5 Quick Tips To Be Prepared For A Medical Travel Emergency

When you’re on vacation, the last thing you’re likely thinking about is a medical emergency, but accidents and illness can happen anytime, and to anyone.

Here are five quick tips to help you be prepared for a medical emergency on your trip.

Medicine by Aussiegal Flickr

Policies and coverage can change at any time, without warning. This article is only intended as general advice. Please check your own policy carefully.
  1. Know the numbers. Look up the local phone numbers for emergency services, as well as individual numbers for the ambulance, hospital and doctor. Write these down somewhere that’s easily accessible (on paper or on a smart phone), and make sure you carry the numbers with you whereever you go.
  2. Get travel medical insurance. Accidents can happen anywhere, and at any time. It’s a good idea to ensure that your medical insurance includes an air ambulance return to your country of origin, if required. Also make sure that you’re covered for adventure activities like para-sailing and hiking (if you plan to do these activities). Check out our handy guide for getting a travel insurance quote, and where to buy travel insurance online. Make sure you copy down the phone number and insurance policy number for your travel insurance and keep this somewhere easy to access.
  3. Medical history. Make sure your traveling companions know your medical history in case of an accident. It’s a good idea to write important information about medical conditions, allergies and medications down somewhere that’s easy to find in an emergency.
  4. First Aid. Carry a first aid kit, and invest in some first aid training. Both could be lifesavers in an emergency.
  5. Think ahead. What potential medical dangers exist where you’re visiting? Is it an area that’s prone to malaria? Are you going on a cruise ship (where Norovirus outbreaks can be common)? The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) has a great online tool for helping travelers look up potential health dangers at their destination.

Photo by Aussiegal


*As always, the information in this post is from one Canadian traveller to another and please remember, we are not travel insurance agents. We have just spent years abroad and have gotten to know the ins and outs of the industry. If you have any travel insurance questions, please talk to a qualified travel insurance agent or broker. Finally, insurance plans can and do change all the time so always consult your insurance policy since that is the legal document to which you are agreeing to.

Lanie Kay

A true world traveller, Lanie Kay has been to over 30 countries in the past decade and loves nothing more than waking up in a foreign country. Born and raised in western Canada, she knows the value of a dollar and, just like everyone, wishes there was more transparency when dealing with large companies.

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