Some general advice

Some general advice

You can avoid a lot of unnecessary worry if you carefully, methodically prepare your holiday or trip abroad well in advance.

Here is some practical and general advice to help you prepare your trip:

Subscribe to a Travel Insurance Policy and take the time to read the terms and conditions, including any pre-existing condition exclusions that may be listed. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about certain clauses that are difficult to understand or are poorly adapted to your particular situation. Your travel insurance provider will be able to explain the contract’s different guarantees. This is a very important point, particularly if you have a specific medical concern or condition (for example, a chronic or recent serious illness).

Write down your policy number and the telephone number of your insurance company and keep them on you at all times.

If you have any problem while travelling, don’t wait until you get home to consult a doctor. The medical team of your assistance company is available to discuss any questions or doubts you may have about your health. He/she can provide useful advice, contact your family doctor and organize a consultation wherever you are.

Make an appointment with your family doctor. Your pharmacist may also be able to advise you about the different prescribed treatments you must follow during your trip. Find out about the health conditions of the countries you will be visiting. Verify and update your vaccinations, and take your vaccination booklet with you.

Prepare your medical kit. If necessary, make photocopies of your recent medical prescriptions and/or your last hospital reports. You might even give a copy of these documents to someone close to you.

In case of a chronic illness or previous or complicated illnesses, ask your doctor to write a medical report, preferably in English, that summarizes your situation (previous conditions, description of your illness, results of most recent examinations or tests carried out) and mentions your usual medical treatment and its international denomination.

Never deviate from your habitual treatment, even while flying. Always have your medication on hand and carry a duplicate of your prescription, specifying the international names (DCI) of the medication you are using (for example, the DCI of aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid). This way you can replace it or quickly find its equivalent wherever you are.

Carefully prepare all everyday items you will need during your trip. Don’t forget your sunglasses, prescription glasses and/or contact lenses (plan on taking along a second emergency pair) and, if necessary, your hearing aid and extra batteries.

Your sunglasses should be well adapted to your trip (seaside, mountains, tropics). Choose your sun cream according to your destination & your skin type and a possible allergy. Take along lip protection, a sun cap or hat, and even a wide, long scarf to protect yourself from dust and strong winds.

And of course, the Golden Rule: always carry your passport, banking card (or travellers’ checks or cash) and medication on you. Never put these items in the bottom of your luggage or in the luggage compartment of an airplane.