Know Before You Go: Essential Vaccines and Health Checks for Exotic Destinations

Know Before You Go: Essential Vaccines and Health Checks for Exotic Destinations
Vanesa Lucero
Vanesa Lucero
October 8th 2023

Hey, fearless wanderers!

As we dash off to explore the hidden nooks and crannies of our vast world, our health should never take the back seat. Exotic destinations often come with their own unique health concerns, and the best way to ensure a hiccup-free adventure is by being prepared.

Today, we’re diving into the essential vaccines and health checks you’ll want to tick off your list before jetting off.

1. South America and Africa: Yellow Fever

Both continents have countries where Yellow Fever is prevalent. This nasty mosquito-borne disease can be severe and even fatal. Fortunately, there’s a vaccine that provides lifelong protection for most travelers.

Pro-tip: Some countries require proof of vaccination upon entry, so be sure to keep your International Certificate of Vaccination (the ‘yellow card’) handy!

2. Asia: Typhoid and Hepatitis A

Street food in Asia is divine, but it can sometimes be dicey. Both typhoid and Hepatitis A are spread through contaminated food and water. Get the shots, and you can savor those street-side dumplings with a little more peace of mind.

3. Sub-Saharan Africa: Meningococcal Meningitis

The “meningitis belt” in Africa is no joke. If you’re planning to explore this region, especially during the dry season, a vaccine against meningococcal meningitis is a must.

4. Indian Subcontinent: Japanese Encephalitis

This mosquito-borne disease is prevalent in rural farming areas. If your journey includes spending extended time outside in regions like India, Nepal, or Sri Lanka, it’s worth considering this vaccine.

5. Worldwide: Hepatitis B

From Asia to Africa and beyond, Hepatitis B is found all over. The disease spreads through contact with the blood and other bodily fluids. Whether you’re getting a tattoo, piercing, or even a medical procedure overseas, this vaccine is an excellent shield to have.

Health Checks to Consider:

a. General Health Examination

Before any major trip, it’s a good idea to have a general check-up with your doctor. They can provide guidance tailored to your health history and the specifics of your upcoming journey.

b. Dental Check-up

Trust me on this one—dealing with a toothache while trying to navigate a foreign city is NOT fun. A quick visit to your dentist can prevent unexpected pain and complications.

c. Eye Examination

If you wear glasses or contact lenses, having an up-to-date prescription is crucial. Maybe even pack an extra pair of glasses just in case!

d. Prescription Medications

Ensure you have enough of your regular medications to last the duration of your trip. Also, carry a copy of your prescriptions and a note from your doctor explaining their necessity, especially for controlled substances.

And Always Remember:

Travel insurance is your best friend! Make sure your policy covers potential medical expenses in the destinations you’re visiting. And always keep local emergency numbers and the location of the nearest embassy or consulate on hand.


In conclusion, venturing into the unknown and discovering untouched beauty is what travel is all about. But, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. By taking care of these health checks and vaccines, you ensure that the stories you come back with are only about the stunning vistas, rich cultures, and delicious cuisines—and not an unexpected hospital detour!

Take care, stay healthy, and let the world continue to amaze you, adventurers!

Vanesa Lucero
Vanesa Lucero
Hey there, fellow adventurers! I'm Vanesa, your enthusiastic explorer and storyteller extraordinaire. Join me as we uncover hidden treasures, immerse ourselves in vibrant cultures, and embark on wild adventures across the globe. Let's conquer bucket lists, embrace the unknown, and make unforgettable memories together. Welcome to my travel wonderland!