TRAVEL 911 – WHEN EMERGENCIES ARISE
When ever you travel there is the possibility of an emergency. While you can’t predict what that will be you can prepare yourself to minimize the impact of an emergency.
Are You Prepared for an Emergency?
The first thing to do is prepare an Emergency Checklist prior to your trip.
- Purchase Travelers Insurance. (Get a plan that is comprehensive including trip cancellation, trip interruption, travel delay, baggage coverage, medical assistance, etc.)
- Appoint an Emergency Contact person. (This is someone who you trust with your affairs at home and to be contacted should something happen to you at your destination). This may need to be two people. One for basic things and one for life threatening situations.
- Make two copies of the following items and give your Emergency Contact person a copy.
- Flight Itinerary
- Hotel Confirmation with contact details
- Tour itinerary
- Passport ID Page along with any obtained visas
- A key to your house and car for the ECP
- Download your credit card companies and banking institutions Apps.
- Contact your banks and let them know when and where you will travel to avoid declined charges
- If traveling abroad obtain the contact details of the nearest US Embassy and Consular services at your destination. You can information at www.travel.state.gov
- If traveling abroad enroll in STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program) www.travel.state.gov
- Update your medications/prescriptions/inoculations/over the counter medications
- Only carry it with you if you need to, otherwise leave it in your hotel safety deposit box. Unless you are traveling to a country with unrest
- Search everywhere and search again and enlist someone else to help you look.
- Immediately visit or contact the nearest US Embassy to get a replacement passport
- The hotel’s concierge can assist you with the Embassy information if you don’t have it
- Don’t keep all of your cash with you every day. Only take what you need for the day and leave the rest in the safety deposit box.
- Leave at least one credit card (preferably a debit card) in the safety deposit box
- Contact your financial institutes to report and cancel your cards lost/stolen
- If the illness is beyond over the counter medications, ask the hotel if they have an in-house or on-call doctor
- If you have to be hospitalized as the hotel or concierge for a recommendation. If you are abroad ask to be taken to an international hospital
- If you need medication have someone at the hotel translate your needs in writing for you
· Preemptive measures – Upon making reservations print our all of your receipts and confirmations
· Hotels: This is only a problem if the hotel or airline is full in which case they must accommodate you with their company or if necessary with another company at their expense, but only if you can prove you had a reservation.
· Have them try different spellings of your name in case it’s because of a misspelling error
· If you can prove your reservation and confirmation know your rights
· The hotel can upgrade you if you do not wish to be move to another hotel
· If you are moved to another hotel it must be of equal or greater quality
· The hotel should pay and arrange for your transportation
· If the new hotel puts you out of your way you can ask them to compensate you for this inconvenience.
· If you’re willing to accept lesser accommodations they should reimburse you
· The same with the airlines
· They are responsible for getting you to/from your destination closest to your original reservations.
- Remember that kindness goes very far and people are more willing to give when you’re pleasant. Sure you’re upset but you now just have to deal with the situation at hand. Proceed firmly but kindly
If you take prescription medication:
- Pack enough to last your entire trip, including some extra in case you are unexpectedly delayed.
- Carry your medications in their original labeled containers, and pack them in your carry-on bag since checked baggage is occasionally lost or delayed.
- Ask your pharmacy or physician for the generic equivalent name of your prescriptions in case you need to purchase additional medication abroad.
Get a letter from your physician in case you are questioned about your carry-on medication; some countries have strict restrictions on bringing prescription or even non-prescription medications into the country without proper medical documentation.
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