Going on vacation is supposed to be about having a good time. So, thinking about the worst of things is not at the top of your mind. The truth, however, is, that you never really know what could go wrong. Each year millions of tourists report becoming sick or injured while out of town. Conditions ranging from food poisoning to sprained or broken limbs have occurred during vacation. If not prepared, your trip could go from bad to worse.
Imagine getting sick or injured while on vacation. You are miles away from your doctor and familiar medical facilities. What do you do? Who can you turn to? You do not want to spend your entire vacation under the weather. Going back home is not an option at the moment, and you really need medical attention. Instead of panicking, consider keeping these tips in mind:
Have Your Insurance Card on Hand
Unless you want to end up paying a hefty medical bill to be sure that you have packed your health insurance card. Most health insurance policies provide coverage across the country and, in some cases, abroad. So, keep this with you at all times. If you do not have health insurance, it is advisable to invest in traveler’s insurance to cover the costs in a medical emergency.
Check Coverage Before You Go
The moment you know where you are heading for vacation, contact your insurance provider. You want to find out where you can get medical attention from an in-network provider. Some major insurance agencies have websites or mobile apps you can reference to find nearby providers to visit while on vacation. This way, should something go wrong, you know exactly where to go in advance.
Bring Your Own Supplies
Some injuries or illnesses are minor in nature. A scrape or scratch while on a hiking trip, for example, can be treated with some ointment and a bandage. A headache or stomach ache can be remedied with pain medication. So, be sure to pack a first aid kit and basic medications along with any necessary prescriptions from your doctor.
Use an Online Doctor
Telemedicine is taking the medical industry by storm. Patients are able to visit the doctor remotely and receive consultations, diagnosis, treatments, and prescriptions online. If you cannot find an in-network provider nearby, hop online and visit an online doctor. They will ask a series of questions and assess you to determine the issue and the severity of your condition. Then, you can follow their advice or opt to get to a hospital or nearby doctor for further treatment.
Get to an Emergency Room
If all else fails or you are dealing with a serious medical emergency, the best way to get medical attention during your travels is to visit an emergency room. You can have the front desk receptionist at your hotel contact an ambulance or have someone on the trip with you take you to a nearby hospital. Just be sure you have the adequate paperwork to be treated.
Take Preventative Measures
The whole idea is to have a good time on your vacation. Though some illnesses and injuries cannot be avoided, you can reduce the likelihood of getting sick by taking preventative measures when planning your next trip. Make sure you go for a health screening prior to traveling, have all necessary vaccinations and shots updated, wear a health identification tag like a bracelet to inform others of conditions like diabetes and allergies, be mindful of the foods you eat especially when traveling abroad, wear protective gear when doing strenuous activities like hiking, wash your hands thoroughly before eating, and wear bug guard to protect against poisonous bites and related conditions.
Whether you are traveling domestically or abroad, no one wants motion sickness on a cruise, food poisoning while trying new cuisines, or some sort of injury while learning new activities. Yet, the fact remains that these things happen more often than you realize. The only way to safeguard yourself during your travels is to take preventative measures. If you do, however, end up needing medical attention while you are on vacation, use the advice provided above to get the fastest, most affordable, and reliable care you need.