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If you’re preparing to travel in the next few months, you may need to have more health-related information on hand than usual, since some destinations continue to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
But there are other health documents that are extremely useful for you to have access to when you’re away from home, in case you become ill or have any sort of medical emergency.
“It’s always better to be prepared,” says Scott Keyes, founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights, an email subscription service for flight deals. “During your vacation, while you’re actually there, you want to enjoy it as much as possible.”
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Documentation, including insurance information, is easier to manage in the digital age thanks to email, websites and mobile apps, notes David O. Freedman, M.D., professor emeritus of infectious diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He recommends emailing all of your health information to yourself, as well as to a relative or friend — but also bringing paper copies, in case you’re in a situation where you can’t easily access the internet.
Here are six types of health information travelers may need, depending on their destination and medical condition.
1. COVID-19 vaccination card
While some U.S. cities have required proof of vaccination to participate in activities like indoor dining, those rules are rapidly being dropped as the recent COVID-19 surge abates. But many countries and the major cruise lines still require proof and/or a negative COVID-19 test. At least two cruise companies — Grand Circle Cruise Line and Regent Seven Seas Cruises — require passengers to show their original paper vaccination card