Travel Health Insurance

My friend Traci is the blood parent. Her husband Mic is the puke parent. It’s unfortunate then that I threw up in Traci’s car.

You see, that’s what I do. It’s not like a party trick, but when I get sick, I feel a pain in my torso like there isn’t enough room for all my insides. I feel full and twisted. I start to whine and get desperate not knowing what to do. I pray that I won’t have to go to the hospital because I’m one of those uninsured Americans. Going to the hospital would mean a long wait and a longer bill that I can’t afford.

I was dismissive about travel insurance. Theo has been adamant about it and he’s right. Getting sick or injured abroad could be financially devastating and it could actually cost you your life if you can’t afford the jet specially equipped for transporting critically ill patients and medical equipment to get home. There are other considerable financial risks associated with traveling such as trip cancellation or interruption, lost baggage, terrorism, natural disasters, emergency evacuation, and getting your body home if you die. Travel insurance can help with the financial burdens and give you peace of mind.

Insurance is one of those things that you don’t want and it’s annoying to pay for because, most of the time, you don’t need it, but when you do, you’re glad to have it. My travel insurance package cost just about 5% of my total trip cost. With those kinds of numbers, it’s well worth it.

Also, if you’re an American traveling abroad, I recommend using the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. It’s free and it’s fast and easy to enroll. It isn’t just about keeping you alert on potentially dangerous situations. U.S. consular offices can provide legal, medical, and financial assistance as well as help with absentee voting, passports, filing tax forms, and much more.

Another excellent resource is the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers (IAMAT), a free organization that can help you get quality medical care during your trip. Donations are recommended.

My mom comes to the rescue with her brew of water, sodium bicarbonate, and lime. Then I throw up and sleep for 16 hours. Note to self: ship ahead a bottle of the magic white powder.

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