(HealthDay News) -- Planning for your summer vacation involves more than looking at brochures, packing, and traveling to your destination. You also need to protect your health, says Dr. Kathy Alvarez, a family medicine physician at Baylor All Saints Medical Center in Forth Worth, Texas.
She offers the following advice for having a healthy vacation:
Talk to you doctor about where you're going and whether you need any immunizations. This is especially important if you're traveling to other countries, but it's also a good idea for those traveling in their own countries.
Be sure to bring all important health-related information and medical supplies. "Carry a list of the medications you're taking and any allergies you have, your doctor's name and phone number, and your health insurance information," Alvarez said in a prepared statement. "If you take daily doses of medication, pack a couple of extra days' worth just in case your plans change or your transportation home is delayed."
Do your best to avoid germs in planes, taxis, when exchanging money, and in other travel-related settings and situations. Washing your hands as often as possible can reduce your risk of getting sick. Drink only bottled water, which should also be used to brush your teeth. Don't eat any food that's been washed or cooked in water, unless it's been boiled. Don't drink beverages with ice.
Don't overeat. "Try to limit splurging to only one meal a day, and share high-fat and high-calorie dishes with a friend," Alvarez said. If possible, avoid buffets.
Stay active on your holidays by planning outings that involve plenty of walking.
The MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia offers more travel health tips.