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The One Call You Should Make Before Traveling Abroad

It could save your life.

The recent headline-grabbing virus made travelers stop in their tracks, prompting many to cancel their trips to the tropics. While the Zika virus is mainly a concern for expectant mothers, it should be a reminder to all travelers that soon after booking that international itinerary they make a very important call: the travel clinic.

RELATED: Worried About Zika? Here’s How It Could Affect Your Travel Plans

How to Locate a Travel Clinic

For the best readily accessible information about what viruses are rampant where, travelers should peruse the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site, including through its listings of state health departments. Global travel clinics are also located through the International Society of Travel Medicine, which provide immunizations, counseling, and general pre-travel care information.

Stay Informed

It’s always wise to also stay abreast of the U.S. Department of State‘s travel warnings and security alerts, including disease outbreaks.

In the wake of a medical or catastrophic crisis, airlines, hotels, and cruise companies have been known to generously offer no-fault ticket cancellations. But not always. For best measures, travelers’ insurance is recommended, regardless of destination. Airlines offer trip insurance for a fraction of fare costs during the booking process, and hotels and car rentals are usually cancelable if reserving through normal channels.

We’re not doctors at SmarterTravel, so call your primary care physician for all your wellness needs whether traveling abroad or hiking the trails.

Editor’s Note: For up-to-date information, please check the CDC and WHO websites regularly, and directly contact airlines, hotels, cruise lines, and travel agents you have booked with if you are looking to rebook or get a refund or credit for pre-booked travel to the affected areas. We will update this article with more information as it becomes available.

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Patricia Magaña is a Senior Editor at SmarterTravel. Follow her on Instagram @PatiTravels and Twitter @PatiTravels.


By Patricia Magaña

Always on the lookout for value-oriented travel, Senior Editor Patricia Magaña has trekked throughout the States, Latin America, and Europe. Follow her on Instagram @PatiTravels.

Since joining the editorial crew in 2005, Magaña has pounced on incredible deals to Amsterdam, Madrid, and San Pedro Sula—each for less than $300. Her favorite travel experiences involve discovering street art while meandering a city, chatting up locals, and day drinking.

Her stories have appeared on USA Today, Huffington Post, Yahoo!, TripAdvisor, AirfareWatchdog, and other publications.

Email Patricia at