Always Be Prepared
When you’re about to head off on holiday, your head is full of different things, usually something along the lines of packing, suitcase weight, and excitement, but perhaps you are also one of those people who has a head full of ‘what ifs’.
Whilst it’s healthy to think about the potential pitfalls in life, it’s important not to let it control your holiday plans, because let’s face it, holidays are there to be enjoyed!
Your health should always be the number one consideration in your mind, and that should continue when you are going away somewhere exotic and different. The fact of the matter is that pitfalls exist regardless of location, and risk is increased when you are somewhere you are not familiar with. It is for this reason that you should always look into your health insurance needs before you head off on your travels.
Have you heard of the EHIC, or European Health Insurance Card?
The EHIC replaced the old E111, which was basically a piece of paper you took to the hospital with you when you were abroad, and you could receive healthcare without having to pay. The E111 was abolished some years ago and replaced with the EHIC, which can be used in countries which have a reciprocal agreement between them when it comes to nationals receiving healthcare in those participating countries.
Now, it’s very important to state that having a EHIC (which is free) does not replace the need for standard travel insurance, so don’t be fooled into thinking that you don’t need to purchase a travel insurance policy because you have applied for and received your EHIC. Travel insurance covers you for a plethora of different holiday and travel needs, not only regarding healthcare, so never attempt to travel without it.
Of course, being savvy with your health whilst you’re away is also the best way to prevent anything happening in the first place. Always make sure you have enough of your regular medications with you whilst you’re away, by heading to your doctor and asking for your repeat prescriptions ahead of time. Store these medications in their labelled boxes in your hand luggage, and for special medications or medical equipment you may be best asking your doctor for a letter, just to avoid any problems at customs when you arrive at your airport of choice.
Probably one of the most dangerous things to be careful of when you are travelling is sun safety. There are countless admissions to hospitals overseas every single summer because travellers didn’t heed safety advice in terms of how much sun they received that day, and they were either sunburn or ended up with sunstroke – never take this for granted, sunstroke can be extremely dangerous, and in the best case scenario, can be very unpleasant. On top of this, keeping an eye on how much you drink is also advisible; alcohol measures overseas can be stronger than you are used to at home, and you might become drunk much quicker than normal if you’re not careful.
Of course, we’re not suggesting you don’t enjoy your holiday, but covering all the bases and being sensible with your health is the best way to ensure you return home in the same standard of health you left.