consultation with VFR travellers. For more information on VFR travellers and how to provide pre-travel consultation to VFR travellers, see the following guide: 

Caring for VFR travellers

Last reviewed and updated: December 11, 2020.

Travel Health Journal