If you are planning to take a trip outside of your home country, you should always plan what you will do in case of a medical emergency. This is especially true if you or a loved one have a pre-existing condition or may be susceptible to a serious illness or injury. Below are a few things to consider so that you can make your upcoming vacation safe and salutary, as well as fun.

Pack for Problems

A first aid kit is a basic precaution for small things like cuts. You should include any medications or specialized items that you may need for pre-existing medical conditions including things like allergy medication or even spare eyeglasses/contacts. Make sure to keep the most important items in your carry on luggage, when possible, so that they do not wind up lost in airport baggage.

When packing for potential problems, do not forget to include items that relate specifically to travel related issues. Nausea medicine for car/air/sea sickness, for example, as well as medicine for diarrhea or food poisoning. While these can sometimes be minor medical problems, they can compound if you have other conditions you are dealing with and really have a negative impact on your vacation.

Have Your Medical Information Handy

You should have a special folder prepared for yourself and anyone traveling with you containing copies of important medical papers or cards as well as your travel itinerary and a list of emergency contacts. These should stay in your carry on baggage along with your most important medication. Another copy of the information should be left with somebody at home, in case you lose them while traveling. You may also consider emailing yourself this information in case your bags are stolen or lost.

Research Proper Medical Transportation

In case of a medical emergency, you may need to fly back to your home country, but not be able to take a commercial airline. Look into options on how to get back; for example, a reputable air ambulance provider may be a good option if you need to travel quickly in the midst of a crisis and would need specialized care during the flight.

While sometimes unavoidable, you generally do not want to be stuck, ill or injured in a foreign country for an extended period of time. Do your research before your trip and have a plan just in case you need to get back to your own doctors and loved ones in a hurry.

Travel Insurance is Your Friend

I mean, why spend the extra 10, 20 bucks, right? Well, if you do need to fly back home or visit a foreign hospital, you will probably find those costs to be significantly higher. Check if your current health plan covers events outside of your home country, and if not, think about investing in some travel insurance instead.

Furthermore, you should make sure that you understand exactly what the insurance policy will cover. If you have a pre-existing condition, you may want to shop around and pick out a policy that will best suit the sort of problems that you could potentially wind up facing.

Learn More About Where You’re Going

Research what the hospitals are like where you are traveling: how much do they cost, where they are located, can they handle your specific medical condition, etc. You should also learn a few key phrases in the local language, such as “I need a doctor” or phrases specific to any pre-existing conditions you may have.

While it is never fun to think about possible emergencies, especially amidst the existing stress of planning a trip, it could wind up being the difference between safety and disaster. If you make a plan, however, you will have one less potential problem that could strike away from home.

Do you have any other tips you would like to share? Let us know if the comments section below!