Nothing can ruin a vacation faster than a sudden illness. But with trips scheduled months in advance and unpredictable foreign germs, it is not always avoidable. Whether you are struck down with a strep throat at Disney World or a stomach bug in Bermuda, there are a few ways that you can prepare so that you don’t end up sacrificing your entire trip to an uncomfortable hotel room bed and bad daytime television.
Your Insurance Card
You should keep your insurance card with you whenever you travel. In the U.S., you will definitely need it for treatment, but it also has information that might help you avoid a hospital. Many insurance companies staff a nurse hotline that you can call 24 hours a day with your symptoms. While it’s not always possible to make a diagnosis over the phone, they can provide medical advice that may allow you to continue your vacation without worrying about your condition getting worse. Your insurance company can also help direct you to proper care, including finding a doctor or hospital that is in your network if possible.
A List of Medications
If you are currently on any medications, of course you should bring as many doses as you will need to get you through your trip. However, it is also a smart idea to keep a physical list of the medications you are taking on your person. If you are unable to speak, doctors can look at the list and make sure they do not give you anything that may cause a harmful interaction. Furthermore, the list you make with your medications in front of you is likely to be more reliable than your own memory, especially if you are feeling sick.
When traveling abroad, you should always keep your passport in a safe place. If there is a true medical emergency in a country that cannot provide adequate care, you may need to visit a U.S. embassy in order to arrange transportation to another hospital or even to be evacuated back to the United States. Your passport will be necessary for this type of situation.
There are many foreign countries that, regardless of their level of development, could expose travelers to diseases and germs that their bodies are unequipped to fight off. For this reason, the Center for Disease Control maintains a list of recommended vaccines for travel to different countries throughout the world. When you travel, it is a good idea to keep a record of these vaccinations. This can help doctors to rule out certain symptoms when examining you during your illness.
Prepare At Home
If you are traveling for an extended period of time, it is a good idea to organize your paperwork at home, as well. Make sure that a trusted friend or family member knows where you keep essential documents like birth certificates, social security cards, and health records including the names and contact information for your regular doctor. If you become seriously ill while on vacation, that person will easily be able to access information that they may need to send to wherever you are in order to assist with your care.
Whether you are in a country halfway around the world or just in another part of the state, it is never ideal to get sick on vacation. But while you can’t predict an illness, you can prepare for the worst by using the RecordVault. With the right documentation on hand, you can get well faster and easier, no matter where in the world you are.