Sarah got sick and ended up in hospital in Laos. It was an interesting, hard and expensive experience. We could have done without it, but it got us thinking….
If you’re sick overseas here are five tips to help ensure you’re on the mend as soon as possible.
Use your common sense
Basically, don’t panic. Use your head. stay hydrated, don’t eat anything funky, don’t go overboard on the booze and stay away from the other recreational drugs. Make sure you’ve got valid travel insurance, rest, and rehydrate.
Make use of your first aid kit
As well as some bandaids, paracetamol, and ibuprofen your first aid kit should have a bunch of things. We have stomach illness medicine, eye drops, scissors, hydrocortisone cream, antibacterial ointment, rehydration salts and a small supply of doctor-approved antibiotics. Make use of these before you freak out. If you’re stuck find a local pharmacist to help you out.
Talk to your travel insurer
At the very least your travel insurer will want to know you’re sick. They may also be able to provide advice and support when it comes to choosing your next steps. This might even include deciding if you need to visit a doctor or hospital.
Gotta go to the hospital? Choose the best hospital you can!
Assuming you’re able to choose, look for a hospital where someone speaks your language, they offer the service you need and the facilities are as clean as can be expected. Now is the time to ask lots of questions. Remember that standards in developing nations may be different to what you’re used to in the western world. Similarly, if you’re out in the middle of the jungle or the rainforest, or anywhere that is rural, you may have to accept different standards too.
Have a stash of emergency cash
Hospital treatments might be free or subsidised where you are from but you’re likely going to have to pay the bill during your stay. Make sure you have some extra money available for emergencies like this either in cash or on a credit or debit card.
Have you got any more tips we need to add to this list? Let us know using the comments below.