Travel via the Moon Aug 2013
You’ve been saving for months, you got your airline tickets when they were priced much lower,
hotel reservations confirmed for great rooms, and you have an itinerary laid out for a grand
vacation….and you’re finally there after all that planning! And then, something happens that no
one can ever plan on….a health problem. If you were home, a quick call to your local family
doctor would be the answer. But, what do you do now, here in a strange country or even a
strange city in the US? No problem you say….just ask someone at the front desk, or the
concierge, and they can refer you to the doctor that many large hotels have on call for their
guests. So call that doctor and they will be on the way to the hotel and solve your health problem.
But….you may need another doctor when you get the first doctor’s BILL for coming to the hotel
to see you!!!! A
$300-500 expense for that 5-10 minute visit is very probable….and no, your
health insurance won’t be accepted by that doctor but cash only another good probability. If you
have trip insurance, they MAY pay for it (or a portion) when you get home.
There are some options though. Call the doctor, tell him/her your health problem and they can
recommend a prescription at a nearby drug store (pharmacies in Europe have a Green Cross
over the doorway of their building) and your hotel can tell you where the nearest one is. If you’re
thinking about going to the nearest hospital or ER room, again, bring your credit card (at some
hospitals) or a lot of cash….more than the doctor at the hotel wanted.
You saw some doctor’s offices nearby….same rules.
They will not accept your home-town medical benefits like Medicare, or Tri-care, etc….a few of
them may accept credit cards, but again, plan on high prices IF you are able to get an immediate
appointment and be seen by a doctor.
What can you do if something does happen while overseas……certainly, accidents do happen
and you can’t plan for them. But taking your “meds” along (always with one or two days extra) is
#1. You can also throw in a small container of Aleve or some other pain reducer you have at
home, a couple of Band-Aids, and maybe some Neosporin or other antiseptic right into your
suitcase.takes very little room and could be a life-saver overseas. Put them in a small plastic
bag or if you have a carry-on bag for the plane they could go in there. If you’re feeling poorly just
before leaving, go see you family doctor and either get his recommendation to “stay home and
cancel” (hopefully, just temporarily) or his prescription for getting you better and his approval of
your going as scheduled.
Your health is not always something you can control but you’ve been planning this trip for
months, you’re looking forward to having a great time….so, help pul this off as one of the better
trips you’ve ever been on….
And THINK WELL. Enjoy, you deserve it.


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