What happens if you’re visiting another city – or even another country – and you get sick or injured? Arranging for healthcare in an unfamiliar location can be challenging. Here are a few steps you can take to maximize your safety and minimize your stress before you leave home.
- Stock up on prescriptions. Make sure you have a sufficient supply of your prescription drugs and medications for your trip.
- Know the locations of local health clinics and emergency rooms at your destination.
- Bring a list of your medications and immunization records.
- Review your insurance policy. Most health plans will cover emergency care anywhere in the U.S.; some will also cover more routine doctor visits when you’re away from home.
Visit Your Doctor
Six weeks before departure, visit your primary care physician, an infectious disease doctor who specializes in travel medicine, or a travel clinic where your itinerary can be reviewed and you can get recommendations specific to your travel destination.
- Vaccinations and Immunization. Confirm that your routine immunizations are up to date, and get recommended and/or required vaccinations for your travel destination.
- Prescriptions. Get refills – and an extra supply – of any prescription drugs or medications you take. U.S. prescriptions may not be honored or available in other countries.
- Other precautions. Ask your doctor if there are specific health precautions for the areas you’re visiting, and carry preventative medicine.
- Supplies. Check to see if there are any supplies you should bring along with you, such as a water purifier.
Consult with Government Agencies
- Consulates and Embassies. Visit the website for the U.S. consulate or embassy in your destination country and check for health advisories.
- Center for Disease Control. The CDC Travel Health Website offers information about health risks and required vaccines for foreign travelers.
Know Who to Call in an Emergency
Before you travel, check what number to dial for emergency care in every country you plan to visit. Here’s a list of emergency numbers around the world.
Does your insurance cover you if you see a doctor in another country? Before you leave, call your health insurance company to find out what protection they provide for members traveling abroad. Many policies will only cover emergency medical care. If you have serious health concerns, consider supplemental travel insurance. If you are hospitalized while over 150 miles from home, membership-based plans such as Medjet will fly you from your travel location to a hospital near your home.
If you travel frequently for business, you know how challenging it can be to practice a healthy lifestyle on the road. Business travelers are also exposed to more germs and radiation than the average American. Read more about the potential health risks of business travel in the Harvard Business Review.
5 Business Travel Tips
- Plan ahead for healthy meals
- Do in-room gym workouts
- Stay hydrated
- Schedule flights to allow sufficient sleep
- Limit alcohol consumption
For Individual Guidance, Connect with a Health Advisor.
Better Health Advisors creates custom travel health and safety plans for our clients, whether they’re at home or abroad. We can help you prepare for a trip, and connect you with local medical resources at your destination, including doctors who speak English.