From the rough and adventurous backpacker to the more luxurious traveller, it is everyone’s worst nightmare to get injured or sick while holidaying abroad. That’s why it’s important to know some of the things that you can do to try and prevent this, and ways to handle it if it unfortunately happens.
Research your destination for required injections/medications
Skimping on injections and pre-travel health care can cost you largely in the long run. Doing so will not only invalidate insurance, but you’ll also risk getting sick, or even being refused entry at borders.
So, be sure to research your destination thoroughly, looking at government advice, health care websites and travel forums. If you need injections, malaria tablets or any boosters, promptly locate your local travel clinic and book your appointment well in advance.
Ensure you have appropriate insurance cover
It is vital to always read the small print of your insurance and, if you plan to do some particularly adventurous activities, make sure these are covered. It can be worth paying for an excess waiver; otherwise, in most cases, a doctor’s visit, for example, may not even be worth claiming for.
Other things to look out for are the inclusion of baggage cover, curtailment, and the extent of personal possessions insurance. Finally, never lie about pre-existing conditions. If you need to make a claim, your insurer will use this as a reason not to pay out so you’ll not be doing yourself any favours by going down this route.
Make an effective claim
If the unthinkable does happen and you need to claim, there are certain criteria that must be met. You need to alert your insurer within 24 hours if you are admitted, need repatriation, or received urgent medical treatment. For other less serious issues, make responsible decisions about when and where to seek the best medical advice, and ask local opinion.
Ensure you retain evidence of everything, including receipts, witness contact details and even photographs, as this proof is vital when claiming. If you get stuck, dedicated organisations like http://www.on-holiday-claims.co.uk/ exist to personally assist you and fight on your behalf.
Look after yourself
With a little care, planning and attention to detail, you should be able to avoid having to make a claim. It can be all too easy to slip into ‘holiday mode’ and become careless, but your health should be a top priority while travelling. This begins at home, by making sure you pack the correct items for looking after yourself and your party; and it continues on holiday, by taking sensible precautions with hygiene and avoiding exertion.
If appropriate, pack items like high-factor sun cream, insect repellent, a hat, water purification tablets, Imodium, plasters, anti-histamine and anti-bacterial hand gel. This list is not exhaustive, but the bottom line is to pack items that will enable you to prevent sickness or alleviate injury. A small first aid kit can be cheaply acquired and is an excellent addition to all suitcases and backpacks.
Remember to prepare for your destination accordingly and to look after yourself appropriately. More importantly, always check the small print of your insurance – before you purchase it, before you use it, and before you make a claim on it!