Even if you make it a point to plan every detail for an upcoming trip, the unexpected could happen while you’re far from home, and that includes falling ill. It’s for this reason that so many savvy travelers choose to apply for a travel medical insurance plan before they head off. With this type of insurance, you could rest assured that the costs will be covered even if your health insurance doesn’t step in. But what else should do if you get sick while traveling? Check out the tips below to learn more.
Know Where To Go
You might think that this is an obvious piece of advice, but it’s certainly worth mentioning. If you’re traveling far from home, especially abroad, available services and facilities might be different than what you’d expect, or they might be harder to find than you’re used to. So, when setting your travel plans into place, take some time to note local clinics or hospitals in the area where you’ll be staying. If you’re traveling to a location that’s more remote and this information is hard to come by, figure out where your local Embassy or Consulate is. Should you get sick, they will be able to provide you with information and services. They could, for example, help with finding the nearest doctor or specialist, and they could even help by contacting your family to keep them informed.
Being proactive with your health is always important, but even more so when traveling. Washing or sanitizing your hands regularly is one preventative step that you can take but remember that some germs can be spread in other ways, such as through the air or via your food. If you feel something coming on, the last thing that you should do is wait it out and see what happens. While you may have just caught a 24-hour bug at the airport, those same symptoms could also manifest as far more serious illnesses. So always be aware of any local exotic diseases that might be found in the region you’re visiting. Then make sure to get checked, even if all you have is a low-grade fever. As a matter of comparison, both the flu and malaria start with the same symptoms.
If you don’t have the information on a local doctor, clinic, or Embassy readily available, one thing you can do before you even leave home is to pack a first aid kit. You can buy a travel-ready first aid kit or build one yourself by packing certain emergency essentials. You should bring along some bandages in various sizes, as well as antibiotic cream for cuts or burns. Also, pack ibuprofen for reducing fevers or swelling and take supplements like vitamin C to boost your immune system or magnesium to combat constipation. Other items, such as antidiarrheal medication or an epi-pen for those with certain allergies, are also good additions if space and weight aren’t a problem. Just remember that some airline policies will make you check this kit with your luggage, so don’t expect to pack it in your carry-on bag.
Getting sick while traveling definitely isn’t any fun. But if you keep the tips above in mind, you could remain calm and take the right steps to feel better sooner.