Temporary Health Insurance: Travel Edition

I love to travel. I dream about all the places I want to visit, even bookmarking the places I can’t wait to see in my favorite book, 501 Must Visit Destinations. I even had a day by day calendar of the 1,000 Places to See Before You Die and saved each day that showcased a place I just had to see. I am not sure what it is, but I crave trying new things and seeing new places. It is in my blood.

As exciting as traveling is, nothing can burst my vacation dream bubble more than getting sick on vacation. It is a hypothetical nightmare, but is a reality to many. With your dream vacation awaiting you, do whatever you can to stay healthy on your trip with these simple tips.

-Avoid germs. Yes, I know. It is practically impossible to avoid germs. However you can show your dominance over them by using antibacterial wash like it is going out of style. Waterless antibacterial gels now come in small packages with fun scents. And many popular companies like Bath and Body Works are aware of the drying and damaging to the condition of your hands (the necessary evil of germ extermination), so they put in moisturizing beads to restore the moisture in your hands. So really, you have no excuse not to. Can’t find it in your purse? You’re in luck. Many sanitizers come with clasps that are easily attached to any strap. Now try getting out of that one. Hand wipes also make a good alternative when you are not able to wash your hands with soap and water.

– Take all prescription medications with you. This is especially important for those who rely on prescription medications to survive, i.e. diabetes, arthritis, etc. If your trip will be severely hampered without these medications, make it a priority that they make it on your trip.

– Know where all the medical facilities are where you are traveling. It might seem a little over the top, but as long as you have a GPS or map in a place where you can’t speak the language, you will be able to get medical assistance in an emergency. If you are traveling in a place where you speak the language, you should be able to ask any good Samaritan where the nearest medical facility is.

– If you have a medical condition have documentation on you, such as a medical alert bracelet or medical i.d. This can be lifesaving if you have an attack or episode and no one you are traveling with is around you.

– Travel with some sort of insurance. If you are traveling domestically, your regular insurance plan should be just fine. However, if you are traveling internationally, it might be a good idea to get some temporary health insurance. These health insurance plans can cover you while you are on vacation, but may have restrictions on what type of medical help you may receive. And with all insurance, it is a gamble whether you will use it or not. You have to bank on the chance that if you did get sick without insurance, it would cost more than your premium you are paying. However, the peace of mind might be worth it in the end.

– Be careful what you eat. While eating out can be an exciting part of traveling, you are what you eat. Even though it is okay to still eat at small, non-touristy restaurants, make sure the establishment is clean. And be especially careful of the water. For most places, bottled water is most expensive but definitely recommended.