When Travelling in a Foreign Country, Ask Locals For References

When travelling to a foreign country for an extended stay, it’s a good idea to ask locals for recommended regional hospitals and doctor’s recommendations.

We have a few suggested questions to ask the locals to make sure you have the information you need in case of an emergency while in a foreign land.

Find An English Speaking Doctor

Once you find out the name of the local hospital, ask for the name of a doctor that speaks English.  If you aren’t able to get the name of an English speaking doctor, write down important personal information in the native language the doctor will need to know.  Information such as the medications you are currently taking, medications you may be allergic to, the name and contact information of your medical travel insurance, and your own family emergency contact information.  Keep this list in your purse, and make sure you have it on you at all times.  Giving an extra copy to the hotel concierge, or grounds keeper of the property you are staying at is not a bad idea either.

Your Insurance Agency Can Help Find You A Provider

International health insurance agencies may already have a list of English speaking doctors internationally, so check with them first.

In case of a dental emergency, ask your neighbors, restaurant owners or shop owners for a recommended dentist.  Emergency dental care is covered with medical travel insurance, so should you have an accident that involves your teeth, you will know where to go in a hurry.

Know Where The Closest Pharmacist Is

A lot of countries also have pharmacies that sell generic prescription drugs for less, so it’s a good idea to find out where those are located as well.  The price difference between generic and brand names is usually pretty broad, so the savings of shopping generic can save a lot of money.  You may not run out of any medications you need while visiting but if you end up needing a new prescription, it could save a lot by knowing where to go to purchase them before you need them.

Practice the Native Language

It’s fun to talk to locals for tips about the area you are visiting.  You will probably end up hearing about local hidden treasures to visit that you never would have had an opportunity to see otherwise as well as great medical advice.  Don’t be afraid to practice your language skills, the information you will get is worth any amount of embarrassment you may experience from your lack of language abilities.




Welcome To Expat LifeStyles

Living abroad can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life for a variety of reasons. Many people begin their journey abroad with the idea of just getting away or seeking an adventure but what they discover is far more fulfilling.

The culture and the opportunity to learn a new language are a couple of the auxiliary benefits people discover and it’s quite common for foreigners to be adopted by the local communities they reside in abroad. I know this was the case for my wife and I who relocated to Tulum, Mexico over 4 years ago. What we also found were many like minded expats and other foreigners that were drawn to the area for it’s natural beauty and found a way to make a life. It wasn’t long after we settled in before we really felt like part of the community.

In the case of Tulum, Mexico we found it to be a true melting pot of people from all over the world. You can literally walk from one end of this small town (about 7 blocks) to the other and hear 6 different languages. What you also find are people that are here because they want to be and that makes most people very happy and friendly!

There’s some culture shock too and you need to be prepared for the differences in culture and timing and the way things are done in your new home country. As Americans we struggled initially with the lack of organization and appointment keeping and we were angry and confused for the first 6 months. We got a few tips from our new local friends and discovered some valuable insights into how things really worked and how to handle some of the things we were used to being automatic back in the states. The important thing to keep in mind is that it’s not your country and you should try to embrace the differences instead of complaining about something lacking or different than where you come from!

One of the other pleasant surprises we found with living abroad is the affordable international insurance. We are now saving more than 50% off our US based policies and the coverage is equal to or better than what we had! Of course we had many of the same concerns as most people about the quality of the policies and care we would receive. We have been pleasantly surprised by the level of service, convenience and coverage the IMG policies provide. These days with so many people retiring and looking for ways to get the most out of savings, the health insurance piece alone is enough to justify a move abroad for many.