Tips For Finding A Doctor While Traveling
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Tips for Finding a Doctor While Traveling

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When you’re traveling, you typically have plenty of things to worry about. How you’re getting there, how you’ll get from place to place, where you’re staying, trying to understand a new language, what to eat, and much more. If you need a doctor while you’re traveling, this will only add to your list of worries. Where should you go? How much will it cost? How can you tell which places are reputable and will take good care of you?

You never know when you might need a doctor while traveling, so it’s important to learn how to find one before you go. That way, should you ever find yourself in an emergency situation, you’ll know just what to do and where to turn.

Talk to Your Insurance Provider

First, if you’re traveling within your home country, you should talk to your insurance provider. Your insurance provider will have a directory of doctors within your network that you can go to and have your visit covered by your insurance. You don’t want to drive to a hospital, have everything taken care of, only to find that it’s not covered by your insurance, and now you owe hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Tips for Finding a Doctor While Traveling

It’s a good idea to have your insurance provider’s information handy at all times. Before you go, either make sure you know where your insurance card is, or write down the information you need and store it in a safe place. If you know you’re going to be in one place for a while, it’s also a good idea to figure out which doctor to go to before you get there. That way you can save a step of having to call your insurance provider during an emergency and just go straight to the doctor.

Use Online Reviews

If insurance isn’t a factor for you - perhaps you’re out of the country - then you’ll simply want to find the best doctor around. A great way to do this is simply through an Internet search. Open up your phone and search for the best doctors or hospitals in your area. You should find that you’re given plenty of options, and often there are reviews for these doctors. If your situation isn’t an emergency, you can then take the time to debate your options and choose the one you think is best.

Ask a Local

When you’re unable to find a doctor online, your next option is to ask a local. Ask someone that you trust from that area - be it a friend, your housing host, or a local guide - for directions to a good doctor. Locals, and especially locals whose job it is to provide helpful information - should have a few recommendations for you on where you can go. Of course, the information is only as trustworthy as the person giving it, but if you have no idea where to go, getting the information from someone who lives there is probably your best bet.

Use an Online Doctor

Tips for Finding a Doctor While Traveling

Your last option is to use an online doctor. Online doctors, or telehealth doctors, are just as they sound - doctors who can help you out via your phone, tablet or computer. After finding one of the best online doctors, you then connect with them online and describe your issue. From there the online doctor can recommend a course of action, including prescribing you medicine or recommending that you visit a hospital.

Of course, online doctors are better for some situations than others. They can help you out if you’re feeling a bit under the weather, but if you have a broken arm there won’t be much they can do. You’ll have to evaluate your own situation, but at the very least an online doctor can give you a second opinion on whether you need to seek more direct care.

How to Avoid Needing a Doctor

Finding a doctor when traveling isn’t always easy, so it would be better if you didn’t need one at all. To do this, there are a few precautions that you can take before you travel and once you get there.

For starters, make sure you have enough of your prescription medicines before you go. You should have enough to last you through the trip, and some extra, just in case you get stuck where you are and can’t get back home.

You should also take some extra precautions when you’re out traveling. While there may be a lot that you want to see and do, you should still take some extra safety measures. For example, if you’re not in the best physical shape, it’s probably not the best idea to climb a mountain. Or, if you plan on walking around a city all day, you should make sure you have the proper footwear so you don’t sprain an ankle. Finally, you should also have a small emergency first-aid kit with you, so that if you experience any minor injuries, you can take care of them yourself on the spot.

Prepare Before You Go

There are plenty of ways you can find a doctor while traveling, but if you’re injured or sick, you don’t want to add that extra stress. That’s why one of the best things you can do is prepare before you go. Take some time to research each location you’ll be in and write down a list of hospitals or doctors you could visit. Keep this list in your wallet or purse, and consider storing a digital copy of it on your phone.

By preparing before you go, you can make your life a lot easier when traveling. Getting sick or injured abroad can be a scary time, but if you have a plan in place for what to do, it becomes a little more manageable. Hopefully, this guide was able to shed some light on how you can find a doctor while traveling, and you’ll be able to keep yourself healthy and safe wherever you go.

About the author:

Vicky is a Food & Lifestyle Blogger at AvocadoPesto, where she specializes in healthy living and healthy cooking. She is also a world traveler and has visited over 60 countries.