Home of the Well Prepared Traveler Since 1982

New York, NY 212-230-1020
Washington, DC 202-466-8109

Frequently Asked Questions


What is a pre-travel health consultation?

The complete pre-travel consultation offered by Traveler’s Medical Service provides you with a personalized travel health risk profile and expert recommendations about vaccines and other measures to help you stay well during travel. During the pre-travel consultation, our travel health experts will review destination specific information with you and tailor vaccine and other recommendations, such as malaria prevention options, to your specific itinerary and health history. We take the time to address your questions, help you to make informed vaccine decisions, and provide you with the information you need to stay well on your trip.

By the completion of the pre-travel consultation, you will be appropriately vaccinated, educated and have a customized packet of information to refer to including an official vaccination record to keep with your travel documents.

  • Provide you with current information on destination specific disease outbreaks, health risks and safety concerns
  • Develop a personalized travel health risk profile including the appropriate health and safety measures based on your needs
  • Recommend, discuss and administer vaccinations
  • Discuss specific measures to help you avoid insect bites and reduce the risk of travelers’ diarrhea and other food and water borne illnesses
  • Prescribe medications to help prevent malaria (if applicable based on your itinerary details) and manage travelers’ diarrhea
  • Review safety issues such as rabies avoidance, road and pedestrian safety, the risk of blood-borne infections and how to access medical care during travel
  • Discuss specific risks and concerns related to age, health and medical issues. For example, children, pregnant or breastfeeding women and those with pre-existing medical conditions need special advice and preparation
  • Discuss the impact of environmental factors, such as altitude and air-pollution, motion sickness and jet lag and ways to manage them
  • Provide you with a personalized packet of valuable travel health and safety information and your official vaccination record (“yellow card”) to keep with your travel documents

Which vaccines do I need?

Your specific vaccine needs are determined by several factors including your vaccine history, pre-existing health conditions, itinerary details and the type of traveler you are. Helping you to determine the vaccinations and other protective health measures that are right for you, is what we do best. Our travel health experts will inform and educate you about the vaccines that are most appropriate for you. We will also ensure that you have other information to help you stay well during your trip.


Do I need a consultation with a travel health expert before getting my vaccines?

With limited exceptions, all travelers will need a consultation at some level, before we can administer any vaccinations. This time allows us to ensure that you will be getting the right vaccines and advice for your needs. We’re always pleased when travelers arrive with information and lists of vaccines from tour operators, employers, colleagues, friends or other sources; however, it is important that we go through the steps to make sure that these are the right vaccines for you. In many cases, you may not need all the vaccines you thought you did; in other cases, you may need additional information and vaccines to help you stay well while on the road. We hear every day from travelers that the consultation was extremely informative and valuable to them.


How soon should I make an appointment?

We encourage you to make an appointment at least 2-4 weeks before your departure date. Travelers going on extended trips, visiting mostly rural areas or those with pre-existing medical conditions, should have an appointment at least 6-8 weeks in advance.

IMPORTANT: Even if you are leaving for a trip on short notice, it’s not too late to get informed and prepared. Some important vaccines and prevention information offer value to you even at the last minute. It is much better to be prepared late than not at all! Make sure you that you know before you go. Contact our helpful staff to find out more about how we can help you to schedule a timely appointment.

What information should I bring to the appointment?

It is very important to have as much information about your itinerary as possible. This includes dates of travel; countries/regions to visit; purpose of the trip and proposed activities; accommodations etc. In addition, any available or known vaccination history will help us to make the most specific recommendations for your needs. We will also ask you about your pertinent health and medical history including medications and known allergies. All of this information will help us to make a very detailed travel health risk assessment and help to determine the most appropriate vaccines and other measures to help reduce your risks. When you arrive for your appointment, we will ask you to fill out a questionnaire which will be reviewed during your visit.


Will insurance cover the cost of the visit and vaccines?

Insurance coverage for travel medicine service varies and travel vaccines are usually not covered by insurance; therefore, we do not accept insurance at our practices. We accept VISA/MC, American Express and cash for payment. We will provide you with an itemized receipt that you may use to submit to your insurance or for other reimbursement purposes. We can also set up company accounts. Please contact us for details on this service.


Can you help prepare families, children and student travelers?

Traveler’s Medical Service is one of the few travel medicine practices that offers services for families, children and young students. Children and student travelers may be at higher risk for exposure to some diseases and conditions; therefore, it is essential for parents and young travelers to be well informed. Traveler’s Medical Service will focus on the travel related vaccines and specific health concerns of the trip; areas that pediatricians may not be able to assist with. We provide all travel vaccines for children; however, we do not offer routine pediatric vaccines. In many cases children and young students are up to date with their routine vaccines from their pediatrician. We can confirm vaccine status and work together with pediatricians as necessary. During the pre-travel consultation, older children and students planning to study or travel overseas, are active participants in discussions on travel health risks. Although they must have a parent or legal guardian present to consent for any vaccinations and prescriptions offered by Traveler’s Medical Service, we spend time to inform and educate youth and student travelers so they will have the information they need to help them stay well during their trip. We also offer special programs for student tour groups and a student discount. Please contact us for more information on our special services for families, youth and student travelers.