How to Get Care While Travelling

Becoming ill or injured while traveling is one of the most frightening feelings. It’s notably worse if you’re in a foreign country. That’s why it’s best to make health care plans before you leave home. This is especially important for pregnant women, senior citizens, people undergoing treatment, and those with underlying health conditions. Taking measures will prevent any inconveniences or distress when you’re traveling.

Be Prepared Before You Leave

When making travel plans, it’s wise to make health care plans too. This includes checking your insurance coverage and packing all your medication. You may also want to check hospitals close to where you’ll be staying. You can use, which helps you find the nearest health facilities close to where you’ll be staying. With that said, here are some things you need to take care of before taking your trip.

Get Travel Insurance

Check whether your health insurance covers you when traveling abroad. In most cases, travelers are responsible for their medical expenses when traveling. If your policy doesn’t extend coverage when abroad, get a plan that does. Some insurance providers offer short-term health insurance policies to cover travel. You can check out travel magazines or contact your travel agent for more information.

If you’re traveling to a remote area, ensure your coverage can provide emergency evacuation in case of anything. Don’t forget to carry your health insurance ID card and a claim form. Medicare doesn’t cover hospital bills and other health costs outside the US. If you’re a senior citizen or traveling with one, contact the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). They will give you more information regarding foreign medical care coverage and the supplementary plans you can consider.

Travel medical coverage is suitable for the following people:

  • Anyone vacationing internationally
  • People visiting their relatives overseas
  • Students going to study abroad
  • People traveling abroad for business purposes
  • Anyone going on guided tours, cruises, or safaris.

Carry and Take the Required Medication

If you’re under medication, ensure you bring it with you. The medicines should be in well-labeled containers. Certain drugs may be considered illegal in foreign countries. Confirm with the embassy of the country you’re visiting to be sure.

Another alternative is to purchase the medication you’re taking in the country you’ll be going to. However, this is not a recommended method. Some countries are dealing with issues of counterfeit drugs. To avoid the risk of taking fake drugs, pack the medicine your doctor prescribed. Ensure it’s enough for the duration you’ll be away. You can even pack extra just in case there might be a delay.

Enroll Your Trip With a Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)

The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program is a free program that enables you to receive travel advisories for different destinations. You’ll receive critical information about the safety conditions of the destination you plan to travel to, allowing you to make informed travel plans. The program also lets the US Department of State know where you are and can contact you in an emergency. Through STEP, your loved ones can easily reach you in case of any problems.

Carry the Necessary Documents

Make sure you have completed or updated the information page in your passport, providing names, phone numbers, and addresses of the people to contact in case of an emergency. In case of an accident, such information lets people know who to call. You should also have a card identifying your blood group, allergies, and the medication you’re on. Ensure this information is available in the language of the place you’re visiting.

If you have an underlying or pre-existing condition, carry a letter from your healthcare giver. The letter should explain the condition and the medications for it. These must include the generic names for these drugs. Individuals with serious medical conditions should always wear medical alert bracelets.

How to Decide When to Go to the Hospital While Abroad

There are different levels of being sick, varying from mild to serious problems. Sometimes you can get a stomach upset because of eating unfamiliar food, a cold because of a new environment, and a reaction to an insect bite. You can assess your symptoms and see if they require going to the hospital or if you just need to take over-the-counter medicine and are good to go.

When buying over-the-counter medicine, explain to the pharmacists the symptoms you’re experiencing. They will help identify the right drugs you need. Give yourself time to recover once you take the drugs. For instance, if you have a stomach upset, give yourself between 3 to 5 days and see if it goes away. If it doesn’t, seek medical care.

If you experience any life-threatening symptoms, such as difficulty breathing and chest pain, seek immediate medical care. If you aren’t very sick but still worried about your situation, call your primary healthcare physician at home. Explain your symptoms, and your doctor will let you know whether to be worried or not.

Whether you have a pre-existing medical condition or not, it’s always wise to prepare for health emergencies. Being sick away from home is terrible, but it can be worsened by not knowing where to start.