With its plethora of Blue Flag beaches, warm Mediterranean Sea, and reliably scorching summer weather, not to mention the low cost of living and spectacular food, Spain is an enduring favorite for British holidaymakers looking for a beach break. Children can splash in the mild water and play in the sand while adults keep an eye on them from a lounge chair on the beach with an ice-cold drink. No one can deny that Spain really is one of the best places in Europe for a family beach holiday.
While most family beach vacations are far from dangerous, there are a few things to watch out for. No matter how careful you are, someone always seems to get sunburned (sometimes severe enough to require treatment), and there’s always a chance of food poisoning from exotic cuisine. Add to that the possibility of heat stroke and the small risks that holidaymakers can take anywhere – sprained ankles from unfamiliar stairs, falls down crowded sidewalks – and it’s clear that it’s worth making sure your entire group is covered by family holiday insurance, which is unlikely that something should go wrong.
visit to the doctor
Many injuries, illnesses, and mishaps can occur or make themselves felt in your hotel. Slips in the shower and injuries on stairs are relatively common hotel injuries for adults, while children have been known to scald themselves from hot water or injure themselves while running or playing in the room. Everyone is susceptible to food poisoning, which probably won’t show until you’ve returned to your hotel after dinner.
If an injury or illness is severe enough to require medical attention, you can ask for a doctor at reception, but be sure to state that you need a state-appointed doctor and not a private doctor. If the hotel requires private insurance, it may not be covered by your specific family holiday insurance (and definitely not by the EHIC).
Make sure you know where to file each family member’s EHIC, find their EHIC, and proof of family vacation insurance policy. You should submit these documents as soon as possible to avoid upfront costs. Remember that some family travel insurance policies allow you to privately cover mishaps like sunburn, food poisoning, and other illnesses. So if this is the case you are more than welcome to request private treatment and provide proof of insurance upon arrival.
Getting to a hospital
While it’s rare for an ambulance to need to be called, it can happen – for example, in the case of severe heat stroke, dehydration, and traffic accidents. Don’t worry about the cost in this case: unlike some other countries, your EHIC in Spain will ensure that you cover the cost of an ambulance trip.
If you’ve called a doctor – perhaps because of an accident at the hotel or food poisoning – and they refer you to a hospital, make sure it’s not a private hospital before you leave. It’s not unknown for state doctors to make private referrals, and while private care may be covered by family vacation insurance, it may not be – and it’s never covered by the EHIC.
Adults and children have sometimes been prescribed medication if they become ill while on holiday – for example, broad-spectrum antibiotics for an acute infection (e.g. bacterial chest infections) or perhaps antihistamines for an unexpected allergic reaction.
Prescriptions are not free in Spain. So if a family member needs one and is only covered by the EHIC, you will have to cover 40% of the cost of filling the prescription. This is rarely a very large expense as the most commonly prescribed drugs are relatively affordable, but it’s still worth knowing if your family vacation insurance will cover prescription fees. If you’re bringing older family members with you on holiday, they shouldn’t have to worry about prescription charges as long as they can prove they’re EEA pensioners (pensioners don’t need a prescription). Spain).
All in all, all EHIC holders traveling to Spain can rest assured that they are fairly well covered by the quality government healthcare system, but travel insurance is definitely still advisable should you require a prescription or wish to have access to private medicine (especially handy if you get injured during a busy period).