Traveling is supposed to be a break from your daily stresses, where you can relax and disconnect from reality. But unfortunately, sometimes unexpected accidents and injuries happen while we’re on vacation.
This can be a particularly difficult experience if you’re traveling abroad when you get hurt. This is why you should always have a plan for what you’ll do if you end up with a serious injury, illness, or other medical problem while traveling.
Here are some tips for how you can prepare for the worst before you travel and how to respond if you do get injured while on vacation:
Buy Travelers Health Insurance
If you’re traveling outside of the country, check with your health insurance provider to see if your plan covers medical attention abroad. If it does not, then you should seriously consider purchasing a travelers health insurance plan. Without insurance, you’ll be forced to pay for any care you need out of your own pocket.
Getting injured or seriously ill while abroad is stressful enough without needing to worry about how you’ll cover your medical costs.
Also consider purchasing medical evacuation insurance, which covers the cost of transportation if you need to be moved to different parts of the country or outside of the country with serious illnesses and injuries.
Be Aware Of Area-Specific Risks
Whether you’re traveling abroad or within the United States, it’s important to do your research and be aware of any common risks for injuries and illnesses in the area. For example, tropical areas of many parts of the world are high-risk for mosquito-borne illnesses like malaria and Dengue fever. This is why it’s crucial to make sure you and everyone you’re traveling with has the right vaccinations before you leave.
Another area to look into is traffic and infrastructure. In many other parts of the world, traffic laws are much less strict than in the United States. You should be especially wary of these differences if you’re traveling to a large city in a developing nation. Being aware of these differences before you travel can help you adjust easier and make you less vulnerable to being struck by a vehicle.
You should also be aware of the location of the US Embassy in the area where you’re traveling. When you do get injured or seriously ill, staff at the embassy can help you find the closest medical facility, contact your family, and make sure you get the medical care you need.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
So you’ve planned ahead for what to do if you get injured while traveling and you do end up getting hurt – now what? Just like when you get injured or fall seriously ill while in the States, you need to seek medical attention as soon as you can. This means immediately after you’ve been injured or have noticed troubling symptoms that could indicate a serious illness.
The US Embassy can help guide you through the process, but it’s also good to be aware of where the medical facilities in your destination are before you travel there. This way, you can quickly get to a facility and see a doctor without needing to contact the embassy first.
Getting the care you need in a timely manner is crucial to helping you recover fully and with minimal complications.
Tom Moverman established the Lipsig Lawyers Firm with Harry Lipsig and his partners in 1989. The personal injury law firm focuses on products liability, personal injury, construction accidents, car accidents and medical malpractice.