Traveler’s Checklist: Protect Your Health While You Travel

Traveler’s Checklist: Protect Your Health While You Travel

Traveler’s Checklist: Protect Your Health While You Travel

Lee esto en EspañolVacation sounds good right about now. And whatever kind of vacation you like, there’s one thing that makes it go better – planning.

Planning helps your road trip skip the bumps in the road. Planning helps you avoid turbulence, even once your plane has landed.

A good first step as you plan your trip is to make sure you have health care that travels with you. Whether you’re taking a road trip or catching a plane, you don’t want sickness or injury to be part of your trip. Before you start to pack, take steps to be prepared. Double check that you have health insurance for where you're going, so you can get the help you need if something does happen.

Do Your Research

Don’t travel without access to your health plan information. Make sure you set up your Blue Access for MembersSM account before you pack your bags. You can access coverage information, look for providers in your network and more in your BAM account.

If you're traveling domestically, you can make a list of the in-network doctors and/or hospitals near where you will be staying. This will save you time and worry if you or one of your family members gets sick. And if you or a family member has a serious, chronic health issue, be sure to talk to your doctor before your trip. There may be additional issues to consider.

To find doctors and hospitals in your network, log in to BAM and go to Find Care. Or download our BCBSIL App to search while you’re traveling.

Bring Your Member ID Card 

Make sure you pack your member ID card. Bring along a photocopy in case you lose it. You will have to show your member ID card at the doctor's office, clinic or hospital if you need health care services. Many providers will allow you to show them a digital copy of your member ID card. You can access your digital ID card by logging into your BAM account or with the BCBSIL app.

Pack Your Meds and Copies of Your Prescriptions 

If you are taking prescription drugs, pack enough to last you the whole trip and extra in case of delays. The U.S. Department of State recommends   that you leave your drugs in their original, labeled container. Pack them in your carry-on bag if you are flying. Be sure to bring copies of your prescriptions.

Going Abroad?

See if Your Coverage Travels with You 
Check your benefits to see what coverage you have when you are away from home. You may want to consider getting additional coverage if you're traveling outside of the U.S. Learn more about international coverage options

Need Shots?
Talk to your doctor at least six weeks before your trip to allow time for any recommended or required vaccinations. Discuss your specific travel destinations and what shots you’ll need. Many take time to be effective. Some must be given in a series. While you’re there, make sure all your routine shots are up to date. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   has a list of recommended shots for children and adults.

Know Where You’re Traveling
To stay safe, do your research and heed local warnings. Before you leave, stay informed about travel conditions abroad by checking the CDC's Travel Health notices.   You’ll find up-to-date news and travel warnings about current health issues linked to specific destinations. These issues may spring from disease outbreaks, special events, natural disasters or other conditions that may affect travelers’ health and safety. 

Heading Home
As you plan your trip, make sure you know what will be required to come back to the States. Because of COVID-19, there are things you may have to do before you can get on a plane or leave the airport, from having your temperature taken to taking a quick COVID-19 test. And travel from some countries back to the U.S. may be banned because of contagious disease outbreaks, including COVID, measles, malaria and yellow fever. 

Sources: 2023 Childhood & Adult Immunization Schedules,   Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2023; Your Health Abroad,   U.S. Department of State, 2024

Originally published February 19, 2015; Revised 2017, 2020, 2022, 2023, 2024