The snow is starting to melt, flu season is coming to an end and a break from school is on the horizon. That’s right: it’s almost spring break time While many schools have their break at different times and potential spring break plans vary widely, here are some general rules to adhere to no matter where you are going or what you might be doing. Follow these tips for a healthy and enjoyable spring break!
Do your homework:
Before heading out on your spring break adventure, be sure to thoroughly research your destination. Although this tip sounds basic, it is extremely important. Some of the most common travel locations for spring vacations like Mexico and the Caribbean islands require a little more preparation than your average trip. Some locales will have recommendations for the hepatitis A vaccination or the yellow fever vaccination, while only routine shots may be recommended for destinations like Florida.
In addition to vaccination preparation, be sure to pack and prepare for any personal restrictions you might have like gluten intolerance or diabetes. Relaxing vacations don’t mean relaxed health regimens.
While you’re there:
Wherever you may be going, be sure to use good travel sense and follow the recommendations that you may have received from your doctor or Passport Health Travel Specialist. Food carts on the side of the road can be very tempting at times, but be careful of the local cuisine and always choose well-cooked options.
Another key component to a healthy spring break is using sunscreen at all times. Cloudy days may make you think no UV protection is required, but the most harmful rays are still getting through the layer of clouds and can harm your skin. Be sure to wear sunscreen at all times, when lounging at the beach or simply walking around town.
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Before coming home:
Coming home can be a sad part of any vacation, but it also provides an opportunity to prepare for your next trip. Start planning what you might want to do next time before you even leave, and then start planning when you get home.
However, stay mindful while traveling, and don’t get too caught up in your plans for what you might do next and forget something in your bag. When traveling internationally, you are typically not allowed to bring fruits, vegetables and other food home with you. Check with your airline and with your country’s government so that you know what can travel back with you.
Vaccination is another way of making sure unwanted diseases like hepatitis or Japanese encephalitis doesn’t travel home with you. Many diseases have incubation periods as long as two weeks, meaning you could take your vacation and have returned home before getting a nasty surprise. Be sure to get vaccinated before you depart to avoid any unwanted health surprises.
For more information on these and other travel topics, including how to find out about which vaccines you may need for healthy spring break travel to a specific location, see Passport Health’s Travel Medicine portal.