WEDNESDAY, Aug. 3, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Proactive, prepared and protected. These are the keys to good health when traveling, experts say.

Before you leave on a trip, learn about your destination; see a doctor; and assess your health status, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends.

Have you had any recent illnesses, surgeries or injuries that make travel risky? Do you or your traveling companions have special health needs? They could include babies and small children, pregnant women, disabled people and people with weakened immune systems.

Plan for illnesses and injuries that might occur during your trip. This includes packing essential items and purchasing additional health insurance if your policy doesn't cover you while traveling. The CDC recommends leaving details of your plans with family or friends and checking in with them from time to time.

While traveling, take the following precautions:

  • Be careful about food and water.
  • Use insect repellent and sunscreen.
  • Limit alcohol consumption.
  • Don't drink and drive.
  • Wear a seatbelt.
  • Use protective gear when doing adventure activities.

It's also important to monitor your health after you return home. If you feel ill, tell your doctor that you have recently traveled, the CDC advises.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has health tips for international travelers.