Woman in the airport

Holiday in Europe

It is good to also consider health-related questions when planning a holiday. You can use the tips and links on this page for holiday preparations, or if you fall ill or have an accident on your trip.


Before the trip

Apply for a free European Health Insurance Card well in advance of your holiday

Print out the prescriptions for the medications you need from the My Kanta service

Check the coverage of your travel insurance

What to take with you

In addition to passports and travel documents, things that you should remember to take with you on holiday include

  1. European Health Insurance Card
  2. Medications and their prescriptions
  3. Travel insurance, especially if your holiday destination is not an EU or EEA country
  4. Small amount of cash stored in a place other than your wallet
  5. Phone with the contact information of your next of kin stored under the acronym ICE (In Case of Emergency)

If you fall ill on holiday

With the European Health Insurance Card, you will receive medically necessary care, i.e. care that cannot wait for your return home, in EU and EEA countries, the United Kingdom and in Switzerland. In addition to receiving treatment for a sudden illness or accident, you will also receive care if your chronic condition worsens, or for pregnancy or childbirt

The European Health Insurance Card can be used in the public health care of EU and EEA countries, the United Kingdom and Switzerland, and in places with an agreement with public health care. Ask the treatment provider whether they accept the card.

By presenting the card, you will receive medical treatment on the same terms and at the same price as the local residents. You will pay the local customer fee for the treatment. You can receive treatment in an emergency even without the card, but you may then have to pay the full costs of treatment yourself. You can apply for reimbursement for them from Kela retrospectively.

Take out travel insurance for additional coverage for your trip. Travel insurance may also cover the costs if you have to take an ambulance flight home, for example.

Read more

Are you going on holiday abroad? Read the stories of Eveliina and Joona.

Eveliina’s stomach flu on holiday in the Canaries
– Falling ill on holiday in Europe

Joona’s scooter crash in Thailand
– Accident on holiday outside Europe

On holiday with children

Check before the holiday trip that all family members have a European Health Insurance Card. The card is free of charge, and you can order it for yourself and your children via Kela’s website. Travel insurance also covers the costs of illness or accident, for example, if you have to travel home mid-holiday due to an accident. Remember to also check vaccinations before leaving on your trip.

To Europe as a pensioner

Are you spending a part of the year in another EU or EEA country in retirement? You will receive medically necessary care there with the European Health Insurance Card. Notify Kela and the Digital and Population Data Services Agency if you will be residing abroad for more than three months.

On a short trip

If you fall ill or have an accident during your holiday in EU or EEA countries, the United Kingdom or in Switzerland, you will receive treatment on the same terms and at the same price as the local residents. When you present the European Health Insurance Card, you will only pay the local customer fee for the treatment and the costs of your treatment will be invoiced from Finland. In an emergency, call the emergency number or go to the local hospital.

On a longer trip

Using health care services in different countries may vary, so you should find out about the practices of your holiday destination, especially if you are planning a longer holiday. With the European Health Insurance Card, you will receive treatment when you fall ill in EU and EEA countries also during a longer residence or for a worsening chronic condition.

Medications and prescriptions

In addition to medications, take also their prescriptions with you or print out a summary from the My Kanta service. If needed, you can use them at customs to prove that you have the right to take your personal medication with you. If you want to purchase medication at your holiday destination, ask your doctor to provide a medical prescription for purchasing medication abroad.

More information for travellers

There are good tips on healthy and safe travel available online. You can enquire for more information on using health care services in Europe from the contact points for cross-border health care in EU countries.