Definition and Overview
Pre-travel follow-up is an appointment with a doctor who specializes in travel-related diseases and conditions after the first consultation.
As travel methods and world economy have improved over the years, more and more people now have the opportunity to step out of their domestic domains and explore other places for work, leisure, and other reasons. However, traveling also has a number of risks, including the increased possibility of contracting a disease.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), travel medicine has become important in fighting diseases that are prevalent around the world or in a particular region such as the tropics. These diseases pose a significant risk to the travelers. Travel medicine covers the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases that may be low risk in terms of exposure but can be potentially life threatening for travelers.
Pre-travel follow-up may also center on the perceived risk of the traveler. This means that the risks are low, but the patient believes the risks are high. This can be a potential problem since it can cause a high level of worry or anxiety. Lastly, it can focus on diseases that may be a potential health risk due to ease of transmission. An example is the recent Ebola outbreak, where the virus has spread among people through contact with bodily fluids.
Pre-travel follow-up can be conducted by a general physician, although it is better if the person approaches a doctor who specializes in travel medicine.
Who Should Undergo and Expected Results
A person who is planning to travel may be required to go through a follow-up if:
He needs multiple shots of vaccine – Immunization through vaccination is one of the effective ways to prevent the disease risk. So far, there are available vaccines against mumps, hepatitis, polio, tetanus, diphtheria, and rabies. Some of the vaccines, however, may have to be administered at different times.
The person develops complications due to vaccines – Vaccine complications are actually rare, but the effects can be adverse such as anaphylaxis or severe allergic reaction. A follow-up is performed when the doctor wants to assess the risk or degree of complication of the vaccine.
There is new information about the destination – Any new data that may affect the traveler’s health should be discussed during pre-travel. A follow-up is the time to assess this new information, review the previous travel records and recommendations, and determine whether the traveler is still fit to go or not.
The patient needs more information about safe health travel – A traveler may approach a doctor even if he has received clearance for travel if he requires more guidelines, suggestions, or information on how he can take best care of his health.
The patient has a preexisting condition that can affect his travel – A follow-up can help assess whether the patient can travel despite his condition or whether there is a need to update his medications and treatment to make him fit for traveling.
The patient has been denied to travel – A patient may request for a follow-up consultation following the doctor’s decision to not give him clearance. There are many reasons why a person may not be permitted to travel, and these will be evaluated in succeeding appointments.
How Does the Procedure Work?
A person who wishes to travel needs to see his doctor first even if he does not have a serious medical condition. This is to:
- Assess the general risks of traveling, especially to a particular destination
- Help the traveler deal with minor medical conditions
- Minimize the risk of exposure
During the follow-up, the doctor may perform the following steps:
Assess the capability of the patient to travel – The doctor will take into account the risk of exposure, age, genetics, environment, and the patient’s lifestyle, as well as his medical and family history. This may be carried out by answering pre-travel questionnaires, reviewing of previous medical records, and conducting health exams.
Administer vaccines to significantly minimize the risk of exposure – The vaccines administered depend on age, risk-related disease, and previously administered vaccines. It should be noted, however, that health experts strongly recommend updating vaccines even if there is no plan to travel.
Prepare the traveler – Aside from vaccination, those with preexisting conditions may be oriented on what to bring and how to seek help as well as provided with helpful first-aid treatments to increase the chances of survival when traveling.
A follow-up may be conducted at least once and a few days or a week after the initial consultation. Not all travel-related consultations need a follow-up.
Possible Risks and Complications
Some travelers may not be able to take advantage of a follow-up for numerous reasons including lack of time. Motivating travelers to go through the necessary pre-travel doctor’s visits is a collaborative effort that includes both the health agencies and health providers.
- Basnyat B, Ericsson CD. Travel medicine. In: Auerbach PS, ed. Wilderness Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2011:chap 84.
What is Pre-Travel Follow-Up: Overview, Benefits, and Expected Results
Planning a trip can be an exciting experience filled with anticipation and adventure. However, in the midst of organizing flights, accommodations, and activities, many travelers overlook an important step – pre-travel follow-up. In this article, we will explore what pre-travel follow-up is, its benefits, and the expected results it can bring.
What is Pre-Travel Follow-Up?
Pre-travel follow-up refers to the process of contacting travelers before their departure to ensure all necessary preparations have been made and to provide any additional information or support. This communication can take different forms, such as email, phone calls, or even personalized notifications through travel planning platforms or applications.
Travel agencies, tour operators, and even hotels can undertake pre-travel follow-up to enhance the overall travel experience and ensure smooth journeys for their customers. By reaching out to travelers prior to their departure, they can address any concerns, answer questions, provide reminders, and offer assistance where needed.
Benefits of Pre-Travel Follow-Up
Implementing pre-travel follow-up in your travel planning process can yield several benefits for both travelers and the travel service providers.
1. Enhanced Customer Experience
Pre-travel follow-up allows travel service providers to proactively engage with their customers and provide personalized support. By showing genuine care and addressing their specific needs, travelers feel valued and are more likely to have a positive experience throughout their journey.
2. Increased Customer Satisfaction
By ensuring all necessary arrangements are in place and addressing any concerns or questions, pre-travel follow-up minimizes the chances of unexpected issues and inconveniences during the trip. This proactive approach leads to higher customer satisfaction and can result in repeat business and positive word-of-mouth recommendations.
3. Trip Customization
Travel service providers can use pre-travel follow-up as an opportunity to gather additional information about the travelers’ preferences, interests, and special requests. This allows them to tailor the trip to individual needs, providing a more personalized and memorable experience.
4. Reassurance and Peace of Mind
Traveling can often be stressful, especially if it’s to an unfamiliar destination or involves complex itineraries. Pre-travel follow-up reassures travelers that their plans are in order, their questions have been answered, and they have the support they need. This peace of mind can significantly reduce travel-related stress and enhance the overall enjoyment of the trip.
5. Opportunity for Upselling
During pre-travel follow-up, travel service providers can inform travelers about additional services, upgrades, or unique experiences that they may be interested in. This presents an opportunity for upselling, benefitting both the traveler, who gains access to enhanced services, and the service provider, who increases revenue.
Expected Results of Pre-Travel Follow-Up
The primary objective of pre-travel follow-up is to ensure a seamless and delightful travel experience for customers. By implementing effective pre-travel follow-up strategies, service providers can expect to see the following results:
1. Increased Customer Loyalty
When travelers receive personalized attention and support before their trip, they are more likely to develop a sense of loyalty towards the travel service provider. This can lead to repeat bookings and long-term relationships.
2. Positive Online Reviews and Recommendations
Satisfied travelers are more inclined to share their positive experiences online through reviews and recommendations on social media platforms, review websites, and travel forums. This user-generated content can significantly impact the reputation and visibility of the travel service provider.
3. Minimized Customer Complaints
By addressing concerns and potential issues in advance, pre-travel follow-up reduces the likelihood of customer complaints during or after the trip. Promptly resolving any pre-travel concerns also prevents negative reviews or feedback that could damage the reputation of the service provider.
4. Improved Operational Efficiency
Pre-travel follow-up allows travel service providers to identify any gaps in their processes and address them proactively. By streamlining operations and addressing potential issues beforehand, they can enhance operational efficiency, reducing the chances of last-minute delays, reservations mix-ups, or other problems.
5. Increased Revenue Generation
Effective pre-travel follow-up can contribute to increased revenue generation through upselling opportunities and enhanced customer satisfaction. By offering additional services, upgrades, or unique experiences to travelers, service providers can boost their average transaction value and overall revenue.
Pre-travel follow-up is an essential step in the travel planning process that is often overlooked. By reaching out to travelers before their departure, travel service providers can enhance the overall customer experience, increase satisfaction, and achieve better results. Implementing effective pre-travel follow-up strategies can lead to increased customer loyalty, positive online reviews, minimized complaints, improved operational efficiency, and ultimately, higher revenue generation. Don’t underestimate the power of pre-travel follow-up – it can make a world of difference in creating memorable and stress-free travel experiences.