This statistic shows the number of U.S. domestic trips from 2008 to 2022, by leisure and business travelers. In 2018, U.S. travelers took 463.6 million domestic business trips. This figure was forecasted to rise to 493.7 million by 2022. (Locke 2019) The travel industry in the United States is a growing one. Many visitors mean there are going to be healthcare emergencies and knowing what to do can be a life-saving decision. Healthcare emergencies when you are away from your regular doctor can be scary.
If you don’t know a city or available healthcare options, even a well-planned trip can turn into a disaster. We encourage you to be prepared.
How to Prepare for Your Health When Traveling
Things to consider:
Travel Insurance – Does your current insurance plan cover you when you travel? You may need to purchase a travel policy for coverage when out of your insurance service area. (Norris 2020)
Prepare a list of prescription medicines you take with dosages and time of day. All medications should be in original containers with clearly marked instructions on dosing.
Don’t travel or site see alone if you have a chronic condition such as heart disease, asthma, or diabetes.
Ask the hotel for a room close to an elevator if you have mobility issues or a chronic health condition.
If you don’t speak English, be sure to have a backup plan for communicating in an emergency.
Traveling with children? Most hotels have pools and water features that are great fun for little ones. Be sure you have a swimming protocol in place and age appropriate flotation devices.
Be Even More Prepared
Seniors are traveling in record numbers. As we age, it might be wise to make an appointment with your doctor at least a month before you travel. Work with your doctor to evaluate your health and the health of those planning to travel with you. Give your doctor all the details they need to make the right travel health recommendations for you. Be sure to provide information such as how long you’ll be gone and ok any activities that may result in unintended injury like thrill rides or nature hikes.
Don’t forget, packing for a healthy trip is important as anything else on the itinerary. It includes first aid items, sunscreen, insect repellent, over-the-counter medicines, and all your prescription medicines. Note that not all medicines, even if they are prescribed by a doctor, are legal in different states or countries.
Life-Threatening Medical Conditions While on Vacation
Locate an emergency health facility and know how to call for help. Serious health emergencies like strokes, heart attacks and appendicitis don’t work on a schedule. If you are staying in a local hotel the hotel will have a plan of action for healthcare emergencies and contacts for first responders. Hotels train employees to follow a standard emergency protocol for guests. Knowing in advance who takes your insurance, hours of operation and if the facility is an urgent care or a hospital will keep you from having to “shop” facilities during an emergency. We have on site radiology, a laboratory and experienced, board-certified ER doctors and are ready for any medical crisis.
Our facility is always open 24/7, 365 days each year. We’re ready to take on any emergency that a big city ER hospital would take hours to triage, and even longer to be seen when every minute matters.
Lock, S., and Aug 1. Business and Leisure Travel in U.S. 1 Aug. 2019, www.statista.com/statistics/207103/forecasted-number-of-domestic-trips-in-the-us/.
Norris, Louise. Don’t Forget to Pack Travel Health Insurance. 27 May 2020, www.healthinsurance.org/travel-insurance/ .Lock, S.