Checklist for Travelers Visiting Developing Countries

Knowledge and preparation are key when traveling to regions that are unfamiliar to you and have less infrastructure than you are used to at home.
  • Research your destination until you understand what kind of conditions to expect. Pollution, extremes of geography, high altitude, bad weather, and a scarcity of medical treatment can all directly affect your health at your destination.
  • Pack protective clothing that is appropriate for your destination.
  • Make sure you are healthy when at departure. Have a medical and dental check-up before departure.
  • Schedule the required vaccinations early to assure that full immunization is in force a month before departure.
  • Bring any prescription medications in their original containers. This can ease the way through customs when you get to your destination.
  • Bring more medication than you will need, and pack them in several separate places. extra prescriptions, in case you need to buy more medicine. Always carry a letter from your doctor explaining your condition and the medications required. You may need such proof to buy medication locally.
  • Notify your destination country's embassy about the medications you must bring with you and ask if any of them are considered illegal in that country. If they are illegal, the embassy will inform you of what is needed to gain permission to bring the drugs through customs.
  • If you wear prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses, bring more than one pair.
  • If your health insurance does not cover you overseas, purchase short-term travel health insurance to assure you can cover costs of treatment and emergency evacuation.
  • Bring plenty of insect repellant and use it to prevent insect-borne diseases.