Healthy Travel Tips

Some foreign countries have unpredictable health standards and travelers to these countries may be at risk for illness caused by food and waterborne pathogens. Certain protective measures should be observed so that you may have a more enjoyable trip.

  • Drink only bottled water and beverages
  • Do not avoid drinking fluids, however as you risk dehydration.
  • If in doubt, boil for at least 5 minutes or use a water filter or purification tablets
  • Brush teeth with bottled water
  • Avoid ice cubes
  • Be aware of food precautions for your area
  • Ensure that dairy products are fresh before you consume them.  Do not drink non-pasteurized milk.
  • Eat only meat and fish that has been thoroughly and recently cooked.  Avoid raw or undercooked eggs and vegetables and peel all fruit.
  • Avoid street-vendor food as well as restaurants that appear unclean
  • Always wash hands with soap and water before eating, handling food, pets or using a restroom.  Hand Sanitizer is second best option.
  • Swim only in chlorinated swimming pools that are well maintained. Beware of ocean safety, pollution and rip tides. If locals aren’t swimming, stay out!
  • Do not swim in small rivers or lakes as they may contain contaminants.
  • Always wear seatbelt, helmets, life jackets when available…even if not required by law.
  •  Use sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30, and try to stay out of direct sun between 10am-2pm.  Use UV protected sunglasses and wide brimmed hats.
  • Use protective measures against insects if traveling in infested areas by wearing long sleeved shirts and long lightweight pants after dusk, and protect yourself with a good insect repellent 30-50% DEET- apply over sunscreen!
  • Obtain the proper immunizations recommended for the countries being visited,
  •  If you have a serious medical condition (diabetes, life threatening allergies) wear a Medic Alert Bracelet.
  • Remember that once you arrive overseas your resistance will be lowered (new environment, changes in eating, sleeping patterns, etc) and it is easier to get sick.
  • Try to get adequate rest, and maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet to keep immune system strong.

Travel Health online offers health and safety information on all world destinations, on specific travel illnesses, and a resource on international medical providers.


  • Keep in your carry on bag:  Prescriptions in their original labeled bottle, change of clothes, hand sanitizer, extra contacts lenses or glasses.
  • Carry your passport, valuable papers, and money in an undergarment case or pocket
  • Make copies of your airline tickets, passport, and birth certificate, and keep in a separate place.
  • It is also a good idea to have your credit card information in a separate area. Keep your credit card in a safe place also, and know the 800 number for your credit card
  • These precautions are necessary in case you lose your travel documents and need to replace them. This may save a lot of precious time and lessen headaches for the American Embassy (and you!)
  • If you are traveling through the study abroad program or another College program, make sure that your program leaders know where you are and how you can be reached at all times!

Pack a First Aid Kit!

  • Anti-Diarrhea medication
  • Antihistamine
  • Anti-Motion sickness medication
  • Acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, or other medications or pain or fever
  • Mild laxative
  • Cough suppressant/expectorant
  • Throat lozenges
  • Antacid
  • Antifungal & antibacterial ointments or creams
  • 1% hydrocortisone cream
  • 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
  • Water purification tablets
  • Latex condoms, Plan B
  • Ear plugs
  • Personal prescription medications
  • First Aid quick reference guide
  • Address and phone numbers of area hospitals or clinics



Medical emergencies? Call campus police x5555


Contact Us

Wellesley College Health Service

Simpson Building

106 Central Street

Wellesley, MA 02481

Phone: 781.283.2810
Fax: 781.283.3693 *Please note that staff may not read or respond to messages for several days. E-mail is not a secure form of communication.  The confidentiality of private and sensitive information cannot be assured. E-mail is not appropriate for urgent or emergency situations.*

Need a Sick Swag Bag?  All the comfort you'll need is in this kit, made with love by Health Service. 

Order yours HERE and have it delivered to your mailbox!