(NewsUSA) – Marvin Mallon, 86, and his wife, Reva, know how
important it is to plan ahead before embarking on a long journey — especially when it comes to
During a road trip through the United States and Canada, Marvin Mallon needed regular hormone
injections to treat his prostate cancer. Thanks to his Kaiser Permanente physician, the Southern
California grandfather was able to receive his treatment during a stopover in Helena, Montana.
"I was miles away from my doctor, and Kaiser Permanente saw to it that I was taken care of," said Mallon.
"Older adults usually have several health concerns," said Jose Dryjanski, M.D., a travel medicine specialist at Kaiser Permanente in Southern California. "They should consult with their doctor or a travel clinic before going on a long trip. Being
prepared is the key to staying safe and healthy."
Dr. Dryjanski offers six basic health tips for a less stressful trip.
1. Get vaccinated. Learn what vaccines are needed. You may need shots to protect against
pneumonia, measles, meningitis, polio and other diseases. To develop immunity, vaccines need to be
given four to six weeks before your trip begins, so plan accordingly.
2. Remember to take your medication. Refill your prescriptions before you leave.
Bring a list of all your medications in case you lose them or need medical attention. Bring
important medicines in a carry-on bag. If you have diabetes,
check with your airline about travel restrictions regarding insulin, insulin syringes and blood
glucose testing supplies.
3. Drink bottled water, and avoid raw food. Stay hydrated. If you're traveling in a
developing country, drink bottled water and bottled juices only. Avoid ice, ice cream, soft cheeses
and raw vegetables. Bacteria found in these foods can cause diarrhea and vomiting.
4. Exercise often. Take stretch or walk breaks, especially if you're on a plane or
in a car. Sitting for long periods of time can cause vein and pulmonary clots.
5. Prevent falls and injuries. It's easy to fall while traveling. You can stumble on a
curb while sightseeing, or trip in your unfamiliar hotel room. Walk carefully, and make sure your
room has proper lighting and a clear path to the bathroom — free of telephone cords, bags and
6. Protect against mosquito bites and sun damage. Mosquito bites can transmit
diseases such as malaria. Wear clothing that covers your skin, and use insect repellant approved by
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Prevent sun damage by using sunscreen with a sun
protection factor of at least 30.
If you're traveling abroad, find out in advance whether your health plan covers you. Kaiser
Permanente members are covered for emergency care anywhere in the world. For more tips, visit share.kp.org/travel.
For questions or advice about a specific condition, talk to your physician.
August 6, 2014