Traveling is an opportunity to experience new cultures, cuisines and climates. However, spontaneous adventures can also include the unexpected: an accident or medical emergency. The way to handle an injury while abroad may differ from your response at home. If you are hurt on vacation, it is important to know what to do.
Before the Trip
Whether it’s a weekend trip to the lake or a month-long backpacking excursion, you will need to strategize accordingly and be prepared for any situation. To avoid being caught in an unexpected emergency, your safety plans should start before you get in the car.
- Talk to your insurance company — Make sure you understand the coverage plan and keep a copy of the insurance card with you at all times.
- Master basic medical treatment — Learn how to treat minor wounds and illnesses with the proper medications and supplies, just in case.
- Gather background information — Check out the area before you go. Be aware of any potential dangers while you are sightseeing and act responsibly in an unfamiliar place.
How to Help
If you are faced with an accidental injury, it can be difficult to think clearly or know where to find help. While hazards can vary, understanding how to de-escalate and assist in a situation is key.
- Preventative measures — To avoid any unwanted danger, do your research beforehand. Equipping yourself with the tools to prevent an injury is just as important as knowing what to do during a crisis.
- First-aid kits — If you or someone in your group has a minor wound, have a medical kit available to avoid infection and a trip to the hospital. Bandages, antibiotics, aspirin and disinfecting wipes are a great start.
- Ask around — Locals and workers know the area best. By respectfully introducing yourself to people, you will have a better chance of finding help in a foreign city.
- Know your coverage — Regardless of where you are traveling, talk to an insurance agent to be sure of your coverage in case there is an accident.
Traveling can be a great way to expand your horizons. Plus, you will have a chance to tell exciting stories when you are back home. To avoid an unexpected trip to the hospital, take a look at our infographic on how to prepare for an injury while traveling and what to do if an accident takes place.
Author bio: Donald J. Nolan is a nationally acclaimed lawyer and founder of Nolan Law Group, which has become one of the nation’s most prestigious and well-recognized plaintiff firms. In the area of aviation law, Nolan has represented the rights of victims and families in air disasters around the world. His work has led to the redesign of several safety systems and defective components of major commercial and general aviation aircraft.