We hope it never happens to you getting sick or hurt can happen to anyone. Accidents are never planned. When you are back in your home country you generally know what to do when something bad happens. When you are traveling in a foreign land, all the rules are different. Normally, where you would just run to the pharmacy and get some cold medicine, suddenly you do not know where to go or what brand to buy. So here are a few things that we hope you can remember and might help you in the future.
One of the first things you should get even if you don’t think you need it is travel insurance. It is not very expensive and people tend to skip over it. You can buy something simple, probably even from the airlines, and a little is better than nothing. We use World Nomads travel insurance, as it is very complete and not very expensive. You can book a month to travel and be covered for almost anything. It will pay for hospitalization, emergency care, and even put you on a plane back home. Travel insurance should never be skipped. Check with your insurance company as well as they might have a rider specifically for travel that they can have added to your policy.
First aid kit
We don’t suggest that you take a full-fledged first aid kit with you, but we do suggest you bring the basics for General sicknesses. Bring a small bottle of aspirin, flu medicine, motion sickness pills, and feels for an upset stomach. This will not take much room, but you will find it’s a godsend if you need to use it rather than try and find a place to buy it from. You know what works for you. Adding a few Band-Aids and a few other little bits of first aid can’t hurt. Anything larger you should be going to a doctor anyway.
Make sure you carry what medical records you might need on you. The name of your doctor back home, as well as a few emergency contacts and their numbers. If you have any allergies please add that to the sheet. Heaven forbids you are unconscious but if you are, you want them to know as much as possible. It is also a good idea to keep a copy of your insurance card and your ID in the same place. If you are traveling with a group, such as with your children, then you need to make sure you do it for them as well.
Local pharmacies and Clinics
If you do get hurt, local pharmacies can often point you to a doctor or a local Clinic. This is generally just a stop on the way to a hospital. We Trust bigger hospital is more than we trust the smaller clinics. This is not to say that the smaller clinics cannot deal with problems, of course, they can, but this is more a personal preference as we know the larger hospitals will probably have the better doctors.
Most people forget that the embassy is there to represent you. Very often they are happy to try and help take care of things for you. Make phone calls and make arrangements to contact your family. They can also tell you of the local hospitals and various other things. They will not be paying any of your bills but they will be happy to help you.
Keep a level head
If you are injured or one of your party is injured, remain calm. Getting hysterical does not help within the United States, and adding a different culture and language barriers, it might make it hard to treat you. So remain come or you will make the problem worse. If you are unable to remain calm, we suggest calling the embassy.
Getting sick or hurt in a foreign country on vacation is no fun. But if accidents do happen, remain calm and deal with it one problem at a time. We cannot suggest highly enough that you need to have travel insurance. Without it, the local hospital might still be very inexpensive, but you might also have a surprise if you can’t afford it. In some places of the world, they will not treat you without money up front. So a little bit of preparation will go a long way. We wish you the best and stay safe on your journey.