Each time we plan a trip we are told to prepare for the unexpected. Often, we don’t pay much heed to this advice and focus only on the good times that lie ahead. Unfortunately, an unexpected emergency could land us in a tough spot. We could end up stranded in a foreign country without knowing where to go for help.
As much as we may not want to think about it, there’s a very real chance that we could encounter a medical emergency while we’re on holiday. The only way to deal with such a situation is by being prepared. If you aren’t sure how to do this, here’s a look at our handy guide:
- Map out all the health centres: While you’re still planning your holiday itinerary, take a moment to find local medical care facilities. Try to identify a health care centre that is at a walkable distance from your accommodation and keep important details like their address, telephone number and ambulance number handy.
- Look for reviews from patients: Before visiting a clinic or a doctor, look for online reviews about them. This should also be done before you finalise a local health centre. A previous patient’s experience could be very helpful and save you the trouble of visiting an unprofessional doctor.
- Buy insurance and stay in touch with your insurer: Before you commence your trip, talk to your insurance provider and be very clear of what exactly your travel insurance coverage is. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you don’t have cover for a basic emergency.
- Keep your documents handy and safe: A pocket diary can be your saviour in a foreign land. Keep a little list on your person that details the names of medications you’re currently taking, any conditions you suffer from, allergies, your medical history and the details of your travel insurance policy. Don’t forget to keep your emergency contact’s details clearly visible so that your loved ones can be informed of what’s happening.
- Make hospital communication clear and easy: If you’re in a country where the primary language of communication is something other than your first language, telling a doctor or nurse what is wrong with you can be difficult. If you can, take an interpreter with you to ensure that the person providing you care knows exactly what is wrong. You can ask a friend, your hotel concierge or a local guide to help you out.
Planning for an emergency isn’t fun, but it’s absolutely necessary. Remember, with a good travel insurancepolicy, you can enjoy a hassle-free holiday.