(SurvivalDaily.com) – It began as the perfect vacation abroad. The sites, the scenery and the food were amazing. It was the ultimate escape from your dreary nine to five existence. Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worse when the taxi you were riding in was hit by another car. Now you are hurt in a foreign country where very few people speak English. Do you think you are prepared to handle this situation? Let’s find out.
Before You Leave
The first step to surviving this scenario is to prepare before you leave on vacation.
Medical: If you are traveling to a country that doesn’t speak English (and you do not speak the local language) it is a good idea to learn some words that would prove helpful such as “pain” or “hurt.” This will allow you to communicate to hospital workers where you are injured, at the very least.
You should also keep a list of medical information on you for reference. This should contain your blood type, allergies and any medications you are taking. Having such a list could save your life if you have serious allergies and are unconscious when admitted to a hospital. If you travel a lot you could even consider a MedicAlert bracelet.
Pack a first-aid kit to bring with you. If you are taking medication, make sure to include it. Carry a copy of your prescription as well as expired and counterfeit medications are a problem in some areas. You do not want to find yourself needing your medicine only to be given sugar pills.
Insurance: Contact your insurance provider before you leave and make sure they will cover expenses for injuries sustained abroad. It is also a good idea to purchase traveler’s insurance as an extra precaution. No matter what you decide to go with, make sure it will cover the following:
- Medical evacuations
- Follow-up treatments at home
- Overseas medical bills
As an added bonus, most traveler’s insurance will also cover lost or stolen luggage, canceled trips and delays. Some will even cover your rental car, should you choose to get one.
Iamat.org: Before you leave on your trip, consider registering on Iamat.org. This is a free service that screens medical clinics around the world to ensure they are reputable. The site contains a search engine that will tell you all of the common health risks associated with the country you are traveling to. It also recommends which vaccinations you may wish to get before visiting the country.
After the Injury
Once you have been injured, it is time to determine how bad the situation is. If it is something you can self medicate, such as bumps and bruises, then an ice pack may be sufficient. If your injuries are more serious you will need to seek medical help.
If you are not being sent to a local hospital in an ambulance, you can contact your hotel and ask them where to find a doctor. You can also contact your local embassy as they will have a list of doctors who speak English.
Once you have received treatment, keep the documents given to you. If the papers are in a language you cannot read, take photographs of them and send them to your insurance company to make sure they are the correct ones.
Make sure you contact your family back home so they are aware of the situation. Provide them the details of the incident and the name/location of the hospital you were admitted to. They can contact your insurance company if you are unable to handle it yourself at the time. They can also reach out to your hotel to have your luggage taken care of if you are going to be in the hospital for an extended period.
Getting injured is never fun, especially when you are on vacation. Being in a foreign country can make the situation worse, but with the right know-how and a bit of preparation you can make it through in one piece.
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