Tips for Accessing Your Health Benefits on Vacation

Make Holiday Vacations Less Worrisome with These Benefit Tips


Heading out for some holiday travel this year? Along with remembering to book your hotel and airfare, pack your best clothes, ski equipment, and your holiday gifts, you want to make sure to protect your health during your travels too. Going on vacation can mean traveling to new countries, eating foods that you normally don’t, and being exposed to a number of foreign illnesses that your body doesn’t have the immunity to fight off. It can also mean engaging in activities that can cause injuries.

The last thing you want to deal with is getting hurt or sick and then finding out that there is not adequate health care in the region you are visiting. Or worse yet, that your employee benefits information is locked up at home somewhere and the HR lady is on holiday vacation too.

How can you protect your health while enjoying some carefree holiday travel this year? A little preparation goes a long way.

Visiting Another Country?

Check out the Centers for Disease Control travel page to find out about steps you can take to get vaccinated against diseases, avoid serious health outbreaks, and provide information to your family physician. Be especially cautious if you are pregnant, have a suppressed immune system, or elderly people or kids traveling with you. Make sure you have a complete physical at least one month prior to your trip to ensure you are not bringing any infectious diseases along for the ride too.

Planning on Engaging in Some Extreme Sports?

You will want to do your best to avoid injuries while on holidays, so take the time to boost up your physical fitness months in advance of your trip. Work with a personal trainer to boost your stamina and your muscle strength, which can help you once you are outside in the elements. Bring protective equipment along, such as eyewear, elbow and knee pads, and helmets to avoid unnecessary injuries.

Set up a Health Care Lifeline

The worst possible experience happens when you get sick or hurt and have to settle on care from a regional health care center, which may be subpar to US health care at best. Make sure you have a lifeline at home, with direction from your family physician and access to your medical records. You’ll also want to be able to access all your employee benefits information via the Internet or on a file on your computer. Download all summary plan documentation and have insurance phone numbers programmed into your mobile device.

Check with your insurance company before having any medical care to ensure coverage.

Use Common Sense While on Vacation

It can be easy to throw all caution to the wind while on holiday vacation. After all, this is a time to relax and have fun. But, in order to protect your personal health and well-being, it’s important to use some common sense. Avoid drinking too much alcohol, which can cause you to make poor decisions and dehydrates your body making it susceptible to illness. Avoid eating any extreme regional foods with ingredients that are overly spicy or unusual. Bring your own filtered water with you and avoid drinking public water.

Don’t engage in any risky behavior that could put you in danger.

If you follow the above tips, your holiday vacation will be much more pleasant and you’ll be able to come back refreshed and healthy.