Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Hospitals in Vienna, Austria

     Purchasing travel insurance is far more important than you might think, even if you're traveling close to home. We've all heard the horror stories: A man's briefcase is stolen on a train with all of his expensive electronics and essential travel papers inside, or a woman's camera breaks in the middle of her vacation and will cost hundreds of dollars to repair. Even if you're just traveling to a neighboring country or state for a few days, travel insurance can offer you much needed piece of mind.

     Travel insurance was brought up in conversation this past July as my friend Kasey and I were prepping for our short backpacking trip through central Europe. I'd already purchased my travel insurance as I usually do but Kasey hadn't thought about it. I suggested that she did and pulled up a travel insurance website for her to look at, and after a bit of browsing Kasey purchased a plan. It's important to say that I've never had an incident that required me to use my travel insurance...but Kasey did, and in the end she was grateful she'd insured herself before we left for Budapest. 

     While we were in Hungary, Kasey began to feel sick. She was very tired, but we both just dismissed it as jetlag and that she wasn't used to the constant go-go-go of exploring so many places in such a short time. By the time we made it to Bratislava, however, we both knew something wasn't right and this was more than simple sluggishness.. I felt guilty because I thought I'd planned a far too ambitious itinerary that wore her out, and she felt guilty because she thought she was making me miss out on a lot of sights and activities (Though I never felt that way.)

     By the time we made it to Vienna we decided that she needed to go see a doctor. Our hostel directed us to the nearest hospital and we headed over, sat in the waiting room for a better part of two hours and then Kasey was finally able to see a physician who prescribed her with antibiotics. From what I understand, Austrian healthcare is free (or very close to free) for Austrians, but foreigners are required to pay a flat rate of 150 euros - about $190 USD.  Kasey's insurance plan had only cost her $40, and they reimbursed her for the medical fees, meaning that her insurance paid for itself 4 times over with just one doctor's visit. Sure, paying $190 would not have been the end of the world, but we prefer $40, any day. And for those of you who are concerned: after taking the Antibiotics for a few days Kasey returned to her normal healthy self.

     Kasey and I booked with World Nomads and I highly recommend them to other travelers. Their basic package reimburses medical costs, baggage/personal effect loss and will even pay to send you home early if there is an emergency. It's important that you take the time to find a policy/company right for you and your trip, however. If you're bringing a lot of expensive electronics with you, be sure to find a plan that will cover your reimbursement should something be lost or stolen. (World Nomad's standard plan covers up to $1000 in personal effect loss.) 

What experiences do you have with travel insurance?

The photographs in this post were taken in Vienna, Austria during the time we were not in the hospital. 


gladley said...

I'm so glad you and your friend are both okay!
Luckily I've not had an incident with travel insurance - as a Brit traveling in Europe I never really had to worry as most countries have a reciprocal agreement. Living the US is a different matter though and I'm getting my head around that!

Alex Butts said...

Wow, I never even considered purchasing travel insurance as I always try and be as cheap as possible but so good to know how handy it can come in. I will definitely look into it before my next big trip

Lacey in the City said...

Glad to know Kasey was okay!! I forget about travel insurance, so I appreciate this post. When I was last in Europe six years ago, I did have travel insurance, which reimbursed me when things were stolen from my suitcase out of our hotel room in Rome. (Sneaky hotel workers, grrr)

this hive. said...

hey there! newest follower to your AMAZING blog. oh my gosh.. soo happy i stumbled! i cannot wait to read more from ya. so glad you are your friend are ok!

Gaby said...

when i went to bali last year i ended up in the hospital with a dislocated toe, so now i ALWAYS want to get travel insurance!

jillian :: cornflake dreams. said...

yep! now austria is on my travel wishlist :) so pretty!! xoxo jillian:: cornflake dreams

Bre said...

I'm glad everything worked out and she was fine. Are all of those really hospitals? They are too beautiful.


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