Dealing with disaster when you’re traveling isn’t something that anyone wants to do. Unfortunately, things sometimes go wrong, even if you plan your trip meticulously. The best thing you can do is be prepared for what might happen in various situations. Whether you’re traveling internationally or within your home country, it’s smart to have a good understanding of what to do when things go wrong.
Losing Important Items
All kinds of things can go missing or be stolen while you’re traveling. From your passport or wallet to all your luggage, you could be stranded without some essential items. Before you leave for your travels, take photos of your passport or driver’s license, as well as your credit cards (make sure to keep them secure), or photocopy them. This will ensure you have the most essential information if you need to cancel your cards, withdraw some money or perhaps visit the nearest embassy or consulate.
When you pack your luggage, try to keep your most important and valuable items on you. If your main luggage is lost by an airline or someone else, it might mean you lose your clothes, but at least you’ll have your most important things. If an airline does lose your bags, make sure you go through the proper process to file a lost luggage claim. It could still turn up. In the meantime, it’s always smart to have travel insurance, as well as some extra cash, in case you need to quickly buy a few essentials.
Becoming ill while you’re traveling is the last thing you want. You’re enjoying some rare time off work or you have one chance to do something, and it’s ruined by being sick. You can do your best to prevent illness so that you don’t have to deal with it. You might need to have some vaccinations to visit some countries too. Make sure to check the your countries travel site to see what vaccines are recommended. When dealing with street animals be cautious and keep up general hygiene standards, like washing your hands regularly. If you do get ill, it’s best to try and take a break to recover rather than try and keep pushing yourself. If you need to, don’t hesitate to find a doctor. Travel insurance will help to protect you, so you don’t need to worry about money. I recently had to visit a hospital in Bali and everything was covered thanks to my World Nomads Travel insurance.
Being the Victim of a Crime
Crime occurs anywhere in the world, although some places have lower crime rates than others. If you’re the victim of a crime, going to the local police is usually the best thing to do. However, there could be some occasions when it’s not wise. In some countries, the police might not be as helpful as you hope, and you could even be accused of committing a crime yourself. Your local government could be more helpful. Before you go traveling, make sure you’re aware of how the police operate and whether they’re going to be on your side if you report a crime.
Getting in Trouble with the Law
On the other side of the coin, you could find yourself in trouble with the law. The best way to prevent this is to read up on local laws before you go, and make sure you behave. You might think there’s no need to, but cultural differences can mean big differences in the law too. While certain laws might seem ridiculous to you, you could be in real trouble if you break them while in another country. If you do find yourself in trouble while in another country, getting in touch with the nearest consulate or embassy is a good idea. If you’re still in your home country, get yourself a lawyer.
Getting into a traffic accident can happen anywhere, although it could have bigger consequences if you’re away from home. It might be even more difficult if you’re not driving your own car, but a rental. Firstly, if you do rent a car, make sure you take out full insurance for it. Secondly, whether you’re driving your own car or not, make sure you know what to do in an accident. Apart from calling emergency services if they’re needed, swap details with anyone else involved. Blumenshine Law Group suggests calling an attorney as soon as you’re able to. Having legal help will be useful, but don’t forget to get in touch with your insurance provider as soon as you can too (or your rental company). Make sure you’re following the rules of the road, especially when in foreign countries.
Caught Up in a Natural Disaster
Some natural disasters are predictable, so you can avoid them with good planning. However, others come out of nowhere. Before you go traveling, make yourself aware of any possible natural disasters that could occur. Is an earthquake or a hurricane a likely or even only slightly possible occurrence? What are the usual procedures for when these things happen? If a disaster does occur, find a safe place to be as soon as you can. Make sure you let your friends and family know that you’re safe. If you want to go home, check with your airline or other travel company to see what their policies regarding natural disasters are. If you are a US citizen make sure to sign up with Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). If a natural disaster does occur the local embassy will know your whereabouts and contact info to get you out.
Before you leave for your next trip, make sure you’ve thought about how to react in various situations. Try some of these tips to keep yourself out of trouble.