PAMF Health Blog

Be Well, Be Well Informed

Health Tips for a Bon Voyage

Posted on Jun 26, 2012 | 2 comments

Getting ready for a dream vacation? Remember the swimsuits and hiking boots, but don’t forget to pack good health, too.

“Preparing early, especially if you are going abroad, and packing some simple but essential supplies will ensure that your vacation time is spent at the beach or exploring local attractions and not at the doctor’s office, says N. Kay Morrison, M.D., director of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s Sunnyvale Travel Clinic.

Dr. Morrison’s top three tips for what every health savvy traveler should pack:

  1. Any prescription medications that you may need. If you have a tendency to strain your back or succumb to allergies, take the medications you know help you, even if you haven’t had symptoms for a while.
  2. An effective insect repellent. Choose one that contains DEET. If you are traveling where malaria occurs, take protective clothing with you.
  3. A good first aid kit. This should include medicines you use and prefer. Don’t overlook the basics such as sunscreen, bandages, an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment, diarrhea medications and cold remedies. If you’ll be very physically active (hiking, rafting, climbing), take supplies to treat blisters, insect bites, abrasions and other treatments for injuries that experience has taught you to anticipate.

Vacationing in India? Seeing the sights of South America?
International travel is often exciting and exotic, but you can be exposed to contaminated food, impure water or germs that can lead to unexpected medical problems. Our experienced travel medicine doctors at the Fremont and Palo Alto centers and the Sunnyvale Travel Clinic can help you prepare for all your international travel needs and ensure you have a healthy vacation abroad. You can also check out these healthy travel resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the PAMF website.

Fremont Center Travel Medicine

Palo Alto Center Travel Medicine

Sunnyvale Travel Clinic

Please note that we are unable to respond to personal medical questions through the comments feature below. For information about personalized health care, or if you need help in choosing a PAMF physician, please visit Becoming a PAMF Patient ( or call 1-888-398-5677. If you are a PAMF patient, you can email your doctor securely via our My Health Online program. Thank you


  1. I”ll be going to Turkey including Istanbul, the Turquoise Coast, Ankara and Cappadocia Sept. 21-Oct. 10. Please let me know what precautions to take as we”ll be on our own not in a group.

    Many thanks.

    • Hi Ann,

      We do not provide personalized medical advice on this community health blog, but you are welcome to contact our travel medicine departments in Fremont, Palo Alto or Sunnyvale with your questions. The travel medicine phone numbers and addresses are listed on our website at If you are planning an international trip, you may also want to look at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website on travel:, where they have information and health tips for travelers. Thank you for visiting our blog and have an enjoyable and healthy trip!

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