As the travel rebound continues, traveler worries are shifting dramatically, and their appetite for exploring the world is increasing. Before the pandemic, people were more content with traditional tourist attractions. Viewing the Mona Lisa in the Louvre and taking a River Seine cruise in Paris, visiting India’s Taj Mahal, or soaking up the sun on the Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro, during Carnival, were historically go-to vacation activities.

Today’s travelers, however, are increasingly seeking out less touristy destinations, thanks in large part to a mindset shift of avoiding crowds, triggered by the post-pandemic travel rebound. Now, places that are less accessible and a little riskier are gaining interest.

Which is why Global Rescue membership is more important today than ever. A membership isn’t only for emergencies off the beaten path (or on). There might come a time when you have a question about a symptom like a twisted ankle that’s getting worse, an upset stomach from potentially bad food or even a bug bite from a strange insect. Members call us to get real-time access to doctors, paramedics and nurses who help sort out the do’s and don’ts based on your unique situation and symptoms.

“Our team of medical professionals includes paramedics, nurses and doctors,” said Michael Lovely, operations supervisor at Global Rescue. “We handle calls for cuts and stomach upsets to more severe illnesses and injuries, like chest pains and serious trauma.”

In a typical 30-day period, Global Rescue performs hundreds of operations in dozens of countries and territories. Following are highlights of a few rescue operations completed in August.


A sailboat heels at sea on a brilliantly sunny day.


Sailboat Slip in The Bahamas

During a sailing excursion in The Bahamas, a U.S. member slipped and fell. His nephew contacted us and reported that his uncle was feverish, confused, weak, unable to walk or stand and had watery diarrhea. Our medical operations physician provided input and agreed this member required immediate further evaluation at an appropriate medical facility. Our operations leaders initiated an airborne medical evacuation. He was successfully transported from the Norman Cay Airstrip to a hospital in Nassau where treating physicians evaluated and diagnosed him with COVID and viral pneumonia. His condition improved significantly following a course of treatment.


A paraglider sails high above an Alpine mountainside with snow-covered peaks in the background.


Paragliding Crash in Switzerland

A U.S. member paragliding in Switzerland crashed and suffered severe injuries to his hip and shoulder. His friend contacted us and reported the member was being transported to a hospital for evaluation and treatment. He was diagnosed with hip and shoulder fractures, but no surgery was recommended. Our medical operations staff reviewed the medical report and provided business class seating for him with luggage and wheelchair assistance for his return flight from Geneva, Switzerland, to his home in Arizona. He arrived home safely following a successful transport.


[Related Reading: Cross Country Paragliding: What Is It and Is It Safe?]


Sunrays beam through the clouds over the Rwenzori Mountains of Congo.


Malaria While Trekking in the Rwenzori Mountains

A member from Zimbabwe became ill while trekking in the Rwenzori Mountains in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Trekking company personnel contacted our medical operations reporting that the member showed signs of fatigue and flu-like symptoms. Unable to walk, he was carried by stretcher to base camp before a successful ground transport to a medical facility in Kasese, Uganda, where he was diagnosed and treated for malaria before he was discharged with medication to continue his recovery and rejoin his trekking group.


[Related Reading: How To Use a Global Rescue Membership]


Flamingoes wade in reflective water as a large mountain stands solitary behind them.


Bad Fall in Bolivia

A U.S. member was trekking in Bolivia when he suffered several injuries after a fall. His trekking group leaders contacted us and reported the member had sustained multiple injuries, including an open fracture on his right ankle, a broken finger and a bleeding head laceration. Due to the remote location, challenging terrain and lack of helicopters, an airborne rescue wasn’t available. Global Rescue coordinated with a search and rescue team and members of the trekking company who carried him to basecamp before transporting him by ground ambulance to a medical facility where he was treated and stabilized. Due to the severity of his condition and the need for a medical facility capable of a higher level of care, our medical operations experts concurred with treating physicians to transport the member via air ambulance to a hospital in Philadelphia. He successfully arrived at the hospital for ongoing treatment.


A couple stands in a field high up in the Swiss Alps.


Abdominal Distress in Switzerland

A U.S. member contacted us to report his wife was vomiting with abdominal cramps and chills while traveling in Switzerland. Our medical operations personnel determined the severity of the pain and possible abdominal or gynecological conditions indicated emergency response. Paramedics connected with her at her hotel and evaluated her condition. Medics provided her with primary care treatment and advised her on self-care measures.