Your trip of a lifetime is drawing closer and the excitement is brewing in the pit of your stomach. Bags are packed, travel insurance is confirmed, you have all the required vaccinations and your itinerary is all planned out. The last thought in your head is of dealing with an emergency while overseas.
Unfortunately, emergencies do happen and come in all different forms. From natural disasters and political upheaval to being a victim of crime or falling ill, it’s best to prepare for all situations to minimize the chance of being affected.
Excessive worrying can kill the excitement, but a little forethought and planning can potentially help you deal with any emergencies that may arise on your trip. And if you’re hearing impaired, it’s especially important to be prepared. Here are the most common emergencies experienced by travelers abroad and advice on how to handle them.
Illness or Injury
Make sure you have relevant travel insurance to cover any medical treatment needed. Paying for treatment abroad can be costly and could result in you not being treated if you cannot pay.
How to prepare: Bring enough medication for any current health problems you may have. Trying to find the same drugs overseas could be challenging or even impossible, depending on where you are. Research your embassy’s phone number for the country you are visiting. Keep details written down of your insurance contact information, any details about a current medical condition or impairment, emergency contact information and your current doctor’s details in your home country.
Losing or having your passport stolen can be a real nightmare while abroad. It can lead on to a host of other problems, like missing a flight or being stuck in the country you’re visiting. If you have searched everywhere and you still can’t find it, the next step is to contact your embassy to report the situation.
How to prepare: Have a photocopy of your passport either on paper or on your phone. Also travel with extra passport photos, another ID like a driver’s license, proof of citizenship and a travel itinerary (proof of onward flights).
Maybe you overslept, got stuck in a traffic jam or got your flight times wrong in your head. Whatever the reason you missed your flight, it’s likely the airline won’t be very sympathetic. Your best bet is to go to your airline’s help desk for assistance.
How to prepare: Travel insurance is a good way to ensure you are covered for a missed flight due to circumstances beyond your control. Make sure you set your alarm to get you to the airport, at least three hours before. Research your airline’s reputation for check-in wait times, as some are known to be chaotic.
If you have a disability, make sure your airline is informed and can have people in place to assist you. Check flight updates on your mobile device. If you have a visual or hearing impairment, the Galaxy S6 smartphone has flash notifications, sound detectors and auto haptic mode (vibration when audio is playing).
Forward preparation is the key to minimizing stress during an emergency situation abroad. Armed with the right knowledge you can navigate through any situation.