As fun and exciting as it is to see different parts of the world, there’s always a chance to experience the unexpected while traveling — including, unfortunately, personal injury. Obviously, accidents and injuries are never fun, but especially when you’re in a new, unfamiliar place. Who wants to deal with a dental emergency in a new city? Can you imagine the added stress of getting in a car accident when you’re far from home? That’s why, to prepare for and protect yourself from getting hurt while traveling, it’s a good idea to plan ahead.
How to Prepare for the Unexpected in Your Travels
While it is impossible to predict everything that could go wrong while you’re out of town, there is still a lot you can do to protect yourself. Here are a few key strategies to keep in mind:
- Get travel insurance. Your regular medical insurance may cover illness wherever you go in the country, but you should still check ahead of time to be sure. Likewise, consider the fact that your plan may not be applicable internationally. Confirm with your provider. Then, if you’re going to be out of the country, consider getting travel medical insurance with a 24/7 assistance plan.
- Practice smart prevention. If you’re hiking in the mountains, bring a first-aid kit. If you are in a country with poor water quality, buy some water bottles. Wear a seat belt in the car. Follow safety guidelines when you fly. Wash your hands frequently and wear protective gear when appropriate. By practicing smart injury prevention, you can reduce your risk of harm before it occurs.
- Research your destination ahead of time. Before you leave on a trip, look into medical facilities in the area where you’ll be staying. Find out where to go if you need help. If you’re traveling overseas and you don’t speak the language, see if there is an English-speaking doctor available. It is also good to find out how emergency services work at your destination — what number do you call, and can you program that number into your phone now? Taking these steps can help free you up in an emergency situation.
When it comes to getting injured in your travels, it is always best to err on the side of caution. With that in mind, use the tips above to get prepared. Likewise, take a look at the accompanying infographic on handling travel trauma. It provides helpful tips to prepare and respond to emergencies while away from home — in an easy-to-read, visually friendly format.
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.