Make sure that souvenirs are all you pick up on your dream vacation. Getting the appropriate vaccinations is an important step in preparing for any travels abroad. Some countries even require proof of certain vaccinations before allowing entry (most commonly for travelers coming from countries where yellow fever is present – the United States is not on that list).
You should visit your doctor four to six weeks before your trip to determine what vaccines you might need and allow them to take effect. There is no vaccine for malaria, often found in tropical areas, but medications that prevent your risk of contracting it should be started one week before traveling (and continued for four weeks after leaving).
Check with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for country-specific vaccination recommendations and requirements, suggested medications to take along and general guidelines for remaining healthy overseas, as well as symptoms to watch for once you’re home. With the right preparation, you can prevent any health worries from impinging on your travel experience.