What If ... You Get Injured While Traveling
Get hurt on your vacation? Injured during your trip? From travel insurance to medical evacs, here’s what to do when you’re injured and far from home.
Broken Jaw X-Ray (Photo by Thinkstock)
I’ve bungee jumped, parasailed and jumped off the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere. I scuba dive and surf whenever I get the chance. I climbed Kilimanjaro. I’m taking flying trapeze lessons and have gone to stuntman school. The only real injury I got in 12 years of adrenaline-seeking travel? Breaking my jaw after slipping on a polished parquet floor in Buenos Aires.
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Stuff happens. No one expects to get injured, and certainly not while on vacation, especially in one’s room at a five-star hotel. But the world is an imperfect place, and freak accidents happen much more easily than we think.
Six years after my encounter with the floor, I still tell people: if you have to get injured, do it at a five-star hotel. The Park Hyatt’s whole staff impressed me with their trauma-related services: the butler who rode with me to the hospital and made sure I got the “good plastic-surgery stitches”; the housekeepers who somehow got the bloodstains off my white pajamas (I’d bitten through my lip); the bartenders who made me smoothies; and the concierge who got me on the next flight home, along with a premium seat and lounge access.
I asked Park Hyatt about their training for such things. A spokeswoman told me they had no specific emergency protocol but “their sense of individual empathy creates a very powerful, thorough and, particularly in the case of an emergency, incredibly memorable experience.”
Obviously, not everyone has the good luck of having bad luck in a luxury hotel. But what you do in the next few hours (and ideally before your trip) can have a big effect on how things turn out. Here are some tips from my experience and industry experts: