Vacations don’t always go as planned. Unexpected events, like finding the most delicious cup of coffee you ever had, or a chance encounter with a fascinating stranger make a trip memorable. A travel medical emergency, however, can make a vacation memorable for all the wrong reasons.
Dan and Ellen Arbogast and their dog were traveling cross-country in their RV when Dan sustained an injury that left him unable to drive. While he sat in the hospital, his wife Ellen worried about her husband, how they’d get home, and how much all of it would cost. Suffice it to say; their fun had come to a halt.
Dan and Ellen aren’t alone; many people encounter medical emergencies on vacation. While nobody fully expects a medical emergency to happen on their trip, there are a few common medical emergencies that can turn your trip, like Dan and Ellen’s, upside down.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 30% to 70% of travelers experience digestive issues on vacation depending on the location and season. A common misconception is that stomach issues can easily be prevented by drinking bottled water and avoiding street food. While those are good precautionary measures, there are plenty of factors beyond your control that can put you at risk.
When tummy trouble is at its worst, victims may even need to seek medical treatment. Paul found himself in this very situation on a trip to Cancun. Even worse - a language barrier prevented him and his wife, Marie from communicating with hospital staff. Imagine landing in the hospital in a foreign country - what would you do?
Going to the mountains for the first time? Be warned - altitude sickness is very real and can make you very sick. Altitude sickness can cause nausea, headache, shortness of breath, brain swelling, and in the most severe cases - coma or death. It can be treated with medications to prevent illness, but it can be especially dangerous for travelers with lung or heart conditions.
Some countries have native diseases or conditions that visitors are not equipped to fight. It’s essential to check for this information on sites like the CDC traveler’s site or the U.S. Department of State site to stay up to date on country information, travel alerts, health alerts, entry and exit requirements, and more. Knowing if there is a flu outbreak where you are going, for example, can also help you take the right precautions.
Even when you don’t plan high-risk activities for your vacation, accidents can happen that might require a visit to emergency care. In turn, this can cause you to miss pre-planned activities, booked lodging, or flights back home. If you’re driving like Dan, an injury even as small as a sprained or broken ankle can leave you stranded.
The Cost of Travel Medical Emergencies
When someone has a travel medical emergency, the questions are, “What do I do? Where do I go? How much is this going to cost?” Ellen and Marie wondered the same things when their husbands were under emergency care. As they both learned, TravelAssist was the best way to prepare for their travel emergencies.
Good Sam TravelAssist came to the rescue when Dan was injured, helping Ellen quickly and easily organize transportation home — for them, their dog, their RV, and even their truck. It helped Paul and Marie overcome language barriers, get high-quality medical care in a foreign country, as well as reschedule their flights home.
Good Sam TravelAssist covers what ordinary medical or travel insurance don’t and best of all - your costs may be fully covered depending on the plan you choose. TravelAssist is here when you need medical referrals, transportation, emergency evacuations, and much more. Find peace of mind anytime you travel, learn more today!