Planning a trip to Asia, South or Central America or the Caribbean?

September 17, 2019

Aim To Stay Healthy While Vacationing

At last – it’s time for that well-deserved sunny vacation. If your travel plans include destinations outside of Canada you should be aware that standards of safety, hygiene, and medical care may be different. Some of these differences and access to medical services can have a significant effect on your health while you are away.

To make sure that illness doesn’t spoil your fun, here are four practical tips on how you can prepare to have the best vacation!

Get Immunized

Getting vaccinated against diseases that are common to your travel destination will give you extra peace of mind before you hop on the plane. Depending on where you are traveling to, your age, and travel activities, you may require certain travel vaccinations before your trip. This also includes updating your routine and booster vaccines.

  • Did you know that 98% of travellers make a food and water mistake within their first 72 hours of vacation?
  • Food and water can be contaminated, and you could be at risk to be exposed to Hepatitis A and Typhoid Fever.
  • Most of the Canadian favourite destinations are endemic areas for these 2 diseases, such as Asia, South and Central America and even the Caribbean.
  • ViVAXIM® is the only vaccine that protects against both Hepatitis A and Typhoid Fever in a single shot.

Visit your Save On Foods pharmacist at least 6-8 weeks before your next trip, as some vaccines may require multiple doses.

For a full list of vaccines offered, visit:

Create a Travel Health Kit

A good travel health kit containing basic necessities to handle minor injuries and illnesses is important to have on hand during your travels. It is a good idea to assemble your kit before you embark on your journey as these supplies may not be as easily accessible in your destination as they are here in Canada.

Your travel kit should include:

Alcohol wipes

Antibacterial creams

Hand sanitizer

Sterile pads




Motion-sickness medication

Oral rehydration solutions

Hydrocortisone cream

Allergy medication

Antidiarrheal tablets

Acetaminophen and/or Ibuprofen       

Insect repellent

Our Save-On-Foods pharmacist can help customize your health travel kit to best suit your needs. For locations visit:

Be aware about what you eat and drink while vacationing

Trying new flavours and cuisines abroad can be fun, but there are some precautions you should take to keep from getting sick. Traveler’s diarrhea usually results from consuming food or beverages that were contaminated by a virus or bacteria. Remember these key tips when eating and drinking abroad:

  • Drink bottled water or boil water for at least 1 minute before using it. Forget the ice cubes!
  • Brush your teeth with bottled, boiled, or treated water.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm, clean water or use a hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid uncooked vegetables and fruits that you can’t peel yourself, remember to keep it safe: “Boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it!”
  • Avoid eating from street vendors, unpasteurized dairy products or under-cooked foods.
  • Traveler’s diarrhea caused by coli contamination can be common in some countries – talk to our Save-On-Foods pharmacist about an oral vaccine that can help prevent this and what to do if it happens!

Be prepared if Travelling with a Pre-existing Medical Condition

If you have a chronic health condition, here are some tips that can make travelling easier and help prevent problems during your trip:

  • Carry an official medication list from your pharmacist
  • Be sure you have enough medication with you to last a few days longer than you expect to be away, just in case your return is delayed for some reason.
  • Make sure your medicines are in the original containers and that the pharmacy labels are intact and legible.
  • Always pack your medication and medical supplies in your carry-on luggage in case your checked baggage is lost or stolen.
  • Arrange for travel health insurance before you leave:

Your Save-On-Foods pharmacist is a good resource for health tips to help you prepare for your upcoming vacation. From customizing your travel health kit to updating and administering your travel and routine vaccines, our pharmacists are on hand to answer any health questions you might have. Make an appointment with your Save-On-Foods pharmacist today and receive:

  • Traveler’s diarrhea prevention tips
  • Vaccination History Update
  • Administration of travel and booster vaccines
  • Travel health kit advice

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2019. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.