What shots to get before traveling overseas

In this report, I discuss what shots to get before traveling overseas in order to protect myself from travelers’ diseases. 

Today I received an email from Richard asking me to talk about common diseases travelers can get in developing countries and whether you can get shots to prevent them before flying away. This is such a great question. That is why I keep telling you I have the best travel community in the world.

I have lived in and visited 67 countries since leaving the United States in 2007. I have over 100 reports on VagabondBuddha.com that teach people the best places to retire cheap in paradise overseas. I will show you pictures of some of my favorite places as I talk about travelers’ diseases. Ring the bell when you subscribe so you will hear me answer other great questions from this community.

Many of the countries I have visited and that I would enjoy retiring on a limited budget are sometimes called developing countries. So Richard’s email reminded me to share with all of you, that there are some funky weird diseases around the world that you need protection from.

What shots to get before traveling overseas

This video will share with you how to avoid these funky weird travelers’ diseases. One of the most important things you can do before you leave your home country is to find out what travelers’ diseases you need to worry about depending on what part of the world you will be visiting or retiring.

If you are already living in a developing country, you should visit a local doctor and make sure you are up to date on all of your shots for diseases you may not be familiar with.

After I discuss how to get information about diseases near you, I will discuss whether or not I have gotten all of the shots the CDC suggests. I will also talk about how to get the shots for as much as 80% off US prices. I also want to talk about whether you need these shots to board your flight or can you wait until you land in paradise.

Before I left the United States in 2007, I went to the travel clinic in my city and they told me that since I was moving to India for 2 years, I needed to get certain shots to avoid common diseases in India that are not so common in my home country. They recommended around 9 different shots back in 2007.

Finding Shots Recommended for Your Destination Countries

The shots they recommend will vary based on where you will be going. They also change the recommendations over time. So I suggest you get the most up-to-date information in order to avoid one of these weird diseases.

One of the easiest ways to find out is to type the following sentence into Google for each of the countries you intend to visit or live in over the next few years.

Let us assume you are going to the Philippines, but you also plan to visit Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand while you are in SE Asia over the next 3-5 years. You would type the following four sentences into Google and get the names of the suggested shots for the places you intend to visit. Don’t take notes as you listen. I will provide a link to my webpage with all of this at the end of this video.

CDC Recommendations for Each Country

On the day I did this search, Google returned the following links for the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia, based on searching on the following sentences:

  1. CDC what shots should I get before moving to the Philippines?
  2. CDC what shots should I get before moving to Vietnam?
  3. CDC what shots should I get before moving to Thailand?
  4. CDC what shots should I get before moving to Cambodia?

If you clicked the CDC link for Cambodia on the day I wrote this report, it would take you to this page at the CDC.

On the right of the above page, you will see a red arrow that points to vaccines and medicines. If you click that link you will come to this page that suggests vaccines and medicines for Cambodia

Make sure to read the entire page so you understand the risks and ways you may be able to reduce the chance of catching diseases prevalent in whatever countries you are interested in visiting or retiring to.

But just for conversation’s sake, for Cambodia, the CDC is recommending shots for Chickenpox (Varicella), Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis, Flu (influenza), Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR), Polio, Shingles, Hep A, Hep B, Measles, Rabies, Typhoid, and Japanese Encephalitis.

They are also recommending taking Malaria medicine with you in some cases depending upon where you will live. They also warn you of several other diseases that have no vaccines by telling you what behaviors to avoid to reduce the chance of getting them. I didn’t take the Malaria advice since the incidence was low when in the city I lived. But I do have a report I suggest you watch called, Top 11 Tips to Stop Dengue and Malaria.

When I moved to India in 2007, I don’t know whether or not the CDC had published this sort of information online at the time, but they do now. So, in 2007, I went to the travel clinic in my city and got the shots they recommended for India at the time.

Finding Travel Clinic Near You

If you want to find a travel clinic in your city, try Googling, “Travel Clinic in Your City Name.” If nothing comes up, try larger cities within a few hours drive for you.

Once you have the information about vaccines and other prevention strategies, then you can decide what precautions you want to take and what vaccines you want to take. Many of these vaccines they are recommending you may have already taken in the past. Or you may have taken them so long ago that you need to refresh them soon.

Once you know the names of the vaccines and diseases, you can drill down a little deeper on such things as, where are they prevalent in the country, what would it cost to get the shoots in your home country versus getting them in a cheaper country upon arrival, and what recommendations you might be comfortable not taking.

Do You Get All the Shots Recommended

When I was moving to India in 2007, I was a little naive. So I asked what it would cost to get everything done. I honestly don’t remember what the cost was. But it was way, way, way more than I wanted to pay. So I did a little research online in 2007 and I found out that I would be comfortable not doing everything they recommended, right away at least.

I also learned that some of the vaccines had to be spread out over several months and I would be leaving for India in a few weeks. So I emailed a few people and found out that I could get second and third doses for some of these vaccines once I got to India. I didn’t need to get all of them before flying to India.

Save $$–Getting Some Shots at Destination Countries

I also learned that the cost for the shots in India was as much as 80% cheaper for the same vaccines. So, I decided to get 6 of the shots before flying to India, and then just have a doctor in India give me the other 8 or so shots.

Another example of this is when Qiang and I flew to Colombia from Mexico. We found out she needed to get a Yellow Fever shot for Colombia. I already had one. But the doctors in Mexico wanted to charge her $200 USD for her Yellow Fever Vaccine. But Qiang hunted around and found out that she could get her Yellow Fever shot in Colombia at the airport when we landed–FOR FREE!

Long story short, I eventually got everything the CDC recommended but I save a bucket of money by getting the major portion of it after I arrived in India.

There is another simple truth that not many western doctors will admit to you. They may not know every single weird disease that pops up in some remote area in a foreign country. It would not be unusual for only a local doctor in that remote area to be familiar with that disease.

So one of the final steps you could take when you are in an area long-term is to speak to a local qualified specialist about diseases that might be common where you live that is not on the CDC vaccination list.

Are Any Shots Mandatory Before You Leave Your Home Country

That brings up a very important question. What shots are mandatory before you fly to a foreign country?

Now, I am going to answer this question by telling you about my own experience. But I can’t guarantee that you will have the same experience I did. Okay, here you go!

After visiting 67 countries, over a period of 15 years, I have never once been asked to prove I have received a vaccine of any kind, that I can remember, until this year. Seven of the none countries I have visited since COVID started have asked me for written proof that I have been vaccinated. That is the only time I needed proof of a vaccine to either board a flight or clear immigration.

So, if the past is any indication of whether or not you need to prove you are vaccinated with any of the CDC recommendations, it is possible you will only be asked for your COVID vaccination but not any other.

Nevertheless, I was vaccinated by everything the CDC suggested within a year of arriving in India.

Because nobody has ever asked me for proof of vaccines before COVID, I haven’t paid much attention to it over the last 10 years. It was only Richard’s email that made me pull out my vaccination card for India to see how many vaccines I got in 2007.

The only other time I looked at my card is when Qiang mentioned Yellow Fever vaccinations were mandatory in 2018 when we entered Colombia, Central America. At that time I checked, and I already had it in my vaccination card.

But unsurprisingly, neither of us remember being asked for proof of our Yellow Fever vaccine when we boarded our flight to Colombia or when we landed in Colombia to clear immigration. In fact, we know it could not have been required because they offered Qiang a free vaccination at the airport in Colombia (after we cleared customs) and they never asked for my vaccine card.

I have probably forgotten something here so feel free to ask questions in the comments. If I don’t know the answer it is possible one of my highly traveled listeners will know the answer.

Thanks for reviewing my content “What shots to get before traveling overseas.”  Just click the link in the notes below this video to get this content in writing. And while you are there, make sure to get a free copy of my eBook, “How I Fired My Boss and Traveled the World for 15+ Years.”

This is Dan of Vagabond Awake, the Youtube Channel for Vagabond Buddha.com. The world is you home, what time will you be home for dinner?