Flitting off across the world and tripping the light fantastic on beaches, mountains, rivers, epic landscapes, in bustling cities and sleepy villages… that’s just for the fit and healthy right? Well think again. All it takes is a bit of forward thinking and a quick trawl on the internet for the right medical travel insurance and off you go.
Good travel is all about feeling confident enough to put yourself out there and open yourself up to new experiences. Even if you have an underlying medical condition or are worried about your health there is no reason you have to stay behind while everyone else has all the fun.
Here are a few useful tips to help encourage you to pack your bags:
Of all the pre-trip planning this is the bit you really shouldn’t skimp on. Everything else can be flexible and be played pretty much by ear but insurance should be in place before you travel and importantly you must make sure it covers you and your particular situation. You might have been put off travelling in the past because of an existing medical condition and the extortionate amount of money some insurance companies charge for limited cover but rest assured there are companies out there who actually want to make it easier for you. Make sure your chosen policy covers you for everything you plan to do on your trip, there’s no use jumping off a mountain in Chile and breaking your leg only to find you weren’t covered as the cost for medical care can run into the thousands in other countries.
Get the right words
Most people only bother learning the words for ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘beer’ in several languages. Even if you can’t be bothered to learn them at least write down a few relevant medical phrases in the language of each country you will be visiting. If you have an existing medical condition, allergies or need certain medication get the most important information translated into each language before you leave and always have the relevant notes on you so that you can thrust them into the hands of the right people.
Not so relevant for some countries but a few jabs will be needed for the more exotic destinations. Tropical and/or rare diseases can be particularly nasty and contagious and let’s face it you don’t really want to spend your precious traveling time festering in a hospital bed if it can be prevented. Even if your trip is all very last minute it’s still worth booking in as quickly as possible to get right vaccinations. Check out the Public Health Authority of Canada website for more information on what you need and when you need to get it. Your doctor will also be able to let you know if any vaccinations are a no go for your particular condition or illness.
Get the drugs
No we aren’t talking about the party all night kind but the kind of drugs that could save you some serious headaches and cash when you are on your travels. Even simple medication such as over the counter painkillers and aspirin can be expensive abroad and lets face it you may not be sure what you are being given so get stocked up before you leave.
Get the numbers
If something does go wrong or you do get ill who you gonna call? Not Ghostbusters that’s for sure. Always have a family or friend’s contact details and your insurance telephone and policy numbers on hand. Make sure your emergency contact at home also has all of your insurance details and itinerary. If you can, try and let someone at home know you are ill so they can deal with insurance. Make a note of the emergency numbers for the countries you are staying in.
Don’t let medical issues put you off travelling. Hopefully our humble advice will set you off in the right directions. Now go and pack!