For expat families, new challenges such as moving and adjusting to another country are already on top of old ones, one of which is keeping up with your kids’ vaccinations. If you’re a family with more than two kids, it can be quite the struggle to stay on top of who has had which vaccination and when they are due the next one. Having the right healthcare practitioner to seek professional advice and support from can make all the difference.
Unlike babies less than a year old, children aged around 15 months and older need to be comforted when faced with the prospect of a visit to the doctor’s. While experts say that talking to your child beforehand isn’t likely to help, it is encouraged rather to psyche them up with the promise of a reward after the injections, such as a tasty snack, a new small toy, or a visit to their favorite play place.
It is also encouraged to explain to your child when they’re above two years old the importance of vaccinations and how it makes them healthy and strong. Liken the process as the reason how their favorite superheroes got their super strength.
One way to mentally prepare your child for their injections is to stay calm because children sometimes feed off of their parents’ moods. When they see that it’s not a big deal to you, it may help them relax. You can also distract them by talking about your plans after the visit instead of focusing on the visit itself. And never ever use a visit to the doctor’s as a form of punishment for bad behavior. It will just make it that much harder to do in the future.
Family vacations are great fun but vaccinations are once again a needed precaution or requirement before travel to another country. Research on the recommended vaccinations for your child and for a particular destination, and getting the injections one to two weeks before travel are two very important things to consider.
As for diseases one can’t vaccinate against, such as malaria and dengue, preventative measures such as anti-malaria tablets, insect repellent, and wearing protective clothing should be prepared for as well.
Mandatory vaccinations are a duty
One may be aware of the ongoing argument of whether or not to vaccinate a child and it is very important to be on the side of medical professionals when it comes to mandatory vaccinations. Doctors all over can’t stress enough the importance of vaccinating and the claims that they cause autism are unsubstantiated. If one isn’t fully aware of how important vaccinations are, refusing to do so is likely to have consequences of epidemic proportions. One example is last year’s measles outbreak that started in Disneyland in California and spread to Washington and Colorado, and has since been proven to be the effect of low vaccination rates.
There is also currently a worldwide whooping cough (pertussis) epidemic, the worst in the last 70 years. Small babies who have not received their vaccinations are most vulnerable to the disease. However, ensuring that their pertussis vaccinations are up to date can greatly boost their chances of protection.
With the help of the right healthcare plan, preparing a child’s vaccinations doesn’t have to be a daunting task for any parent. Village Insurance Direct helps expats in Hong Kong find comprehensive health insurance that cover the whole family. Ask us about it today.
Companies or organizations that send their employees overseas for business have two options when it comes to Travel Insurance.
First option is to have insurance as an add-on to their tickets. These come as individual cover for each person. The second option is to get Corporate Travel Insurance that protects your employees as a group.
Why is this insurance necessary?
The question should actually focus on WHEN you need this type of travel insurance. With the numerous claims we’have helped our clients with in recent years, Corporate Travel Insurance becomes crucial when employees are being sent to high-risk places. For instance, non-profit organizations that provide volunteer services to countries with epidemics or ongoing national conflict are considered high-risk.
This insurance is also a more cost-effective means of protecting your company from extra expenses incurred by your staff during the travel period. If it’s a big group, there are policies that offer protection based on headcount instead of specific names (usually for groups of 5 or more).
What does Corporate Travel Insurance Cover?
Providers offer a wide range of options for different needs. We help expat companies in Hong Kong make arrangements for their staff. Below is a list of common policy benefits for Corporate Travel Insurance:
- Cover for events resulting from any terrorist attack, including the use of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons
- Cover for all journeys of less than 120 days
- War Zone coverage (optional with added premium)
- Cover for a company’s regional or worldwide offices can be arranged, if permitted by local laws
- Personal deviation up to 31 days
- Medical expenses
- Legal expenses
- Travel or baggage delay
- Flight delay
- Emergency travel of family & friends
- Personal Liability
- Loss of personal money or documents
- Accidental Death
Leisure travel may also be covered if it coincides with your business travel dates.
For a quotation on insurance, you may Contact Us here.
Traveling solo at least once in your life can be one of the most liberating and eye-opening experiences. The Internet has changed the culture of travel by becoming a platform for awareness of different exotic places as well as increased the urge to share our personal lives with friends and strangers. A large group of the expat community in Hong Kong live this kind of life and they would be the first people to attest to the value of exploring new territories on your own.
We are only young and strong once in our lives and getting invaluable life lessons by traveling is a chance we should take when it presents itself. So why are more people traveling solo?
1. You have no one to worry about but yourself.
The comfort of having zero responsibility to anyone is a needed break from our busy work lives. This makes it easy for you to plan your journey and you have the freedom to make any change without a second thought. Do everything you want and nothing you don’t want.
2. Experience real local life.
Traveling with other people does not often elicit a need to dive deeper into a country’s local culture because you already have people you can talk to and engage. However, being alone in an unfamiliar place pushes you to connect with your immediate community because these are the people you can possibly turn to in case you need help. You are also more uninhibited about impressions towards you because no one really knows you. Learn the language, break your routines, live a different life.
3. Make new friends, or don’t.
Meet fellow expats and travelers or choose to be antisocial. It’s really all up to what you feel like doing. Hunt for hole-in-the-wall cafes and enjoy being with your own thoughts or go out at night and create a new network of interesting individuals at your own pace.
4. It makes you more resourceful and confident.
Leaving your comfort zone increases your threshold. Hesitation is normal especially for anyone doing it for the first time but once you find yourself backpacking through the countryside or ordering your meal with broken local language, your self-assurance instantly gets a boost and you will discover things about yourself you have not yet realized. Most expats have said that after their first solo trip, they made sure that they would be able to do it again.
5. The trip is more profound.
Whether you hated the place you visited or fell in love with the country and the people, the experience is an unforgettable one mainly because it’s solely yours. The satisfaction of checking off an item from your bucket list and having done so on your own is incomparable.
Make plans, break itineraries and gain more perspective from people and places. Try it at least once. And if you do decide to go for it, don’t forget to secure proper Travel Insurance for yourself. Get a Third Party Comprehensive Travel Insurance Plan to get covered for more risks—from loss baggage to repatriation in case of any medical emergencies. We can help.
Good luck and safe travels!
You’re hiking with your friends on a beautiful Sunday morning when…
It’s a quiet morning and you’re enjoying a cup of coffee when…
You finally have enough money to go on a holiday when…
A co-worker tells you you’ll be getting pay raises tomorrow when…
YOU GET BITTEN BY A RADIOACTIVE RAT AND HUMAN RESOURCES ANNOUNCES THAT THERE’LL BE A RANDOM DRUG TEST. YOU FAIL THE TEST ON ACCOUNT OF THE RADIOACTIVITY, PLUS YOU GET FIRED ON ACCOUNT OF YOUR MUTANT RAT POWERS.
Losing your luggage at the airport is a lot like a break-up you didn’t expect coming. You think that everything’s fine and you’re even excited for the adventures up ahead and then you’re left there standing; confused and betrayed.
That little heart attack that you go through after realizing the loss of your luggage is a tragedy the constant nomad knows all too well. And no matter how careful we are (with our bags and our relationships) we still somehow end up with the shorter stick and are left to try and cope.
Stage 1: Denial
Our nature as social beings is that we like to look at the best things about other people—airlines included. There’s always that morsel of hope that maybe our bags just got on another belt or they have it waiting for us at the lost luggage section. And then news comes that it’s on a flight to Jamaica and you’re in Hong Kong with your heart broken over the contents of your bag. We can say the airline is mistaken or we can wait by the carousel. We’re entitled to this small period of denial and that’s okay.
Stage 2: Anger
As the denial wears off reality emerges and we aren’t often prepared. Being placed in stressful situations with little or no resolution means feelings get expressed through anger. Psychologists say that we have to go through this stage of grief to fully move forward from a loss. Rationally we know the person on that desk is not to be blamed. Emotionally, however, we resent the person for causing us so much pain by telling us “you’ll get your luggage back in 2 weeks”.
Stage 3: Bargaining
And so we stand there refusing to let the person behind us have their turn until we get some kind of compromise. We can threaten to sue or beg for a faster way to retrieve our luggage but there’s a little voice inside us that’s saying this is futile and all we can do is exhaust that poor person behind the desk with hopes of some good news; that maybe if we’re annoying or upset enough they’ll fly it back to us the next day. Sadly, it doesn’t always happen that way.
Stage 4: Depression
Your mundane routines remind you of everything. When you take a shower you remember because your bath gel smelled like lavender and the one you’re using now is making your skin dry. Then as you go through your wardrobe you remember your favorite shirt was there and that you’ve always worn it to a new place just for the novelty. As you walk through the streets, you remember your luggage once more because you saw a Hong Kong sticker that you want to pile on to the other stickers you’ve collected during your travels. This makes you sad and there’s not much to do but go through the motions.
Stage 5: Acceptance
3 days in and you’ve visited a few places and met cool people and you start to forget you still have 12 more days (or more) to go before you’re reunited with your beloved luggage. So you think “Okay. I could mope and feel sorry about myself or I could start having some fun and make new plans.” When you choose the latter you know you’re well on your way to self-healing.
Coping with loss is ultimately a deeply personal and singular experience. It’s different for everyone but the constant thing we get out of it are valuable life lessons. Loss is an inevitable part of life. If we must go through it, at least take the journey with good friends.
…and a good Travel Insurance policy.
We’ll cope with you. Contact us here.
P.S. For a checklist of what a good travel insurance should cover, read this.
It’s important that you know which risks should be covered by your travel insurance policy to fully protect yourself. Village Insurance finds the best travel insurance for expats with the help of international providers we closely work with.