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How to Prepare for Injuries While Travelling

03/26/2015 12:28 EDT | Updated 05/26/2015 05:59 EDT
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No one ever plans on getting hurt or injured while on a trip. While planning vacations we prefer to think about exploring new destinations or relaxing on the beach. But it's important to take a little time to prepare for the unfortunate situation of getting injured while traveling.

Proper Preparation is Important

Begin by investing a small amount of time and money in purchasing medical travel insurance. Typically, it's cheaper than you may think.

Look for a policy that includes medical expenses plus emergency evacuation. Before buying a special medical insurance policy for your trip, be sure to check with your medical insurer as you might already be covered by your existing health plan.

Then, organize phone numbers and contact information for all doctors and other medical offices you use and bring this with you so you can quickly reach out in case of an emergency.

Finally, pack an emergency medical kit with an antibiotic, anti-diarrheal, antihistamine and painkillers (at least over-the-counter, though some doctors might prescribe something stronger to have in reserve).

Consider Booking with a Tour Operator

Tour operators, particularly higher end operators, often include travel-medical and evacuation insurance in their packages. Additionally, their local trip leaders are also well prepared for mishaps. If you are injured while traveling, having a local guide who speaks the language and knows where to head in case of an emergency can significantly reduce the stress of the situation. If you are injured while traveling, booking through a tour operator that carries liability insurance can also help cover any expenses incurred.

While accidents abroad can have very complicated aspects, particularly in respect of time limits for pursuing claims abroad, keep in mind that it is important to obtain evidence in respect of holiday incidents which happened thousands of miles away. A good local guide and tour operator can assist with this in the event of an injury while traveling.

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Deal with the Stress in a Healthy Way

Getting injured is stressful. Getting injured while traveling is even more stressful. If you've taken the time to plan properly by purchasing travel insurance and have booked travel with a trustworthy tour operator or travel guide, the situation will be much less stressful.

Either way, all travelers have certain expectations when it comes to travel and when things don't go according to plan or as anticipated, stress can occur. This stress results in high cortisol, strain on the body system and other negative physical reactions.

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A simple way to immediately reduce stress is to perform diaphragmatic, or "deep breathing" exercises. Lie face down on the floor and begin breathing deeply and slowly, with your hands resting under your face. Do this for five minutes.

Alternatively, you can sit in a reclining chair. Put a hand on your abdomen and a hand on your chest. As you breathe, make sure the hand on your abdomen is moving up and down rather than one on your chest. If the hand on your abdomen is moving you are breathing deeply and slowly.

Travel should be fun and carefree, however it's best to plan ahead for the unexpected event of being injured while on the road so you're in the best position possible to quickly recover.

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