Short term trips are meant to be exciting and full of purpose. They allow you to visit new places, help those in need, and meet some amazing people. However, not all trips go as planned. Accidents happen and plans change.
There are so many moving parts on a short-term trip. This includes transportation to and from the country for several people, transportation in the country, meetings with locals, materials needed, the health of the team, and more. As a result, everything rarely goes according to plan.
There is no way to guarantee that everything goes smoothly on your journey, but there are several things you can do to increase the chances your short-term trip is a success. Read below so you can avoid a nightmare on your next short-term trip overseas, and instead make the impact you intended.
How Short-Term Trips Become Nightmares
There are many reasons as to why trips go south, but the main one is usually due to poor planning. Most of the things that go wrong on a trip could have been avoided with better planning. Between travel websites and social media, it’s becoming easier to plan out your trip more precisely.
For example, it’s wise to pack more medical supplies than you think you need, create a backup plan in case something falls through, order extra supplies far enough in advance, or scout out the area before the team arrives.
We cannot stress enough the importance of having a backup plan for each important piece of your adventure. Have another option for transportation and for your accommodations. It’s much better to have a plan and not need it than to not have a plan and need it. This takes extra time but is definitely worth it.
Another reason trips become a disaster is not selecting the right people for your team. Trips like these are often short on volunteers, so it’s tempting to accept anyone who is willing to join. However, it’s vital to choose the right people who are adequately prepared and will make a positive contribution to the team.
One final reason we will mention is the failure to be culturally sensitive. It’s necessary to study the local language and culture and properly equip the team before embarking on your journey. Many problems could be avoided by taking some extra time to humbly approach the local environment.
Examples of Nightmare Trips: Don’t Let This Be You!
At 59 years old, Debbie Williams was still active in short-term medical trips. She and her husband, a gynecologist, had gone on them for thirty years. A trip to help a clinic in Chile seemed routine for this active couple.
But on the flight over, Debbie became ill suddenly. Upon landing she was rushed to a nearby hospital. Tragically, nothing could be done to save her life.
Even in the midst of grief and the miles of red-tape required to return Debbie’s body to the US, the church that sent them out could be thankful. Because Debbie had urged them to add group travel health insurance to their plans at the last minute. And in the midst of tragedy, group travel insurance would see her returned to her family. The return of mortal remains can incur huge costs if not covered by overseas trip insurance.
Medical evacuation costs can also put families in financial ruin. The Don Jenkins family of Kentucky was stuck with a bill of $90,000 after Don tripped and hit his head while on a mission to Costa Rica. The family of Britt Leis had to pay $55,000 for his medical evacuation after he was mugged in Ecuador. Most people cannot afford to incur these costs.
There are plenty of other examples of accidents that can happen, including being in a car accident in Guatemala, breaking your arm while hiking in Nepal, or getting a severe case of dysentery in Kenya. For many people, incurring these medical costs will force them into extreme medical debt and possibly even cause bankruptcy.
None of these situations were planned, but all of them could easily happen to anyone. One of the best ways to prevent your short-term trip from becoming a nightmare is to purchase travel medical insurance.
How Can Travel Insurance Help Your Short-Term Team?
One part of your planning process should be to purchase a travel plan to make sure everyone has coverage. There are many ways travel health insurance can protect your team, but here are just a few.
1. The primary way travel medical insurance can help your team is by covering overseas medical bills.
Medicare and most other domestic insurance plans do not cover services rendered outside of the country. Short-term team travel insurance can, however, cover any medical emergencies the team might encounter, including broken limbs, medications, and surgeries. While medical care in most other countries is less expensive than the United States, a hospital stay could still cost you thousands of dollars. You can get high levels of coverage (over $500,000 USD) for a little amount of money.
2. It provides medical evacuation coverage for ill or injured team members.
Medical evacuation is coverage that pays for emergency transportation when you become severely sick or injured and need to be quickly transported to a quality medical facility. When medical evacuation is needed, it usually happens suddenly and unexpectedly. As a result, it is very expensive.
There are no domestic medical plans that cover medical evacuation. Travel insurance is the only way to obtain this type of coverage. And having this coverage could be the difference between life and death if something tragic happens. Most travel plans come with medical evacuation coverage, but you can also purchase it separately if you need additional protection.
3. Travel health insurance will return the remains of a deceased team member.
Sadly, there have been cases where something tragic happens and a team member passes away. Flight arrangements to return a body back home are very complicated and expensive (more than $10,000 USD). All the details are covered by insurance representatives who can be reached by phone twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. While this portion of the coverage is rarely needed, you’ll be incredibly thankful you have it if that time comes.
4. It offers assistance and brings you peace of mind.
Often, it’s the unnoticed benefits of travel insurance that are the most valuable. If you’ve traveled overseas, you know that so many things can go wrong. Knowing these things will be covered makes an enormous difference.
A traveler in Vietnam suffered a perforated ulcer. Insurance representatives determined that medical facilities in the area were inadequate for his care and arranged a medical evacuation to nearby Thailand. The transfer undoubtedly saved his life.
Medical care and billing are complicated and messy. Having travel health insurance provides you access to professionals who can help you sort everything out. And much of the time, your expensive bills will also be covered!
Purchasing short-term team insurance allows you to be able to relax and enjoy your travels abroad because you know you’ll be covered if something goes wrong. Knowing you are protected will also bring your loved ones peace while you’re gone.
Good Neighbor Insurance has more than 27 years of experience insuring short-term teams. We have several different group travel insurance options, which means you can find the best plan to meet your group’s needs. Get your FREE quote today to protect your team.
Enjoy your next adventure, and be sure to travel safely!