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Relocating internationally: the value of pre-trip planning

Moving abroad

Try these health and safety tips before and during your travel

Read time: 3 – 5 minutes

Key takeaways:

  • What is pre-trip planning?
  • Health and safety tips
  • Pre-trip consultation, planning and support services
  • Member case study

What is pre-trip consultation, planning and support? 

When you’re making a big move, there are so many details to consider. From accommodations and schools to travel arrangements and packing and so much more.

If you’re in good health, it might seem unnecessary to plan for your health needs. But ensuring you can get the care you need, before a problem arises, is a critical part of planning for your time away.  

7 tips to prepare for your stay

Planning ahead for an international assignment or business trip is crucial to making sure it’s successful, whether you’re away for a few days or relocating for several years. Here’s a few tips to help you stay healthy, safe and informed before and during your trip: 

1. Get familiar with your destination: Make sure to research the destination thoroughly, including the culture, language, customs, currency and safety. If you’re relocating with family, make sure you research schools, cost of living, activities, local hospitals and health care options. 

2. Check visa and passport requirements: Check to see if your destination requires a visa or passport for entry and if so, make sure to apply for these in advance.

3. Know where you’re staying: Don’t get stranded when you arrive at your destination. Make sure to read reviews and find appropriate accommodations in advance of your trip.

4. Plan your transportation: Research your transportation options to and from the airport and plan for how you will get around once you arrive at your destination.

5. Make a thorough packing list: Make sure you bring all the items you’ll need, including any medications. Be sure to contact Aetna International and ask one of our pre-trip consultants if there are any medication restrictions or regulations at your destination. Pack a travel kit with health items like bandages, antiseptic cream, pain relievers and sunscreen.

6. Make sure you’re covered: Get familiar with your Aetna International health and well-being benefits. And consider purchasing travel insurance to protect your belongings and ensure you’re covered in case of an emergency. 

7. Protect yourself and your family: Get a physical exam before your trip and check for immunizations that may be required for your destination. 

Our pre-trip services can help

Our pre-trip consultation, planning and support services start by building a complete picture of your lifestyle and health care requirements. We connect the dots, helping you plan for immediate needs and anticipating potential future requirements.

We’ll help you navigate the complexities of foreign assignments and understand your health care and health benefits while abroad. Our 24/7 pre-trip consultation, planning and support services include helping:

  • Determine if there are any vaccines you’ll need
  • Find local doctors and hospitals
  • Locate medical providers and support for specialty diagnoses
  • Coordinate routine or urgent medical care
  • Manage a health condition or pregnancy
  • Obtain medications and medical devices
  • Assist with medication management and the shipping of prescriptions
  • Get support for any chronic conditions
  • Arrange well-being programs in your destination country
  • You understand your health care benefits plan

Our pre-trip planning services in action

A recent example of our pre-trip consultation, planning and support services in action involved an Aetna International member with type 2 diabetes. He was being sent to work offshore for periods of up to six weeks at a time on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. The job involved working through shifts that were irregular and unpredictable. This impacted when he was able to eat a meal and take his medication.

The member contacted us prior to his new role, concerned about how to handle his diabetes under these new work circumstances. Because the member contacted us, our pre-trip consultant was not only able to provide him with advice on managing his diet, but we also arranged for six-week stockpiles of his medication in advance of his trip, so he wouldn’t run out while he was offshore.

In this instance and in the case of many of our members with chronic conditions, we were able to help find a solution for our member and keep him healthy throughout his assignment with some advanced planning and expert medication management.

Employers and brokers can find out more about our services by contacting an expert advisor in your region or find out more about our plans here.

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