Smart Travelers Advice

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

  • 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!
  • 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 sleep, rest periods, and maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet to keep immune system strong.


Preventing and Handling Emergencies

  • If you find yourself in a potentially bad situation, try to walk or run away. If you cannot, try to seek assistance or distract attention to yourself. 
  • Know how to say ‘help’ in the local language, or try another word such as ‘fire’ in order to attract attention. 
  • Familiarize yourself with the local telephone system and emergency number.
  • Call the Wellesley College Assistance Abroad Program for assistance with medical, travel and security issues.
  • Keep name and phone # of nearby clinic and hospital in your area in bag AND in phone. for more info.
  • Notify your local on-site contact. 
  • Provide your family (and any others who may need to know) with emergency contact information. Keep them informed of your travel plans. 
  • Travel with a Buddy and always have an emergency plan – e.g., letting someone know where you are at all times; arranging to call a specific person in an emergency; having a pre-determined rendezvous point when traveling with friends in case of separation. 
  • If an emergency, politically volatile situation, or natural disaster occurs where you are traveling, be sure to contact a friend or family member as soon as possible to let them know whether or not you are safe. 
  • In an emergency, you can also call the Citizens Emergency Center in the U.S. 202.647.5255.

Don’t take any unknown drugs or excessive alcohol….stay in control to stay safe!  Make good choices, watch out for each other!!