Hello, residents of Newark and beyond! Welcome back to the TIB Pharmacy blog! It’s October, which means the holidays will be here faster than you can say immunizations. Our team here at TIB Pharmacy knows that when the holidays come around, our patients take off on fun vacations all over the world, which means those immunizations will be important as you head out on your domestic and worldly adventures. Today, we have devised a helpful travel checklist that you can utilize to help you prepare for your journey that covers everything from packing the right shoes to getting the appropriate travel vaccinations with our pharmacist here at TIB. Please continue reading part one of our blog series below to learn more.
Know Before You Go
Depending on where you will be traveling, the vaccinations you will need may vary. First and foremost, come in and talk with our pharmacist four to six weeks before you plan to leave to find out which routine vaccinations you have had and which ones you may still need to get. If you are unsure about your immunizations, and have not been in to see us before, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site and use their Vaccine Information Statements (VISs) or come speak with us and we can help figure out your vaccine information. Some of the most important routine vaccinations (both childhood and adult vaccines) that should be up-to-date on and that may be required for your travel are:
- Hepatitis A or B
- MMR (Mumps, Measles, Rubella)
- Chicken Pox
- DTaP (Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis)
These routine vaccines are important for travelers for many reasons. While many of these types of diseases are not as common in the U.S. because of better access to vaccines, these diseases may be much more common in other countries, not only in countries such as Africa, Asia, and South America, but also in European countries. Travelers who are unvaccinated risk becoming infected and may also bring it back to the States with them. Therefore, keeping up with your routine vaccines protects you when you travel, and also protects others. It’s best to check with your doctor and/or pharmacist for their vaccine recommendations that may be advised or ill-advised depending on age and health status. For a quick checklist of recommended vaccinations, click here to reach the CDC immunization schedules for infants and children, preteens and teens, and adults. You can also call and speak to one of pharmacy staff.
Get a Passport
The next order of business is to get your passport squared away, and you will want to start planning this at least two months ahead of time. You can click here to reach the Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs to begin the passport application process. You’ll want to begin this process as soon as possible because routine processing time may take four to six weeks or the expedited processing time may take between two and three weeks. You don’t want to wait until the last minute to start the process as this could delay your holiday, and that is no fun!
Pack Good Health
In the months and weeks before you travel, you should spend this time getting as healthy as possible so that your health is optimal for traveling and keeping up with your travel itinerary. When you set out on a holiday with your health intact, you can fight off typical illnesses that often manifest during travel. As you’re probably well aware, planes are some of the most germ-infested, unsanitary spaces imaginable. What’s more, you’re coming into close contact with hundreds of people in a confined space, which greatly increases your risk of catching a bug. As you prep for your trip, this would be an excellent time to take advantage of our ConsultPlus service, which we proudly offer our Newark residents. You can either make an appointment, which is preferred, or simply walk-in to talk with our pharmacy team about medication management, the required immunizations you will need to travel, or to determine a plan to optimize your health before travel. Here are a few tips for boosting your immune system and improving whole body function (with approval from your physician and/or pharmacist, of course), so you are prepared for whatever your adventure may throw at you:
- Boost your immunity with powerful antioxidants like Vitamin C and getting lots of electrolytes.
- Improve your sleep patterns and get plenty of sleep before you travel.
- Drink at least eight 8 ounce glasses of water a day.
- Drink green tea or matcha green tea.
- Get a massage within a week before traveling to reduce stress in your neck, shoulders, and upper back.
- Check our blog for future blog posts to learn more ways to boost your immune system before traveling.
This checklist is just the tip of the iceberg, as we have many more tips in store for you for healthy holiday travels. Please tune in for part two of our blog series to learn how to pack smart to reduce back pain, what to pack with you in your carry on luggage that can improve your health, and so much more. If you have any questions for our pharmacist regarding your travels, need to refill your prescriptions before you go, or to schedule an appointment for immunization, contact TIB Pharmacy, Newark’s Top Rated Local® pharmacist and your source for all things health.