How to Prepare For a Travel Emergency
While everyone wants their vacation to only be full of happy memories and unforgettable sights, it’s essential to plan ahead and prepare for any bumps that may come up along the road. Most people will experience a few minor mishaps along the way, but larger emergencies, though rare, should also be planned for so that in the event they do take place, there will be no need to panic. Whether it’s a stay in a luxury resort on the sun-soaked beaches of some Caribbean paradise or the rough and tumble adventure of an African safari, being ready for an emergency requires many similar steps. Here’s what vacationers should do to prepare for any emergencies that might happen.
Do Some Research
Just as planning the trip began with research, so should planning for any emergencies. Much of the research and planning should be tailored to the specific location that is being visited. Knowing the ins and outs of the region and whether there are any political or social conflicts in the area is important. Visitors to exotic and third world locations should always take a hard look at any medical concerns, if there are any prevalent diseases and any vaccinations or precautions that need to be taken before visiting a region. With recent public health threats like Ebola, any visitors heading on safari, though the chances of contracting the disease are highly unlikely despite the fear-mongering of many media outlets, will likely have questions regarding the disease that they should answer before they leave.
Register with the State Department
One of the most important steps for travelers to take, especially those heading to non-first world destinations, is registering with the State Department or their country’s embassy in the location that they will be visiting during a certain period. The US State Department also offers a number of online resources for travelers and outlines any concerns regarding the travel destination. This will also help visitors know what the role of the State Department is in the event of an emergency. Knowing the location and contact information for consular services in the country to which a person will be travelling is also extremely important as it should be the first point of contact if a visitor has any trouble.
Purchase Travel Insurance and Check Cancellation Policies
Getting comprehensive travel insurance coverage is one of the most important steps in preparing for travel in general. Finding a comprehensive plan that insures visitors for personal belongings, trip cancellation, and any medical emergencies can be difficult, but is worth the effort. There a multitude of plans to choose from available from many different companies, so finding one that suits the needs of the individual trip is possible no matter what the destination.
Canceling a trip is obviously the last thing anyone wants to do, but knowing what the cancellation policy is of whatever tour, cruise, or trip is being undertaken is important. For smaller excursions the financial impact may not be so great, but those putting down hundreds or thousands of dollars on things like African safaris will want to know the details regarding cancellation in the event of an emergency.
Keep a Blog
While it may seem a little frivolous compared to the other items on this list, keeping a blog is an excellent way to prepare for a travel emergency. Someone planning to travel to a location that’s drastically different from their home will have a great time putting their thoughts into writing as they research for their trip—and plan for any emergencies that might arise. Friends and family will be thankful for the opportunity to keep up with the traveler’s progress and thoughts, and a travel blog doubles as a travel diary once the world weary jetsetter returns home. If a vacationer will be moving from one location to another mid-trip, including contact information and a brief itinerary are a great idea in case folks back home need to make contact.