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Staying Healthy on the Road with Dr. Tammy Allen

Nothing can ruin a great trip faster than a medical emergency.

Tammy Allen has seen it firsthand. A physician, avid traveler and founder of TravelMeds2Go, she knows what causes sickness on the road — and how to prevent it. She joins this episode of the podcast to share how travelers and group leaders can prepare for medical issues and avert the disasters they can cause.

Dr. Tammy explains some of the most common travel-related ailments, tells us what travel leaders should do to prevent them and gives insight on when it’s time to call in reinforcements. Plus, we have news about cruise lines avoiding the Middle East; a Road Tip about group goodie bags; and a Hot Minute about protecting cost-conscious travelers.

Insights from Dr. Tammy Allen

On pre-trip preparation:

“Make sure you collect a pre-trip health questionnaire for all your participants. This would include their medical conditions, their allergies, the medications they’re taking, their emergency contacts. In an emergency, you don’t want to be trying to gather that information. And if you can, find out about the medical facilities available where you’re going.

“Also, take a first-aid kit tailored to the potential risks during your trip. You should have one for the group.”

On traveling with old medications:

“At some point you need to toss it and start from scratch. Anything that’s a liquid or an ointment, you need to be more careful with those, because over time, they break down. Anything that’s off color, smells funny or is a liquid instead of a gel – those things need to be discarded. Any pills that have changed color or broken up into pieces need to be discarded.

“I would say a year past the expiration date is probably ok, but after that you need to get rid of it.”

On when to seek help for a medical problem while traveling:

“If things are not getting better — if they’re getting worse instead of getting better — and any time you have severe pain, you need to be seen. If you feel dehydrated or very worn out, you need to be seen. Any time you have high fevers — if it’s 103, 104 — you need to be seen in someone’s clinic. Anytime you have persistent vomiting, difficulty breathing or chest pains, you absolutely need to be seen by a health care professional.

“I can’t stress enough the importance of intuition. If something doesn’t feel right, go see a doctor.”

Resources Mentioned in This Episode

Visit TravelMeds2GO online at

Follow TravelMeds2Go on Facebook and Instagram.

Connect with Dr. Tammy Allen on LinkedIn.

Subscribe to The Group Travel Minute newsletter here.

Key Moments From This Episode

1:17 — Travel News: Cruise Lines Avoiding the Middle East

2:49 — Road Tip: Group Travel Goodie Bags

8:24 — Group travel insights in your inbox

12:39 — How Tammy Allen found her way in travel and medicine

16:11 — The most common travel-related health issues

24:04 — Do people really catch colds on airplanes?

25:32 — Best practices for staying healthy on the road

27:58 — Medical considerations for group travel

34:39 — How long can you hold onto medications?

37:02 — Treating travel illnesses before they start

51:57 — Hot Minute: Protecting cost-conscious travelers

About the Podcast

Gather and Go with Brian Jewell is a tourism industry podcast that helps group travel leaders plan, promote and lead better trips. There are also tips and insights for destination marketers and others who support the tourism trade. Each episode reaches thousands of professional tour operators, travel agents and the volunteer group leaders they serve. The audience also includes destination museum leaders, church travel leaders and other tourism enthusiasts around the world. Each show includes an interview with a smart travel pro or an insightful person from outside tourism who’s expertise can help make travel businesses better. You’ll also hear travel news, road tips and more. New episodes are released about twice monthly.

You can find Gather and Go wherever your listen to podcasts or subscribe by email.

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