International travel is great. Obviously, we care a lot about it around here. When we imagine ourselves traveling, we think about seeing sights, eating new and interesting foods, getting out in nature, or losing ourselves in some of the world’s biggest cities.
What we don’t think about are worst case scenarios. You might be the exception, but generally issues like these are not the first things on the mind of the new international traveler. People who have more than a few trips under their belt, however, understand that the worst can and does happen while you’re far away from home. How can we learn from these travelers’ experiences in order to prepare ourselves for this?
How to Prepare for Emergencies While Traveling
Have Your Emergency Contacts Worked Out in Advance.
Emergency contacts are key for international travelers. First of all, you should have people back home who know you are away and who will be available by phone, email, or text should you get yourself into trouble. These individuals should include family, friends, and someone at work. You should also know where your nation’s embassy is located, and have its contact numbers saved in your phone and in writing. Make yourself aware of any groups made up of people from your part of the world which may be active in the area in which you are traveling. Thus equipped, you should set yourself up for success.
Get Travel Insurance.
You don’t always use your travel insurance, but let me tell you that when you need travel insurance, it can save you a lot of time and money and heartache. Travel insurance coverage options can be chosen for your specific needs, to cover missed flights, bodily injury, and any number of other things. Sometimes it might make sense to get annual travel insurance coverage to save money, especially if you travel frequently and always have the same coverage needs because of risk factors which are specific to you and your plans.
Have Multiple Communication Options.
Smartphones now work internationally, but you should not be completely technology dependent when traveling abroad. If you phone is lost or stolen (always have it password protected!), you still have options available to you. You could use a local internet cafe, you could prepare with prepaid phone cards so that you can always make a phone call wherever you are, and you should have a backup device available to you as well like an internet connected tablet or laptop.
Prepare For the Region.
Always get the necessary vaccinations, study local issues that might put you in danger in some areas or in some portions of the day or night, and make sure to have enough water and food just in case you can’t buy any or if the stuff available might make you sick. Have a phrase book and make yourself aware of local customs and scams.
These techniques will do a lot to help you be prepared for the worst while traveling. Hopefully the worst won’t happen to you, but should it befall your journeys you’ll be glad you prepared in advance.