So you got your vaccinations, and are still planning your trip to Puerto Vallarta this year. Many people, who feel ready to travel, are looking for safe ways to take their trip ~ so here are Medjet’s Top 5 recommendations to consider doing before heading down:
Still Be Cautious
While the vaccine rollout is great news, keep in mind that inoculation doesn’t offer total protection. It’s been shown to reduce the effects of the illness, should you catch it, but it’s still possible to catch and transmit the virus. While you’re out and about, and if you plan to have family and friends come down and visit you while you’re there, be sure to continue safe behaviours.
Also keep in mind that while many consider Puerto Vallarta a safe tourist town, the travel shutdowns have hurt a lot of economies that are heavily reliant on tourism, and many tourist destinations around the world have seen a slight uptick in crime. Have fun, but be a little extra cautious (and I’m saying that about all places people are traveling to right now).
Make A Plan
Have a plan in place if you, or a travel companion, fall ill or are injured. Know where the closest local hospital is that will treat non-residents, and how they handle admission and billing. Many require upfront cash payment, even in the case of an ER visit, so make sure that you, or family members who may need to get involved should something happen to you, know what will need to be done should the worst happen.
Make copies of your passport, ID, health insurance and any travel insurance cards and leave copies w/family members or close friends whom you’d rely on in an emergency. It’s always best to plan for the worst and hope for the best!
If you are staying at a hotel, or a defined period rental, have a plan for what happens if you do test positive for Covid-19 for your return trip and have to remain in Mexico. Many hotels have created packages at a lower cost to assist with extended isolating, and some travel insurances will cover “trip interruption” due to Covid, covering the added cost of lodging and rebooking your flights home once you’re well. If you test positive, monitor for fever and other symptoms while you isolate and make note of how you feel. If you do develop symptoms, and you need to seek medical care, go to a hospital.
Purchase Travel Insurance, and Consider a Medical Transport Membership
Most domestic health insurance does not pay for out-of-country medical. Purchasing travel insurance, or a local form of health insurance, in addition to looking into a medical transport membership program like Medjet before departing on your trip is very important. While many locations have adequate hospitals, many have limited ICU beds, and most people do not want to be treated in a hospital far from home. Travel insurance medical evacuation coverage is primarily intended to get you to the nearest adequate treatment facility, not to a hospital at home. If you want to be able to be moved to a hospital at home, you should enroll in a program like Medjet. You can read more on Medjet’s Covid-19 transport coverage here.
Know Where To Find Local Testing
This is especially important now with the new CDC guidelines. Currently, a negative test to return to the US is required, even for US citizens. The good news is that many of the airports and resort properties have added on-site testing, or can facilitate finding a local option.
Keep Up With Department of State Travel Advisories and Restrictions
Keep checking back at the US State Department website, both prior to and during their trip, for detailed information on testing requirements and any new, government-mandated, quarantine restrictions. It’s always a good idea to register in the State Department’s S.T.E.P. program, which alerts the local consulate that you are in their area.
About the Author:
John Gobbels is a career health and safety advisor, and Chief Operating Officer of Medjet.