5 Simple Steps to Promote Safe Travels Abroad

Traveling to developing areas of the world this summer, studying abroad next semester or considering a volunteer position in another county over break? Awesome!


Image http://i2mag.com/how-to-quickly-and-cheaply-backpack-across-europe/

Start making preparations now to protect your health while you are away. If you are wondering how to prepare for your trip, Campus Health Services (CHS) International Travel Clinic is here to help! Follow the 5 simple steps below to get started.

Step 1: Visit the CHS International Travel Clinic Website here. The CHS International Travel Clinic website offers educational materials about maintaining health while traveling outside of the US. Some of the topics covered on the website include:

  • Drinking Water
  • Sanitation
  • Insect-borne Disease
  • Driving Conditions
  • Personal Security
  • Immunizations
  • Diarrhea
  • Food Borne Illness
  • Altitude Illness
  • Jet Lag
  • Malaria
  • Typhoid Fever
  • Heat Stroke
  • Yellow Fever
  • Japanese Encephalitis
  • Rabies
  • Insect Repellents
  • Sunscreen

Step 2: Download the Travel Questionnaire. You can visit the CHS Travel Clinic website or click here to access the questionnaire. With the information on the questionnaire, CHS staff can address topics specific to your destination, no matter where you are traveling. You will receive individualized recommendations to help you prepare for a safe and healthy trip.


Image: http://www.neohealth.com.hk/en/images/travel-medicine.jpg

Complete, sign and return the questionnaire by noon Friday to be scheduled for a travel clinic the next week. This will allow CHS staff time to prepare destination specific recommendations. Be sure to plan ahead! Clinics fill up quickly in the weeks before spring break and at the end of the semester.

Step 3: Sign up for a Group International Travel Clinic class. Once CHS receives your questionnaire, reserve your spot by calling 919-966-6573 between 8:00am and 4:30pm M-F. Ideally you would want to attend a travel class several months before your trip. Class times during the spring semester include:

Wednesdays from 12:30-1:30pm & Thursdays from 2:00-3:00pm

If traveling with a group, we suggest attending the class together to make sure everyone is on the same page and ready to go. If you are unavailable during these class times, individual sessions can be scheduled – call 919-966-6573 for more info.

Step 4: Attend the Group International Travel Clinic class. You may not want to think about more class time prior to an exciting trip but we think it’s worth the time! This class offers an informal setting to talk with CHS medical staff and fellow travelers about your preparations. It is a great opportunity to make sure you haven’t forgotten something important on your travel checklist. Allow 2 hours when you attend the class because any immunizations needed for your trip can be given after the classroom portion is complete. If you can’t stay that long, you can schedule a separate appointment just for travel immunizations.

NOTE: There is a $50 fee for the class as well as a $25 “no-show” fee if you do not attend your scheduled class time or reschedule.

The travel clinic class covers a broad range of topics relating to points across the globe that might be outside of your destination. You might think this is strange but it is done for a specific reason. If traveling again even to a different destination, you will not retake the classroom portion of the clinic. CHS will provide recommendations and prescriptions for subsequent trips as long as you are still an eligible member of the UNC community for a reduced price of only $20. Just fill out a questionnaire for your new itinerary, turn it in and wait for the call that your travel packet is ready to pick up. This is a great deal!

Step 5: Fill and pick up your travel prescriptions at the CHS pharmacy. At the class, you will receive prescriptions for medications and vaccination recommendations based on your itinerary. If your prescription insurance information was available, these prescriptions have been filled downstairs in the CHS pharmacy. If not, bring the prescriptions down to the pharmacy and the staff will get them ready.


The CHS pharmacists are very experienced with the medications and immunizations needed for travel across the globe. You will have a chance to meet briefly with the pharmacist to make sure your anti-malarial quantities are correct and to ask any other burning questions you might have. NOTE: There may be co-pays for your travel medications based on your prescription insurance. Be sure to visit the Healthy Heels Shoppe in the basement of CHS next to the pharmacy! They carry most items recommended in the Travel Clinic class and other items you may want to consider for your travel. You might be surprised by what you can find so come see us!

Check out the items typically stocked here in the Healthy Heels Shoppe!


After completing these 5 simple steps, you will be ready to enjoy your trip. We hope you have a great time wherever your travels are taking you and look forward to seeing you back on campus safe and sound!



Image: http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/85/88/33/858833d63a85af9907daf7e2f7ac073b.jpg

Ready, Set… GO[traveling]!

While I wouldn’t consider myself a travel guru, or even a “seasoned” or overly knowledgeable traveler, but I’ve hopped my fair share of flights, and I think my current summer home of Mexico gives me a bit of creditability (Maybe?).

So, in the spirit of summer freedom, here are some of the travel tips I’ve gleaned from my forays:

If you’re going far, and need a flight Kayak.com rocks. I think I’ve used it to book every flight I’ve taken in the past two years (and trust me this is a substantial number). I like Kayak for several reasons; 1) It scans and gives you quotes from many discount sites, including Priceline amongst others. 2) It also includes a wide variety of airlines both domestically and internationally.  3) It also allows you to log-in directly with your Facebook account, to set up preferences (like home airport—yea RDU!) and finally 4) You can set price alerts (here’s hoping my current alert on Boston goes down) and you can even elect to get weekly updates on the cheapest trips for your home airport (interested in going to Milwaukee? That always seems to be a steal.) Trust me it’s handy. However, kayak is not all-inclusive, and before booking checking other sites such as AAA.com, and Southwest Airlines (which recently removed themselves from all other flight search engines) is always wise. Know of other great sites? As I said, I’m no guru… Share! Please! Continue reading

The Geography of Bliss

Here at CWS we’re all about wellness, mental wellness, physical wellness the whole she-bang. I think that’s why after reading “Geography of Bliss” I knew I needed to share it.  I mean bliss? That’s a pretty darn good mental state to be in! (And the book is funny to boot!)

I didn’t go searching for the “Geography of Bliss” it was a book-store-stumble, a definite judge a book  by its cover moment (literally). I’m not sure if it was the book’s whimsical cover design (complete with paper airplane), the fact that the biggest word is BLISS (something I imagine we’d all like to find) or just because it’s blue (and well, I like blue), regardless; if the cover wasn’t interesting enough the tag line had intrigued me “One grumps search for the happiest places in the world.” Continue reading