You will say there is nothing worse than getting sick. Well, there is one thing, and that is getting sick while travelling. When you travel, you are far from your family, your native country, and the doctor who’s known you since childhood. Even if you’ve packed all the preventative sanitizers and medications and have attended your pre-travel clinic appointments, the flu or infectious diseases can still make you infected.
If you find yourself in an unfortunate situation where you fall sick and need medical attention, make sure you stay calm and seek help. The good news is that you can do several things to make sure that this misfortune is less disruptive, especially if you have travel insurance and a game plan.
Here are some tips that you should keep in mind, if you fall sick while travelling, especially abroad:
1. Make Sure You Have aTravel insurance Policy
The moment when you realized you are showing symptoms of a particular illness will be the moment, you'll either be grateful you purchased travel insurance, or you will be promising yourself not to skip it again. Buying a travel insurance
policy that includes medical coverage is essential especially when you're traveling abroad where your health insurance might not cover you. You can buy travel insurance from any reputable insurer at an affordable premium and that too from the comfort of your home.
However, it is important that you go through the terms and conditions of the travel insurance policy. Some policies cover extensive medical-related costs such as body casts and flights home, whereas, others may only cover emergency-room care. So, make sure you take all these things into consideration before you buy travel insurance. Also, it is important to contact your travel insurance provider, immediately after you feel sick.
2. Find the Right Clinic
Once you have contacted your travel insurance policy provider, it’s time for you to find the right clinic. However, finding a good doctor abroad isn’t an easy task. But one thing that you can do is log in to the International Society of Travel Medicine's website. This website is the home to the Global Travel Clinic Directory that lists clinics on the basis of the country and the type of care they provide. Also, have a list based on the languages their doctors speak, and where they're located.
For backpackers, who don’t have access to the internet, can contact the Indian Embassy of that country. So, it is advisable to save the contact information of that embassy on your phone.
3. Listen to Your Body And your Doctor
Once you are diagnosed with an illness, it's crucial to heed the doctor's advice and to listen to your body. Also, make sure you inform your doctor back home because they know you better than any other doctor. Yes, it is understandable that you want to keep travelling, especially when you have made exciting plans. But travelling with low immunity is not recommended and it can spoil the rest of your trip. Recovery is necessary, if you take plenty of fluids and sleep for a couple of days, you will be in good shape to restart your trip and end it on the good terms.