If you’re headed out of province for a vacation this summer, it is vital that you thoroughly research your travel insurance requirements. While your Alberta provincial healthcare coverage (as well as your private coverage) will continue to provide important protections, within certain limits, if you remain in Canada, it is strongly recommended that you carry additional insurance if you’re travelling abroad. Even a relatively minor malady or injury could lead to thousands of dollars in hospital bills, with more serious incidents posing major long-term risks to your financial health.
With that in mind, here is a closer look at the most common vacation accidents and injuries, along with tips on how to avoid them.
Allergies can wreak havoc on your vacation plans, and they’re most likely to happen if you’re headed to a destination during blooming season, or if you’ll be exposed to plant species you’re not used to.
Fortunately, the fix for this potential problem is pretty simple: do some research ahead of time to see if known allergens will be present in significant concentrations during your visit. Stock up on non-drowsy antihistamines before you go, since these medications may be more expensive or not available over the counter at your destination.
Steering Clear of Road Accidents
Bicycle and car accidents are among the most common causes of vacation injuries, and they tend to happen when a visitor bikes or drives too quickly or carelessly on unfamiliar roads. Remember, too, that local driving habits can be much different from those back home, and miscommunications and misunderstandings can lead to fender-benders, or more.
If you’re going to be cycling, here are ways to reduce your risk:
- Avoid cycling during twilight and nighttime hours if possible
- Wear bright, highly visible clothing (reflective clothing is essential if you’re going to ride at night)
- Do not cycle on roads with heavy traffic, particularly if they are narrower than what you’re accustomed to
- Ask locals for directions and route recommendations
When driving during your vacation, be sure to:
- Understand local driving laws and customs before you get behind the wheel
- Limit your speed
- Plan your route before leaving on a car trip
- Avoid driving unnecessarily
- Know what to do in the event of an accident
Remain more cautious and vigilant than you normally would, and always default to defensive driving when you’re navigating new routes and roads.
Prevent Food Poisoning
Food poisoning is one of the most common avoidable health problem for vacationers. If you’re headed to an exotic location, minor stomach discomfort will often occur during the first few days. Most instances can be treated with over-the-counter medications, which you should stock up on prior to your departure. However, more serious problems can result from eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. These can result in hospital stays…and costly hospital bills.
Here are some proven strategies for avoiding food poisoning:
- Stick to bottled water. Be sure the bottle cap is intact before drinking it.
- Avoid fruits and vegetables that may have been washed in tap water; stick to things you can peel (bananas, oranges, etc.).
- Thoroughly reheat cooked foods before consuming them.
- Be extra careful about seafood, poultry, and meat-based dishes.
- Use your common sense. If a vendor’s food looks like it might be problematic, don’t eat it.
- Collect recommendations on reputable local restaurants from area residents or the desk staff at your hotel.
Travel Insurance Alberta: Enjoy Yourself Responsibly
Many vacationers also suffer injuries or get in accidents after drinking too much alcohol. While you certainly want to have a good time during your trip, you also need to know when to draw the line and avoid engaging in risky behaviour.
First, know your own limits and stay within them. Keep in mind that some local spirits may be much more potent than what you usually drink, so approach them with caution.
Next, stay hydrated and avoid intoxication by having one non-alcoholic drink for every alcoholic drink you consume.
Finally, avoid drinking to excess in unfamiliar environments, and be sure you know how you’re going to get home at the end of the day or night.
Great Coverage at Low Rates from Lane’s Insurance
If you’re headed out on an extended trip this summer, Lane’s Insurance has everything you need to take care of your home and your health while you’re away. Visit Lane’s Insurance online to get a fast, free travel insurance quote!