You’ve been planning your trip for months, maybe even years, but as your trip approaches be sure you don’t overlook scheduling a visit to a travel health clinic. Since certain vaccines might require more than one dose and all vaccines require up to several weeks before they become fully effective, visiting a doctor or travel clinic eight weeks ahead of any international trip is recommended. The risk of infectious diseases in industrialized countries like Japan, Australia, Canada or much of Western Europe is roughly the same as the United States. However, when traveling to other parts of the world — like Africa, South America, Asia, the Mediterranean, Mexico or tropical and sub-tropical locations — additional vaccines and preventative measures may be required. Providing enough time to plan, obtain and allow for those vaccines to work is essential. However, even if your trip is closer than eight weeks, you should still consult a travel clinic to make sure you are as prepared as possible. Also, since travel vaccines may not be covered by medical insurance, planning your clinic appointment well enough in advance will allow time to budget the necessary money to cover any out-of-pocket costs.