Travel is unpredictable, which is, in part, why we love it so much. If you’re a travel enthusiast, you know the risk of heading to new destinations is often well worth the reward. But sometimes, that risk gets the best of us. It can come in the form of a sprained ankle while hiking in the Himalayas, a bout of diarrhea in Mexico (known as Montezuma’s Revenge)[KQ1] , a fever on a cruise ship in the Caribbean or a number of other mishaps.
Being away from home can add a lot of stress and fear to injuries or illnesses while traveling. You’re disconnected from the immediate help of family and friends, and don’t have access to doctors you trust most. However, being prepared for a bout of sickness or an injury while traveling can alleviate much of the stress associated with these mishaps.
This guide — of what to do if you are injured while traveling — can help you be better prepared for unexpected incidents and enjoy a more stress-free escape wherever your travels take you.
Do Your Research
A few minutes of research in advance of your getaway can help put your mind at ease and alleviate stress associated with illness and injury. Be aware of the nearest medical facility to the place you’ll be staying. If you’ll be traveling to multiple destinations, keep a list of the medical facilities at each locale. The International Society of Travel Medicine offers a directory of medical professionals in more than 50 countries with an expertise in travel medicine. The Joint Commission International website also offers a selection of accredited health care facilities in a long list of destinations.
Check with your hotel to see if they have an English-speaking doctor in case of emergency, and know how to access emergency services in each of your destinations. Be sure these numbers are always available on paper and in your phone.
Understand Your Insurance
Health insurance policies vary greatly, and many will not provide coverage in all cases while traveling. Be sure you thoroughly understand your policy before venturing outside of the United States and keep a copy of your policy on hand so others can view the coverage, if needed. Even if you’re not leaving the country, it pays to check with your insurance provider to see if you’re covered should you experience an illness or accident while traveling. Make sure that you have the kind of coverage that you will need for any different emergencies that you could encounter. If you know you have had eye issues in the past, for example, make sure that trips to the Calgary optometrist are included in your coverage when you travel
Travel medical insurance is always a smart purchase. There are countless overseas travel insurance companies available, and many of them are budget-friendly with 24/7 assistance. The peace of mind of knowing you’re covered in the case of an emergency is worth the cost alone.
Know When Immediate Help Is Needed
You may not want to visit an unfamiliar doctor in an unfamiliar city or country, but sometimes it’s a necessity. The following are some instances in which you should seek immediate medical attention while traveling.
- You’ve experienced a scratch or bite from an animal, such as a rodent, bird or reptile.
- You’re experiencing a fever of more than 102 degrees Fahrenheit accompanied by diarrhea or vomiting for more than two days.
- You’ve experienced a physical attack of any kind.
- You’ve been in a car crash. Medical attention should be sought even if you feel OK after an accident in a vehicle.
all try to avoid illness and injury when traveling, but unfortunately,
sometimes an accident occurs. Keep the above tips in mind before your next
travel adventure and enjoy the peace of mind that always comes with being
Author bio: Donald J. Nolan is a nationally acclaimed lawyer and founder of Nolan Law Group, which has become one of the nation’s most prestigious and well-recognized plaintiff firms. In the area of aviation law, Nolan has represented the rights of victims and families in air disasters around the world. His work has led to the redesign of several safety systems and defective components of major commercial and general aviation aircraft.