Have you wanted to explore the ancient Incan and Mayan temples? Longed to see the view from the top of the Empire State Building? Or perhaps you’ve always dreamt of lying on a deserted beach in the Caribbean. If you’ve got a medical condition, America could feel like a difficult destination to visit, but with ERV Medi-Care we want to help you get out there.
America is a vast and diverse continent with a destination or experience on every traveller’s wish list, whether that’s to see the iconic landscapes of the USA and Chile, visit the jungles of Columbia and Costa Rica, or experience the culture of Cuba. However, America can often be seen by some as a more challenging destination for travellers with pre-existing medical conditions.
We have some travel tips for visiting America with a medical condition, including the best destinations to visit, and things to consider before you plan your trip.
Planning your trip is one of the most important factors when travelling with a pre-existing medical condition. Wherever you plan to travel to in America, you should visit your local medical practitioner at least 6 weeks before your trip, to discuss any medical requirements that may be needed for your destination.
It’s also good opportunity to ensure that you have filled out your prescriptions for the duration of your trip and possibly longer in case there is a delay or your medication is lost or stolen. Also, you might want to take into consideration any documentation you may need to carry in order to take your medication with you on your flight. See our advice page on travelling with prescriptions for a more detailed list of what you will need to do in advance of your trip.
For many travellers your dream destination is probably on a long list of must-see places you wish to visit, however when travelling with a medical condition it’s a good idea to take into account the types of trip and destinations that will be most enjoyable for you. For many travellers, knowing that you have easily accessible and high quality healthcare is a pre-requisite for planning your holiday.
While the USA and Canada are obvious choices for many people as they have a recognised standard of healthcare and also have English as their first language, there are a number of other destinations in America whose healthcare systems are ranked extremely highly by WHO (World Health Organisation). These countries include Columbia, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba and Barbados. However, it is extremely important to note that for all countries in America you must ensure that you have adequate travel insurance before to go. Medical care is often expensive, especially in the US, and there are no special arrangements for British visitors, unlike Europe. For a detailed profile of the countries in America look at the British Foreign Office Travel Health website: http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/country-information/
When travelling with a medical condition it important that you understand the limitations of your condition, in regards to what could trigger certain symptoms or reactions. This should be discussed with your doctor or nurse who will be able to provide you with personal advice on your individual condition.
Bolivia and Peru have large parts of the country that are at an extremely high altitude, as do areas of Columbia and Ecuador. For people with Diabetes, Asthma, Epilepsy, Heart conditions, Lung conditions and Sickle cell disease this is a factor to be taken into account. Altitude can have a significant effect on these conditions. If you feel that this could affect you, or you suffer from one of these conditions and are planning travelling in these areas, speak to your doctor well in advance of planning or preparing for your trip.
Similarly travelling in isolated areas, like jungle trekking in the Amazon or visiting Patagonia, should be carefully considered before booking. Speak to the tour company you are planning on going with and let them know about your condition. Understand how far it is to the nearest hospital, should you need to go, and what their safety procedure is, should something happen.
If you are planning on going to America, our single trip or annual ERV Medi-Care Worldwide policy will provide you with support and service, should you require it. ERV has a comprehensive assistance network and our pre-approved medical facilities for all of our customers will help to put travellers’ minds at ease.
ERV Medi-Care can provide you with affordable, worldwide travel insurance, which includes the USA. With ERV Medi-Care, we cover a certain range of conditions, at no additional. You can find out more about those on our Automatically Approved Conditions list. If your conditions aren’t automatically accepted, ERV Medi-Care offer a simple process to assess your needs, either online or by talking it through with one of our customer service team members over the phone.
If you’re planning a trip to America and are looking for travel insurance for those with a pre-existing medical, call us on 01403 788510 and we’ll be happy to discuss your requirements.
Very helpful, good communication kept me up to date on progress. Really good customer service which is just what you need when under pressure of illness. "
ERV Customer - April 2018