Know Before You Go: Travel Health
Being Black In aims to inspire travel and we push that message as strongly as we can. However, we care and understand the importance of a safe and healthy return from your travels . Due to recent health crises such as the current influenza and the gradual spread of the coronavirus, it is important to go over some health tips. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) put together a short guide “Your Survival Guide to Safe and Healthy Travel” that educates travelers, whether veteran or novice, how to be “Proactive”, “Prepared”, and “Protected” when it comes to your health while traveling. I will be sharing some personal anecdotes while we take a look at the tips below.
As much as I’d like to think I am a whimsical and adventurous traveler, I always make sure I thorough research on my destination before I travel. Now, that doesn’t mean just looking up sites and itineraries on what to do while I’m there. I’m also talking about weather conditions, cultural traditions (and restrictions), my loding location and the nearest hospitals/clinics. Before my first trip to the UAE, I searched for what I can and cannot wear and the repercussions of not adhering to the laws. It was my first visiting a Muslim country and I made it my priority in order to not offend anyone, even thought I knew I would be on a resort property.
The CDC suggest:
Before my grandparents headed for their trip, my grandmother had an unexpected illness and was admitted in the hospital for 2 days. This illness occurred 2 days before their flight. Their flight was on a Wednesday morning and she was discharged in the Tuesday evening. Unfortunately, My family and I realized we didn’t book insurance for their flight and , in fact, we recalled the airline didn’t offer any insurance for their flight. When contacted, the airline simply stated “we do not offer insurance for that route” and gave no explanation as to why. So, as you may have guessed, we had to pay ticket change fees for each ticket on the route (it was a multi-city itinerary). This is all to say, before you skip (I know how some of us love skipping quickly!) over that insurance option, please think about the type of trip you are going on, the length, and other considerations that make having insurance a better option than not.
The CDC suggest:
- Pack smart.
- Plan ahead for illnesses or injuries during your trip.
- Know what to do if you become sick or injured on your trip.
- Know and share important information about your trip.
One of my mother’s favorite travel stories to share is when she thought I had a small case of traveller’s diarrhea when I went to Ghana when I was 6 years old. At a point , they were nervous and thought I had malaria (a common illness in Ghana and West Africa). Luckily, I did not have malaria but because of how sick I became, and rather quickly, my family made sure to have the US embassy on call as well as my doctor and nurses in New York informed. It is always better to know your medical emergency contacts than to not know. In the rare event that something goes wrong while travelling, vital time is saved when you already know what to do.
The CDC suggest:
As always, have a safe and healthy journey around the world!
By: Jasmine O., New York City, NY
Being Black In, Editor in Chief