You’ve been waiting all year for the perfect holiday vacation for the family. The tickets were purchased months ago, you arranged for time off from work, and the kids will be on winter break. What could go wrong? According to the World Health Organization, injuries while travelling are among the leading cause of preventable deaths. Don’t make this the year that you become a statistic.
Travel injuries take on many forms, from faulty rental equipment while diving or zip lining, to improper safety tactics (like surfing lessons), to encountering a skier who loses control on the slopes. Road travel and road conditions also pose a holiday hazard, especially if the conditions are unfamiliar. (Think visits from a Florida relative to your East Coast home during a snowstorm.) Internationally, European roads are very different from United States roads. Driving on the left side of a country lane can seem harmless until you’re challenged with a roundabout or indecipherable signage.. Whatever the case may be, vacations entice us to take extra risks and challenge ourselves in the process. You’ve worked hard to play hard and don’t consider that something could happen while on vacation. What could be better than being away from work? In truth, holiday injuries could happen anytime, anywhere.
If you have been injured while out of town, you know how difficult it can be to receive proper or timely medical care or emergency services. Double that challenge if you are in a foreign country. If you were injured, hopefully you packed your insurance card. If you are planning to go out of town, here are some steps you might want to take to ensure your safety:
- Make duplicate copies of your insurance card and keep a copy with someone at home and in your luggage.
- Pack your own equipment to avoid using unfamiliar or faulty rental equipment.
- Increase your insurance for the duration of your trip.
- Learn the techniques of a new skill or activity before your vacation.
- Don’t drink alcohol when learning a new activity, particularly in unfamiliar areas.
- Don’t carry or show off your wallet or money. (Many people are injured during robbery attempts while on vacation, as tourists are frequently targeted.)
- Leave your itinerary and contact information—including hotel, destination, and flight information—with someone back home.
Holiday travel should be a happy time. You want to be able to share the memories, and not the story of a trip to a hospital in an unknown city. If you do find yourself in a situation where you are injured, whether at home or abroad, you’ll want assistance putting the pieces together to form a proper case. Those steps can be difficult unless you’ve enlisted the help of an attorney who specializes in travel injury.
Booking that holiday trip doesn’t have to be scary. New destinations are a source of enjoyment, and travel to unique destinations give many the chance to “check it off” a bucket list. This year, check one more trip off your list and be safety-ready for another trip to come.