Everyone gets excited when preparing for a big trip out of the country.  Whether you are just crossing the boarder to Mexico or Canada, or hopping on a plane and flying to another part of the world, there are tons of necessary preparations that a person must make so that their trip can be very enjoyable.  Researching the sites to see, looking into renting a car or train passes, making sure you are at the best/most affordable hotel you can find.  All of these aspects of your trip are important and deserve a great deal of your thought and time.  It's also very important that you are aware of all the necessary steps to ensure that you are safe and healthy on your travels.  Here are three tips to make sure that you are well prepared for whatever you may encounter along the way on your travels around the world.

1. Do your research.  While looking into the countries you are traveling to make sure that you are taking time to look into more than just the sites and the hotels.  Looking into the common foods and their ingredients is important to make sure that you are aware of any allery problems you may have.  Also looking into what diseases are common/endemic in the country which you are travelling.  Seeing your doctor and having him/her prescribe any necessary medications is very important.  This is especially true if you are traveling to areas where malaria is endemic.  Speaking to your doctor and finding out what the best malaria prophylactic is very important as each is vastly different in both the side effects and regularity in which you must take them.  

2. Get your vaccinations.  While doing all your research about your travel destination you should be finding out what necessary vaccinations you need for your journey.  Many vaccinations are merely recommended, and for a good reason so you should probably get them, but some vaccinations are required to get a visa to enter the country.  The most commonly required vaccination is for yellow fever.  This vaccine is required when entering into most sub-saharan African countries as well as many tropical South American countries.  Yellow fever is not something that you want to have and is easily communicable via mosquitoes, so making sure you are properly vaccinated is very important.  Make sure you speak to your doctor and know all required and recommended vaccines before your trip.  Making sure you do this early is important as many require multiple weeks before reaching full effectiveness.

3. Get travel insurance.  This is probably the easiest forgotten, but possibly the most important part of your pre-departure preparations.  Not all insurance plans offer coverage when you leave the country.  Making sure that not only your plan covers you abroad but also covers evacuations and emergency room visits is extremely important.  Evacuations can cost upwards of $10,000, something you definitely don't want to be paying out of pocket.  If your plan does not cover you abroad, make sure that you start looking into travel insurance plans.  These plans will add some extra expenses to your trip, but the benefit of being well covered is important.  Simple trips to the doctor with a case of travelers diarrhea can add up quickly, let alone expensive illnesses/accidents.  Make sure you start researching early and find the plan that makes the most sense for you.

Traveling is meant to be fun, so making sure that you are keeping yourself healthy and safe will allow you to enjoy the sites and sounds of the world abroad.  Have fun and safe travels.