Fallen ill on holiday? What to do if you get sick or have an accident while travelling

Getting sick while away on holiday is not only upsetting - it can be a logistical nightmare. Whether you’re on a package trip or travelling independently, here’s how to cope.

Sometimes you can't escape it - falling ill on holiday.

And as well as it being an inconvenience, it costs you money, time and not to mention ruins a holiday that you've probably been excited about for aeons.

But what do you do if you fall on ill on holiday?

Package holiday travellers

When you sign up to a package holiday, there are usually levels of protection included within the deal so you can jet off safe in the knowledge that if anything goes wrong, you’ll be looked after and reimbursed.

What to do?

If you become sick or suffer an accident while using your resort’s facilities or while on resort property, report it to you holiday rep immediately. They will be able to advise on the nearest pharmacy, doctor’s surgery or hospital and how those outlets operate.

If you can prove you feel ill or became injured because of negligence on the part of hotel staff, you can claim compensation. Report it to your rep, your package holiday team’s head office and the hotel management.

Contact your travel insurance company immediately so they can advise on exactly what illness/accidents you are covered for, and visit a doctor and keep track of all receipts/doctors notes for future reference and as evidence.

Note down the names and addresses of anyone who can verify what happened to you in case you end up making a personal injury claim when you get home.

Independent travellers

If you’re booking your holiday independently, you can’t rely on a rep to sort out medical cover for you, so make sure you’re fully prepared for any eventuality before jumping on a plane.

What to do?

Never travel without comprehensive travel insurance, which ideally would cover the cost of an air ambulance in a worst-case scenario. Find the best deal by clicking here.

Carry a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) – they’re free and entitle you to state-funded medical care throughout most of Europe.

Contact your travel insurance company immediately so they can advise on exactly what illness or accidents you are covered for.
Speak to your hotel management or the local tourist information office for advice on your nearest pharmacy, doctor’s surgery or hospital and how they operate.

If your illness makes it impossible to travel home, speak to your airline about switching flights.

In both cases it is possible to claim for ‘loss of enjoyment’ when you get home from holiday, so always keep a record of what happened and how it came about, in case you wish to engage the services of a solicitor once you’re better.

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