If you are a frequent traveler, or simply unlucky, it will eventually happen to you: an unexpected emergency. How you deal with that emergency makes all the difference in how you emerge from it. Will you panic and make matters worse or will you maintain a level head and resolve the situation? Here are five tips that will help you come out of an emergency as unscathed as possible while traveling:
The best thing you can do to avoid an emergency, and to handle any that occur is to be well prepared before you leave home. Print out an itinerary of your trip and give it to two or three people that you will be able to get a hold of should you need to. Make a copy of all of your important paperwork: your identification, your passport and your health insurance card, and keep these copies separate from the originals.
Make a list of important phone numbers for every destination in which you will spend time. Plug these numbers into the phone of every person in your traveling party. Divide your cash, packing it in several different places so that if you lose your luggage, you aren’t stuck without money. Lastly, if you are traveling to a country where English is not the first language, learn how to say “I need help”, “Where is the hospital” and “I need the police” in the native language.
Your health shouldn’t be ignored while you are on vacation. If you have an allergy to bee venom, for instance, be sure to pack an extra epi-pen. If you are diabetic, bring along an extra vial of insulin and a second package of needles. Be sure to have a medical alert bracelet made and include the information in both English and the language spoken at your destination.
3. Lost Passport
If you should lose your passport, don’t panic. Simply grab the copy you have made and seek out your local embassy. Your contact at the embassy will be able to order you a new passport and get it to you in time for your return trip home. Do be aware, though, that this service is not free!
4. Lost Cash
If you lose your money, or it is stolen, you have several options. Contact someone at home and ask them to deposit money into your bank account, assuming that you have your ATM card with you. If you have lost your entire wallet, find a Western Union station and find someone who can wire you money.
A little known way to receive funds is through an OCS Trust account at the US Embassy. There is a $30 fee for this service, plus a fee for the wire transfer, but it can be a life-saver in an extreme emergency.
If you are the victim of crime on your vacation, be sure to report the crime to the local police. If you are traveling abroad, first report the situation to your embassy or consulate. Either of these organizations will be able to assist you in the steps of reporting the crime. The embassy or consulate can also help you notify your family should you need to do so.
It is important that you don’t panic in the face of an emergency when you travel. Remember: almost everything can be dealt with if you follow the proper steps. If you are traveling in the United States, contact local emergency services for assistance. If, however, you are traveling abroad, the US embassy or consulate can be invaluable sources of help; be sure you know where they are located.
Megan Hoffsted is a freelance travel writer and health blogger. She often writes for allergyguarddirect.com where you can find an assortment of products to help fight allergies like allergy proof bedding. She also frequently writes for dustmiteallergy.org, a site that provides information to those who have a dustmite allergy.Tags: travel tips