by Stanton E. Cope – Technical Director, Franklin Pest Solutions
Some people get so thrilled they can hardly pack their bag fast enough when preparing for a big trip. Others may go through some anxiety or stress. No matter what kind of traveler you are, do some research to make sure you are prepared. Traveling abroad can be exciting and educational, but it can also be a threat to your health and safety. And we are not just talking about weird insects in other parts of the world. Below are a dozen tips for traveling abroad to ensure you have an amazing adventure.
Before You Go
- Do visit a travel clinic to find out about any vaccinations, medications, and other items you may need. Schedule well in advance of your departure.
- Do stock up on insect repellant that contains EPA-approved active ingredients (Find the Repellent that is Right for You | US EPA). Do not pack aerosol cans; purchase moist towelettes (wipes). READ THE LABEL when applying!
- Do consult CDC’s Yellow Book for country-specific information on insect pests and potential disease vectors; dangerous plants; snakes; and other concerns. CDC Yellow Book 2024 | Travelers’ Health | CDC
- Don’t unpack before checking the room for bed bugs. Follow the guidance in this video:
- Don’t drink local water and be cautious when using ice, as several viruses can survive freezing.
- Do think Safety First, Safety Always! Know where you are going, avoid traveling alone. Leave nothing of value in your car or hotel room.
- Don’t touch any animals, bugs, or plants unless you are certain they are safe.
- Do use your insect repellent and take other steps to avoid bug bites, especially from mosquitoes (Prevent Mosquito Bites | Mosquitoes | CDC.)
- Do shake out all items before packing to come home. Inspect your suitcase for any unwanted vermin.
Upon Returning Home
- Do unpack slowly and vigorously shake out all your clothing. Put the clothes directly in the laundry and wash using hot water. Dry on high heat. This will kill all stages of any hitchhiking bugs you may have brought home.
- Do thoroughly vacuum all accessible areas of your suitcase and discard the vacuum contents.
- Do seek medical assistance if you notice a possible bug bite or develop a fever, rash, or other symptoms. Be sure to mention your recent travel.
We want you to be as safe and aware as you can while traveling while also having the best time and making countless memories. If you think you may have brought home some unwanted hitchhikers from your travel, don’t hesitate to reach out to our experts to come check things out. That’s what we are here for. 🙂