Precautions Before Traveling
Travel is the movement of humans between distant geographic locations. Travel can sometimes be done by car, bicycle, foot, plane, train, bus, boat or other mode, with or without cargo and can either be one way to another or round trip traveling. It is usually accompanied by activities like eating, sleeping and socializing. There are many ways by which people can travel around the world today, including air travel, sea travel, land transportation, trains, automobiles, boats and bikes. The method of travel does not necessarily have to involve travel in a vehicle, but can include using planes, trains and buses to get from one place to another. Travel within countries is also possible.
Based on the United Nations Statistics Division, the world’s total population was approximately over 365 billion people as of the year 2021. Based on these statistics, approximately 80 million people worldwide have to travel more frequently than once in a year to reach their destinations. There are many reasons as to why people travel, but the most popular are employment, business, pleasure, education, visits to friends and family, visiting tourist attractions and other public interests. Most of the world’s travelers face three common concerns related to their travel across national borders, including security issues, entry requirements at destinations and the cost of international travel.
Security issues faced by travelers range from security checkpoints to strict rules on immigration, quarantine facilities and screening of luggage at airports. In the United States, immigration requirements and screenings are among the most strenuous for travelers, and some locales have reported that public health officials have imposed quarantines for travelers to make travel to the area easier. Quarantines can vary widely, depending on the nature of the disease that has been identified, the proximity of the traveler’s point of origin and his/her level of care prior to traveling.
The Department of State advises all travelers to obtain a health declaration form before traveling, which is often called a passport for travelers. This form is a general outline of the personal details of the traveler, such as his date of birth and passport number. It is necessary for travelers to be in possession of a health declaration form when traveling outside of their home country. Travelers age 12 years and older who are eligible for student travel must complete and sign a consent form allowing the institution to review their health records for purposes of providing pre-existing medical conditions or treatment.
Travelers may also need to undergo a routine viral test to confirm if they have a fever or any other type of illness likely to cause an illness during travel. This viral test can be conducted two to ten days before departure. If travelers do not have a positive result within the first five days after travel, they should consult their physician for further advice. Travelers who test negative between the first week and the tenth week after travel are allowed to return to their home country. Travelers age 21 years and over who fail a viral test should not plan to travel to any country where the prevalence of the illness is unknown.
As a precaution, travelers should be aware of the dangers that can come from travelling to countries with weaker health care systems. Some travelers experience symptoms like urinary tract infection, dehydration, diarrhea, or stomachaches just hours after being away from the hotel. For this reason, travelers should be mindful of their diet and try to eat as healthy as possible. Travelers can increase their immunization levels by visiting the doctor before leaving on their trip and by remaining vigilant with regard to symptoms. Travelers should also be aware that contagious diseases carry the possibility of transferring to others, so they should be quarantined once they have returned home.