Traveling to an international destination is exciting but it can be stressful. The peace of mind knowing that you’re covered in the event of unforeseen circumstances while traveling overseas may be well worth the cost of an insurance plan.

Travel insurance and travel medical insurance sound similar and they both help protect you when you’re abroad, but they’re very different things. Here’s what you need to know about both.

Travel insurance will cover problems you encounter while traveling like trip delays, lost luggage, or changes to flight or hotel reservations. Some policies may also provide 24-hour emergency assistance in multiple languages, as well as help getting prescription drug refills, eyeglass or contact lens replacements, emergency cash, or legal assistance.

Travel medical insurance, on the other hand, covers any medical issues or emergencies that occur during your trip. These policies are designed to pick up where your primary domestic health insurance plan leaves off, and fills in the gaps. Coverage for big-ticket items such as hospitalizations, surgeries and medically-necessary evacuations, as well as more basic services like ambulance services and prescriptions add to its value. The worry-free claims and billing process that these policies offer, affords incredible peace of mind to travelers.

Medical emergencies while traveling overseas are more common than you’d think. And many international hospitals expect payment up front, so simply presenting your health insurance card to a hospital will not suffice. Read how a mother-daughter trip to Mexico took a bad turn after an ATV excursion accident.

Hundreds of thousands of travelers find themselves in the same position every year; purposely avoiding the hospital despite the need for medical care, simply because they don’t have the money to foot the bill. Personally, my family was covered by a travel medical insurance policy for an international trip, and even though we didn’t need to tap into it, I’m so glad we had it. With 3 adventurous boys under the age of 25, you just never know. I’ll never go out of the country without it again.