Home > Articles

A Guide to Online Travel: Healthy Travel and Special Needs

Learn the best online resources for healthy travel, supporting travelers with special needs, and traveling with children.
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

  • Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.


Your good health is one of your most important assets. You guard it in everyday living, and you must also protect it when you are traveling. When traveling overseas you may need vaccinations and medications that you don't need when traveling domestically. As usual, the Internet comes through with information on what's needed for each country. You can also surf the Web to find what to put in your travel first aid kit and how to prepare for travel if you or a companion are disabled.

Safeguarding Your Health

Sometimes the most reasonable, commonsense practices are the ones most often overlooked when you are on vacation or on the road. This often happens because we travel to destinations that are foreign to us.

For example, most people remember to use extra sun protection when they visit tropical areas, but they may not realize that this is also necessary for ski resorts.

You should always read as much as you can about your destination to determine what extra supplies you might need to take to protect your health. With Internet resources, it's easy to find this type of information.

Health Information for Your Destination at Travel Health Online

A great place to start is the Travel Health Online website at www.tripprep.com. This website requires registration, but it is free. The website is easy to use, and it contains a wealth of information that travelers will find informative for protecting their health.

The Destination information of the Travel Health Online website, shown in Figure 8.1, covers destinations from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe and everything in between. The information for each country is invaluable for travelers. The status of the medical care in each country is detailed. The problem diseases and recommended and required vaccinations are listed. There is also information on insect-borne, and food and water-borne, diseases of the country. There is also information on weather and crime. In addition, the site lists each country's consular information, including the address, telephone number, and email address of the U.S. and Canadian Embassies.

Figure 8.1

Figure 8.1 The Destination Information section of the Travel Health Online website is a "don't miss" area for international travelers.

While you are at the Travel Health Online website, be sure to check out the Traveler Information and Travel Medicine Providers areas. The Traveler Information area provides data on everything from altitude illness to yellow fever. The Travel Medicine Providers area gives addresses and contact information for medical providers in the U.S. and countries around the world. The website states that the medical providers' information has not been verified nor their medical status reviewed, but in an emergency, it may be beneficial to have a medical contact, especially in a foreign country.

Advice from the Centers for Disease Control Website

When looking for health information for an upcoming trip, don't overlook the excellent information provided by the Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website at www.cdc.gov. Its Travelers' Health area (www.cdc.gov/travel), shown in Figure 8.2, is filled with useful health information.

Figure 8.2

Figure 8.2 The Travelers' Health area of the CDC website has valuable health information for travelers.

The Illness and Injury Abroad section of the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/travel/illness_injury_abroad.htm is a great resource for travelers who visit foreign countries. It covers travel-specific warnings but also has information on medical emergencies. Perhaps even more important is its information on planning for healthy travel and its tips on being prepared for health-related emergencies.

Even if you are not traveling abroad, you may want to visit the CDC website for its informative articles on healthy travel and its travel health kit information. This information, as shown in Figure 8.3, is in the Illness and Injury Abroad area at www.cdc.gov/travel/illness_injury_abroad.htm, but it is pertinent to all travelers.

Figure 8.3

Figure 8.3 The Travelers' Health Kit recommended on the CDC website is useful for all travelers.

Here are the medications that the CDC recommends you take with you when you travel:

  • Personal prescription medications (also carry copies of all prescriptions, including the generic names of medications, and a note from the prescribing physician on his or her letterhead for controlled substances and injectable medications)
  • Antimalarial medications, if applicable
  • Antidiarrheal medication (such as bismuth subsalicylate or loperamide)
  • Antibiotic for self-treatment of moderate to severe diarrhea
  • Antihistamine
  • Decongestant, alone or in combination with antihistamine
  • Anti-motion-sickness medication
  • Acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, or another medication for pain or fever
  • Mild laxative
  • Cough suppressant/expectorant
  • Throat lozenges
  • Antacid
  • Antifungal and antibacterial ointments or creams
  • 1% hydrocortisone cream
  • Epinephrine auto-injector (such as EpiPen), especially if you have a history of severe allergic reaction. Also available in a smaller-dose package for children.

Here are some other important items that the CDC recommends:

  • Insect repellent containing DEET (up to 50%)
  • Sunscreen (preferably SPF 15 or greater)
  • Aloe gel for sunburns
  • Digital thermometer
  • Oral rehydration solution packets
  • Basic first-aid items (adhesive bandages, gauze, ace wrap, antiseptic, tweezers, scissors, cotton-tipped applicators)
  • Antibacterial hand wipes or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Moleskin for blisters
  • Lubricating eyedrops (such as Natural Tears)
  • First-aid quick reference card

Every two years, the CDC produces the Yellow Book, which details health information for international travel. You can order this book, but it also is posted online free of charge. Even though the book is written for health-care providers, it uses fairly simple terminology and can be useful to any international traveler. Chapters include Pre and Post Travel Recommendations, Geographic Distribution of Potential Health Hazards to Travelers, Prevention of Specific Infectious Diseases, Yellow Fever Vaccine Requirements by Country, Conveyance and Transportation Issues, International Travel with Infants and Young Children, and Advising Travelers with Specific Needs.

As noted in the CDC travelers' list, don't forget to take sunscreen. Also remember simple things like warm clothing for cold areas and sun-protective clothing for sunny places. Although layering your clothing to keep warm is always a good idea, today you can find artificially heated clothing.

For clothing with built-in sun protection, see websites such as Coolibar (www.coolibar.com), shown in Figure 8.4. This Australian company creates soft, pliable clothing that blocks the sun's burning rays.

Figure 8.4

Figure 8.4 The Coolibar website provides soft, comfortable, sun-protective clothing.

Preparation is the key when talking about staying healthy while traveling.

Consult the World Health Organization for International Travel

The World Health Organization lists a variety of travel-related health topics on its website at www.who.int/topics/en. As shown in Figure 8.5, this website has an alphabetical listing of health-related topics. It is very helpful in that you can look up any health problem you may have, such as asthma or diabetes, to get information about that disease and how it has affected people globally. The World Health Organization website also has specific information about disease outbreaks in all areas of the world. This includes full coverage of the avian influenza.

Figure 8.5

Figure 8.5 The World Health Organization website lists health topics alphabetically.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020