A one way ticket is a delightful concept. It symbolises freedom, escapism, being who you want to be and living the life you want to lead. Taking that step and breaking the shackles of your day-to-day life may be the best decision you ever make, but no matter how appealing spontaneity is there are a few things that need to be thought through and planned before you set off on your adventure.
Your health and wellbeing are without question the two most important things to look after whilst you are travelling. Without them you have nothing and may be forced to cut your trip short, or worse be stuck abroad with no money in need of medical treatment. You have to remember that being a foreign national means you are unlikely to be entitled to any free or subsidised medical care, which means a simple injury or illness can land you with a very damaging bill. The best way to counter this is with the right insurance.
Many people going abroad take out travel insurance policies; however for a lengthy trip these policies are not ideal. The medical cover provided by travel insurance is intended to get you well enough to be repatriated and resume treatment back home, which completely defeats the idea of a one way ticket. Moreover, you will often find yourself constrained by maximum trip durations.
The answer is international medical insurance, which is designed to give people living or working in a foreign country access to good quality, reliable medical care without the potentially huge price tag. Unlike travel insurance, the idea behind international medical insurance is to get you all the treatment you need, including recovery and rehabilitation, whilst you are abroad rather than being repatriated as soon as you are well enough to travel.
Policies are generally flexible, with many options allowing you to tailor your insurance to you own personal needs. For example, an extreme sports enthusiast could get cover for medical evacuation whilst a young couple looking to start a family could ensure they have maternity care.
Having the right insurance can mean the difference between an injury or illness ending your journey or just being another part of the adventure, and the importance of looking after your health and wellbeing whilst abroad cannot be stressed enough.
Photos: mytravlel insurance and younghwan Jeong used under creative commons license