Do you really need to get travel vaccines for international trips?

In the US, it is often encouraged to get travel vaccines for almost all foreign destinations, especially when going to South America, Southeast Asia, or Africa. In reality, these travel vaccines are not entirely necessary. Here’s why:

First, the Bottom Line

It actually depends on what you will do and where you will go within your destination.


The Case for Yes to Travel Vaccines

There are two types of travelers who should get travel vaccines. 1) If you plan to volunteer in rural, underdeveloped areas, and 2) if you plan to rough it in unknown areas.


The Case for No to Travel Vaccines

Your doctor will almost always say that you need to get travel vaccines even if you will just spend time in major capitals or a beach resort area in Southeast Asia. They say you need it so they can earn from the hundreds of dollars you will spend for the vaccines.

In reality, travel shots are not absolutely necessary for most travelers.

If you plan to stay in major cities, sightsee as to tourist destinations, or simply lounge at your mid-range to luxury resort, travel shots are not necessary and an unnecessary expense.


Travel Tips from a Travel Expert Who Does Not Get Travel Vaccines

◦ Be a smart, mindful traveler

◦ Spend the money that you would have used on travel vaccines on travel insurance

◦ Know where not to go (as in not to the shady areas of a country)

◦ Bring vitamins and probiotics to stay generally healthy on your trip

◦ Sleep well (enjoy the hotel room!)


Disclaimer: This article is based on my travel experience and my opinions. If you feel you want to have that sense of security and spend for travel vaccines, go ahead!

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