If your next trip is taking you outside the U.S., our healthcare checklist will help you prepare for any unexpected medical emergency. Whether traveling for business or leisure, a little forward-thinking might be the way to avoid catastrophe.
- Talk to Your Doctor
This should be the first step in your plan to stay healthy during your trip. For example, your doctor will know what shots you need for different countries. This planning can help you avoid being stuck at a border somewhere without the appropriate vaccines and medical documents.
- Do Some Research
Investigate your healthcare options at each stop on your journey.
- Where is the nearest clinic or hospital to your hotel?
- What if you need medical transportation to get you back to the U.S. fast? Are there medical air ambulances that service your travel destination?
- Can the hotel help you get prescriptions filled if necessary?
Find out what kind of network support can you expect from your insurance company, too. Do they pay for lost prescriptions, for instance? What about emergency medical treatment or even urgent care? This is all critical information to have before you leave. Make sure to research every city you’ll be in and double check travel restrictions for the countries you’re visiting.
While researching the areas along your route, look at the various travel restrictions, as well. You may need to avoid certain areas if there is a disease epidemic or even an unstable government. Some will confiscate certain medications at the border, too. The more information you have about the country, the better.
- Buy Travel Insurance
Most medical insurance policies do not cover, or limit, coverage when traveling internationally. If purchasing Travel Insurance, be sure to look at options for medical air transport or “medical evaluation” in the event that you would need this coverage. Other benefits of Travel Insurance can include unplanned trip cancelations, missed flights or connections, and lost luggage.
- Put Together Your Medical Care Package
This should include contact information for your primary care physician and a list of medications you currently take. If you or someone you are traveling with has an allergy, make note of that, as well.
Next, focus on medical supplies you need, especially if you have a chronic condition such as diabetes. If you require insulin injections, you may need to make arraignments to have supplies delivered to your hotel if you are flying. Also, always travel with your prescriptions in their original bottles with labels.
Travel is exciting, but it can be fraught with unexpected situations. Take the time you need to make sure your trip is both fun and safe.