Travel is the motion of individuals between different, often far-flung geographical locations. Travel can be one way, such as around the globe or across continents, or can be round-trip or multiple-way. It may involve staying overnight in a hotel, traveling by air, sea or land, or driving a vehicle, as in the case of a road trip.
In 21st century travel, travelers are often required to comply with travel restrictions. These restrictions, which are sometimes referred to as entry requirements, come from various governmental agencies and organizations, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the United States Customs and Border Protection. Some of these requirements, such as obtaining a vaccination for measles, fever, hepatitis B and Lassa, are mandated by law. Others, such as those regarding travel within Specific Areas of the World (such as China, India and Pakistan), are advisory. Still others, such as those concerning quarantine, are not.
For example, a non-smoker who travels to a state that prohibit smoking, would most likely be asked to remove their belongings – even their smoking paraphernalia – and remain in their designated room, isolated from public conveniences. Quarantine laws vary in different countries and in the United States. However, the most common requirement is for travelers to submit to a visual inspection by a government representative before boarding a plane. Individuals who fail to follow this requirement may face fines or charges.
People who have recently traveled to or within a foreign country are encouraged to get tested for any types of diseases that they may have contracted while abroad. This is especially important for those traveling to third world or developing countries, where illness and infections can easily take hold without an individual showing up for routine checkups. If a traveler returns from these countries and displays symptoms of a communicable disease, such as cholera or typhoid, they must be quarantined until symptoms disappear. This is true for travelers who have gone for medical treatment but who fall sick shortly afterward.
Those who travel regularly to the United States are also encouraged to get regular flu vaccinations. The traveler who has had one or more doses of a flu vaccine is not obligated to report any bout of the virus to airlines or hospitals, but they are required to be up to date on their vaccinations. Anyone traveling to the United States who does not have proof of having received the required number of doses of a flu vaccine is considered a negative viral carrier. Such travelers may be subject to additional screening and restrictions at airports.
The bottom line is that the health of you and your family depend on you being up to date on routine immunizations and testing. If you are not vaccinated and come in contact with a negative carrier, your risk for catching the virus is increased. For this reason, it’s important to get tested if you think you might be un vaccinated. To protect yourself and your family, you should follow the recommendations of your doctor and avoid traveling to countries with weak public health care systems and low vaccination rates.