While it is exciting to travel to another place whether overseas or within the same country you’re in, you should not forget that there’s always the possibility that things can go wrong such as getting injured along the way. It may be as light as spraining your ankle during a sports game or as serious as getting hospitalised after climbing a cliff. In any case, it is best that you need to prepare or be informed on what you must do just in case you get into accidents while travelling. Besides, even the most careful person can get injured in one way or another.
Secure a travel and medical insurance plan that suits you
Many holidaymakers take travel insurance for granted thinking that it’s just an added expense. You shouldn’t be one of these people! Especially when you’re travelling overseas and planning to engage in sports, having this financial security is a must. It really doesn’t matter whether you’re travelling short term or long term. With the high cost of air ambulance and related medical services that will bring you back to your home country when you’re injured, you won’t be breaking the bank when you have the insurance plan to save you. Of course, you need to go through the terms and conditions of the policy to ensure that most, if not all, are applicable to you especially when you’re an athlete, a fitness enthusiast or just someone who loves outdoor adventures.
Be sure though that the policy covers 24/7 emergency assistance and service. Here’s the budget travel insurance that we use because it’s designed by travelers specifically for travellers.
Know where to go in case of emergencies
Whenever you travel, make sure you know how to get medical help when you’re in your destination. Figure out if there’s a special number to call such as the 911 of America. Furthermore, get to know the nearest hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities that you can run to should the need arise like in cases when you accidentally hit your head or injured your arms and you’re bleeding. Find out what medical services are available around your hotel, your gym, the place where you’ll be playing games. It might also help to find out if the hotel you’re staying in has an in-house doctor or nurse that you can approach when you need medical services or advice.
Remember that injuries don’t have to be obvious to command a visit to the hospital
When it comes to injuries while travelling, you might just think about broken bones, bleeding and other life-threatening conditions. But there are serious injuries that aren’t obvious and you’ll definitely just take for granted and defer your visit to the hospital. Then you can go to the hospital when you get back to your home country. These include stepping on a nail, getting scratched by a cat or wounded by a dog. And even spraining your ankle while jogging on the road. Before things can get worse, make sure to have your condition checked by a doctor. Especially when you have a travel and medical insurance plan. You got nothing to lose if you seek medical advice.
Get to know a local who could help you in case of emergency
When you’re travelling to another country, especially one where English is not a native or even second tongue. You really need to befriend a local or someone who can understand and speak the native language and yours. It will definitely help in communicating what happened to the doctors who may not be speaking your language. You will also avoid the frustration of having to understand what they’re saying while you are suffering from the extreme pain of your injuries.
This doesn’t mean though that your sole purpose of befriending someone is for emergency reasons. Especially when you are solo travelling or with a small group of friends. You need to make it a habit to connect with the locals. In this way, you can cultivate real friendships and foster good networking. Unless of course you already have a friend living in your holiday destination. These locals can be the hotel receptionist, your tour guide and even a stranger-turned-new-friend.
Contact the embassy if you’re admitted
When you have to stay for days or weeks in the hospital, make sure to contact your embassy the soonest possible. They can assist in communicating your condition to your family and your medical insurance company, if any. They can also help you in terms of medical transport and bringing you back to your country if necessary.