For most of us, summertime means at least a little time to relax and get away from it all. But there's not much that puts a damper on a vacation faster than annoying bugs and insects. Here are some tips on how to help keep the pests away during your travels.


Before You Go

If you’re visiting a foreign country, it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with foreign insect threats well in advance of your trip. Doing so is as easy as checking the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website to learn what to watch out for and how to help protect yourself while abroad.

Pack Your Insect Repellent

Even if you won't be spending a huge amount of time outdoors on your vacation, you should pack some insect repellent. Once you get to where you’re going, it may be difficult to find products that are both effective and safe, especially outside the United States. And it’s important to note that only a few ingredients are scientifically proven to offer protection against problem insects. Look for long-lasting applications approved for human use by the CDC.

Last-Minute Additions

Still have some room in your suitcase? Consider bringing these items along as well.

  • Mosquito netting. This flexible, versatile mosquito barrier is especially helpful to have if you'll be camping or spending time out on the lake with rod and reel.
  • Food containers. If you're filling a cooler or bringing along your own snacks, pack some food containers (bags and bins) to store your leftovers. In fact, you might want to remove all your food items from their original packaging and secure them in resealable containers before hitting the road. Ants and roaches, in particular, are always on the lookout for cheap eats. Don't let your picnic basket or cabin pantry become a haven for hungry bugs.
  • Anti-itch cream or ointment. If you have been bitten, make sure you've equipped yourself with the over-the-counter medications you need for immediate relief. However, be sure to follow the label before using.
  • Luggage encasement system. If you're concerned about bringing bed bugs back home with you after a hotel or lodging stay, consider keeping your clothes packed in your luggage bag, covered by a luggage encasement system. And also consider keeping your luggage bag raised on a luggage stand.