By T. Bull
You’ve booked your flight, made reservations at the hotel, got someone to bring in the mail and watch the dogs, what about the travel insurance? I know what you’re thinking, “I’m only going for two weeks”, “I’ll be fine I’m in great shape”, “other people get sick on vacation, not me”, but what if you’re wrong?
Thailand is known for being a bargain for westerners. Cheap clothes, food, hotels, entertainment, even the hospitals and clinics are cheap compared to the west and with some of the best doctors in the world. Contrary to what some people may believe Thailand has excellent health care. Even though Thailand is cheaper than the west in almost every category if you wind up in the hospital for a week or two it’s still going to cost you and it will be more than you bargained for.
If you need some stitches or you pick up a bad case of pink eye then a clinic can patch you up easily and the cost will be minimal…around 700 Baht – 1200 Baht ($20-$30) and thats including all the medicine you’ll need to take for whatever length of time. But if you have seriously problems and are admitted to a hospital then the bills start to rack up. Hospital room, medicine, diagnostics, and so on. Then you could be looking at 30,000 baht and up…you do the math.
Whereas travel insurance won’t be much help for the minor ailments it will certainly be worth the cost if something major comes up. On average for a two week trip most travel insurance will cost you $20-$30 which isn’t much in the grand scheme of things. That amount will usually cover major medical, flights to your home country if it’s decided thats the best place for you, and most even have an added bonus that if you’re hospitalized for a week or longer they will have a family member flown to you.
Travel insurance can also cover trip cancellations, lost luggage, and a change in travel plans depending on what options you choose. You may not have a great vacation if you get sick but if you have to pay for it out of pocket as well then it’s sure to be a memorable trip and not for the right reasons.
I’m writing this because I came down with acute tonsillitis on my first trip to Thailand. Luckily a few trips to the clinic got me back into shape but it could have been bad and I wouldn’t have been covered as I didn’t even think about insurance.
The flight to Thailand is a long one if you live in the states (17 hours non stop from JFK International) Which will have you nice and dehydrated if you don’t drink a lot of water. The temperature in Thailand is HOT which can and will dehydrate you further if you don’t take care. Foreign food, foreign microbes, burning the candle at both ends, endless sight seeing, and a host of other things can and will come back to haunt you if you don’t take care. Even if you do take care to prevent sickness there is always the unexpected and in Thailand that could be anything from an over amorous elephant, a motorcycle taxi running you over and a host of other things just waiting for you around the next corner.
You may have great insurance in your home country but in most cases they won’t cover you overseas.
Find a good travel insurance and buy it for your trip no matter where you’re going or for how long!
About the Author
Born and raised in Baltimore Maryland I finally set out to discover the world in 2006. South East Asia has always been a beacon for me and Thailand its crowned jewel.
I write about my experiences in Thailand as well as the cultural aspects of being a foreigner in a foreign land. I blog daily about Thailand at: http://thailandlandofsmiles.com