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08 August 2012

What to do if you get seriously ill on a trip

What would you do if you started to feel really ill either just before or during a trip? Not just a slight head cold kind of sick, but sick with unusual pains or symptoms that you've never felt before? Unless you are are examined by a properly trained medical professional, you may not have any idea how minor or serious your situation may be.

If this happens on your last flight before you return home, your decision is probably an easy and sensible one—get on the flight and get checked out by a doctor when you land.

If you are away from home, or if it happens right before you fly, getting examined by a physician is still a good idea, but if doing so forces a change in travel plans, other considerations may cause you to think about doing something riskier, like going ahead with your trip and hoping for the best:
  • If you are on a bargain air fare with a cancellation penalty, you may decide the the loss of money (including the cost of any new ticket) is worth the risk to your health.
  • If changing the schedule means you may miss out on an important event like a wedding or a trip on a luxury cruise.
  • If taking time to deal with your potential health issue significantly affects the travel plans of others.
  • You convince yourself that the medical advice you get (either from the web or from an actual medical expert) doesn't apply to you.
Like many medical judgment calls, there may be no way to tell ahead of time if what you have is a minor annoyance or an immediate threat to your life. Given the potential financial or personal impact that canceling the trip may have, it may make sense to take some basic precautions before you travel that will either: (1) help make your decision making easier, (2) reduces or eliminates any financial impact of any significant change to your scheduled trip, or (3) allows you to get properly treated should you get seriously ill away from home:
  • Choose an airline fare that allows you to make changes or even cancel the ticket with little or no penalty.
  • Buy trip insurance that will reimburse you if you make a change that leads to fees or penalties.
  • Make sure that you can get adequate medical attention at your destination, or at any location where you may be changing planes en route
  • Purchase emergency medical evacuation insurance if you are traveling overseas, especially to places where sophisticated medical care is unavailable.
  • Purchase supplemental medical insurance if you medical plan doesn't cover expenses at your destination (most US medical plans have limited or no coverage for medical treatment overseas).
This is the kind of advice the kind of advice that will be included in the upcoming ebook series which will be provided to the public at no cost, and will provide air travelers with a valuable resource that will help them avoid or manage many of the common problems they face when they fly. To find out more about the project and how you can support it, please check out the video below or visit

Check out the Ebook Project Video

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I sent you a contribution for your project and elected to get a signed book. I filled out of the information on the website and have never heard a word, nor have I gotten the book. I did but credit card information in etc. I am not sure what happened.