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 travel, so you can get the help you need if something does happen.

Do Your Research

Don’t travel without access to your health care information. Sign up for Blue Access for MembersSM (BAM)  before you pack your bags.

You can make a list of the in-network doctors and/or hospitals near where you will be staying and keep it handy. This will save you time and worry if you or one of your family members gets sick. To find doctors and hospitals in your network, use our online Provider Finder®. Log in to see your network providers. Or download our BCBSOK App so you can 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.

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 

Do you know if your benefits will cover you when you are away from home? You may have access to the Blue Cross Blue Shield BlueCard® program. This international program lets Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma (BCBSOK) members get health care services when traveling outside their service area. Members may also have access to doctors and hospitals in more than 200 countries and territories through the Global Core   program.* 

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. leaving site icon 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 ban because of contagious disease outbreaks, including COVID, measles, malaria and yellow fever. 

Sources: 2022 Childhood & Adult Immunization Schedules, leaving site icon CDC, 2022; Your Health Abroad, leaving site icon U.S. Department of State, 2020.
*The Blue Cross Blue Shield Global® Core program is not available for Medicaid, Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D plan members. HMO plan members can use the Blue Cross Blue Shield Global® Core program only for emergency or urgent care when traveling or away from home for less than 90 days.

Originally published August 17, 2015; Revised 2017, 2020, 2022