Travel is changing. Vacationers are expanding their sights from routine travel destinations, like Martha’s Vineyard, London and New York, to locations a bit more ‘off the beaten path.’
Visiting underdeveloped countries is increasing in popularity. Another growing trend among vacationers is to explore places they’ve never been to before rather than return to an earlier destination. For this reason, tourism in China, Thailand, Costa Rica and other previously less traveled regions is rising fast.
The ultimate adventure may lie outside of the typical tourist hot spots and glistening resorts, but it’s important to acknowledge and be prepared for the increased risk that can come with stepping off that well-worn path.
On top of infectious diseases, dangerous locations and political unrest, a major hazard of traveling to these locations is a lack of quality care. An injury that could be easily handled in the U.S. may not have such a streamlined process or simple treatment path available elsewhere.
Injuries are the leading cause of preventable death to travelers. Most travelers are concerned with contracting malaria or other viruses while in a foreign country. Though still a valid concern, infectious diseases only account for 2% of deaths to travelers while abroad. Injuries account for 24%.
Let’s look at a few examples of travel woes.
A girl broke her leg in Italy, but was refused care until the provider had cash in hand. This out-of-pocket expense isn’t always feasible in such circumstances. Even after the cast was fitted, the girl was not well enough to travel on a commercial flight, so they had to charter a plane. Her primary health insurance didn’t cover any of the expenses.
A man on a safari suffered broken bones after the jeep flipped, and had to take the recommendation of the driver on a nearby orthopedic hospital in Nairobi. He had no other way of getting a referral.
Another man suffered a heart attack while climbing in the French Alps. He had to be airlifted to a hospital hours away while his family—who spoke no French—panicked about his whereabouts and condition.
Having a Plan Can Make All the Difference
In situations like those above, it can make a world of difference to have a travel emergency plan that can help you navigate these difficult and unexpected situations. Ultimate Health’s Take Me Home program includes many emergency travel and medical services that are specifically designed to avoid these scary circumstances.
The program includes facilitation of hospital payments, so the girl with the broken leg wouldn’t have had to hand the provider cash out of her own pocket. It also includes changing flight arrangements!
Take Me Home provides emergency care referrals, so the man on the safari could have called to receive a quality hospital referral.
The program even includes fully paid emergency medical air evacuation to a hospital of the members choosing that can provide the right standard of care. The man in the French Alps wouldn’t have had to worry about paying for his evacuation. His family also could have called to be updated on his condition and location.
Take Me Home also includes other helpful services like lost passport replacement, an online Travel Portal and transfer of medical records!
To sum up, it’s easy to tell that an injury while on vacation in foreign country might upend your vacation, but what you may not realize is that you may not be able to access the care you need and that injury may lead to an even worse outcome. So be prepared with a travel plan as you jet off on your next adventure.