Illness while traveling – What to do?
No one likes to imagine the situation: After a hard year's work, you treat yourself to a well-deserved vacation – and you get sick. The hotel bed becomes a sickbed, in worse cases the trip ends in a hospital at the end of the world, or much too early in the plane back home. You are often initially overwhelmed by such an emergency situation. It is not always possible to avoid the worst-case scenario, but it is still important to know in advance what to do in the event of illness while traveling. Prophylactic measures can also be taken during travel preparations to prepare for the "worst case":
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Important for travel: International health insurance
Adequate health insurance coverage is not only indispensable in everyday life, especially when traveling it is important to take out appropriate insurance. Every vacationer should always have proof of insurance from the statutory health insurance fund when abroad in the form of the
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) in your luggage. With most statutory insurers, this is integrated into the chip card.
However, the statutory health insurance funds do not cover medical costs and expenses in all countries, and these are usually not covered in full. Thus, taking out additional health insurance abroad is extremely useful in case of illness while traveling.
Even in countries where the statutory health insurers provide necessary care, the costs are only reimbursed up to an amount that would cost the care in Germany. The scope of the medical and transport costs paid abroad can – depending on the country of travel – differ greatly from the standard that exists in Germany. The difference is borne by the patient himself.
For example, a necessary return transport due to illness on vacation is generally not covered by statutory health insurance. In some countries the entry without foreign health insurance is not allowed at all. Adequate health insurance abroad is not expensive. In many cases, it exists within the framework of a credit card contract or membership in an automobile club.
Often useful: A well-stocked first-aid kit
A well-equipped first-aid kit should not be missing in any travel luggage. Thus one is not dependent on the local pharmacies and physicians for smaller injuries or complaints of more harmless kind.
A first-aid kit should contain disinfectants, painkillers, medicines for coughs, colds and gastrointestinal diseases, burn ointment, mosquito repellent as well as bandages, tweezers and plasters. The more remote the travel destination, the more intensively a sensible first-aid kit must be thought about.
Our tip: Many pharmacies or online pharmacies offer complete packages or put together an individual travel pharmacy. Those who still have a first-aid kit from their last trip should check it for completeness and expiration dates of the medications before each new trip.
Vaccinations and vaccination card
In the European vacation countries similar vaccination recommendations apply as in Germany. Within the European Union there is no vaccination obligation for travelers. For exotic destinations, it is advisable to follow the vaccination recommendations of the Foreign Office for the respective country of travel and to seek advice from your family doctor. It makes sense to check the vaccination record some time before departure, because some vaccinations require regular boosters or take several weeks to take effect. And basically the Vaccination certificate always in the luggage!
Hygiene protects against illness when traveling
Consistent adherence to basic hygiene is the best prophylaxis against illness when traveling. Because in many countries cleanliness corresponds. Hygienic conditions do not correspond to local conditions. Especially in exotic travel countries, water should only be consumed in industrially closed, sealed bottles. In case of doubt, water should be boiled before drinking and brushing teeth. Regular hand washing should be routine. The use of disinfectant wipes or hygienic spray is also helpful in keeping disease-causing germs at bay.
Practical tips for emergencies
When paying bills, it is important to pay attention to traceable receipts or vouchers pay attention to medical care!
In the event of an emergency doctor or hospital visit abroad, it is helpful to have the Emergency number of the health insurance to have in your luggage. In the case of inpatient hospital treatment, the emergency call center of the foreign health insurance also declares that the costs will be covered by the hospital.