The worst thing you can experience when you are travelling around is an injury. It can put a real downer on your trip and it could mean you spend a lot of time in hospital during your travels. It can be scary to become ill or injured in a foreign country, which is why you need to take those steps to make sure you are prepared if it ever does happen to you.
1. Medical Travel Insurance
If you are going to be traveling often, you need to start thinking about taking out medical insurance for abroad. Think about what would happen if you found yourself in a foreign hospital. How would you pay for your care? How would you get home? These are exactly the things which insurance can help you with.
Although regular health insurance will protect you up to a certain capacity when you are overseas, you need to make sure it covers the things you really need when you are away. You will want it to cover healthcare as well as making sure they help you find a doctor or a translator in times of emergency.
If you are going to be participating in extreme activities or you will be over in another place for more than a week or two, it is only right to make sure that you are fully covered. It will give you the peace of mind as you travel to know that if you do get hurt, you won’t need to frantically try and find a doctor to help you, because you can simply call your insurer and they will provide assistance to you.
2. Know When to Get Help
There are of course certain scenarios where you know that you will need to call for help. These will include being in a car accident, breaking a bone etc… however there are also a lot of situations where you may be unsure whether you need help or not. It is always best to air on the side of caution when you are unsure, it is better for you to ask for help and it be nothing serious than not ask for help and suffer. These are some of the situations where you will want to ask for help if you are unsure:
– when you have a temperature of 103° F or above
– when you have vomiting which lasts over 2 days
– when you become sick in a country with known diseases like malaria
– when you’ve been bitten, scratched by animals or you’ve cut yourself on something sharp
– when you hurt an arm or leg until it swells up and feels as if it’s sprained. It could be broken so make sure you check it out
3. Know How to Get Help
Make sure first of all that you pack some essentials with you in case of an emergency, you’ll want to get an amphibious tourniquet for wounds, bandages, antibiotic cream, water and wipes. This will mean you can patch yourself up a little and then call for help. You will need to know where you nearest medical facility is, where to find an english-speaking doctor, the phone number for your insurer and what services are available to you if you are stuck and need to be rescued. Make sure that you know all of these things in advance so that when the time comes you can ask for help.
If you are staying in a modern hotel, it is likely that they will have a doctor on call for emergencies which you can use regardless of whether you have insurance or not. You will be able to get bandaged up and borrow crutches or a wheelchair if you need it.
If you do not speak the language and you cannot find an english speaking doctor anywhere, you may need to make a call to your insurer and ask them to send a translator to help you. Alternatively you can try and find some who speaks english who is willing to come along and help you for a small fee. You will most likely find at least one person who speaks english in a foreign country.
So the next time you plan to go abroad, think about the possibility that you could be hurt and take the precautions to be prepared for it if it does happen. It is unlikely that you will be unlucky and get injured, but just in case, it is better to be safe than sorry.