It can be really daunting when you are abroad, as a family, and you need medical help. Sometimes medical attention abroad can mean that you cannot fly home when you had planned. This can then become even more stressful. Making sure you have the correct insurance, back up plans and support in place is essential. You may recall our recent trip abroad meant Isla and I couldn’t fly home due to Chicken Pox. That was scary enough and we knew what to do with Chicken Pox.
I have recently been following the Adventure Travel Family who were in Bali when their daughter fell from a great height and was knocked unconscious. Seeing the things they have been going through in the Bali hospitals, nurses missing treatments and not cleaning their hands or equipment is enough to make you feel sick! Unfortunately, Clinical negligence does happen and is quite common, especially as we are used to the fabulous NHS who are well trained and follow processes. I really hope they get Eira back to the UK for the support she needs and super fast. Wishing them lots of luck and I have everything crossed she gets better.
Making sure you have the right plan in place can help you if ever you need support and medical help abroad.
Make sure you have travel insurance
If you do not have travel insurance then you really shouldn’t travel! It is essential especially as we found out last September in Kos. Due to Isla getting chicken pox she couldn’t fly home on the flights we originally booked. Our insurance covered the cost of our extra nights in the hotel, food and flights home. It was a really stressful time but knowing that they would be covering the costs made it a little easier to deal with.
Make sure you have a back up plan
If someone does fall ill or has an accident on holiday make sure you have a back up plan. Some money that you can access if you need extra nights or food, or to book extra flights. We took the decision for just one parent to stay with Isla when she was poorly but we could have paid for us all to stay together for those few days.
Be prepared to haggle
I had to haggle with everyone about everything! I had to haggle with the doctor to get her signed “fit and well” so she could spend the last 48 hours in the pool and make back some of her holiday. Despite her being covered in spots still, the doctors note meant the hotel were OK about it. I had to haggle with the hotel to stay the extra nights, the insurance would only pay for a certain amount of money per night – so I had arranged to pay the little extra to stay exactly where we were and we still had the all inclusive. I did not want to be in a strange Country on my own with Isla and having to nip out to get food. I wanted to stay with what I knew and felt safe. I also had to haggle with the flight attendant to let Isla and I sit together and then stay on the flight, read the post linked above, it was so stressful.
Take photos of everything
I took photos of everything, even down to the doctor who came out to see Isla and diagnose her. I took photos of his receipt, of all receipts actually and everything to do with her illness for those few days. Just in case. I know it sounds negative but I didn’t know when I would need to prove anything – for example, I didn’t know if I would have to prove that Isla had seen a doctor. It did come in handy when I had to convince the flight attendant that Isla was fit to fly and she had seen a doctor.
Make the most of the sun and sea water
I believe the sun and sea water healed Isla quicker than normal. Noah took a complete 7 days to get over his chicken pox and for the spots to scab up about Isla’s took about 4 days. I know this doesn’t work for accidents but healing wounds etc will definitely benefit from the sunshine and sea water. Make the most of being abroad even if the circumstances are not perfect and let time do the healing.
Research your surroundings before you go
I am a stickler for making sure I know where the nearest doctor, hospital and town is for when we go away. I am glad I did. Our hotel was huge and the reception had a doctor they could call, so we were lucky. But sometimes when you visit a foreign country and you are self-catering you wouldn’t have that luxury.
Hopefully this will never happen to you and your family, but if it does I hope this post helps to make it a little less stressful. If you have any tips on dealing with these kind of issues abroad, I would love to know in the comments below or on social media: @mummyconstant.