Traveling can be fun and adventurous, leading you to discover whole new places and cultures that expand your knowledge of humankind. On the other hand, traveling alone can be a little concerning. You could be thousands of miles from home during a disaster. You’ll need to have a plan in place in case of an emergency.
A little bit of preparedness can go a long way in mitigating some of the worst circumstances you might encounter while traveling, and in this article, we’ve put together some helpful tips for staying safe and prepared. If you get out of the safari jeep to pet the lions, that’s on you.
Bring a source of emergency food
In the event that your trip is unexpectedly extended, you should take an emergency food supply with you. It’s recommended to have at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food that will feed your entire family. Keep in mind that this is simply the very minimum, and that a baseline of two weeks is preferred. Foods that are shelf-stable, nutrient-dense, and do not require refrigeration are excellent candidates for emergency storage.
You have a lot of choices, but dry cereals, granola, protein bars, ready-to-eat meals, and special food for newborns and pets are a good place to start.
Keep emergency cash on-hand
While there is usually always an ATM nearby these days, you never know when you might need emergency cash. You may find yourself in an airport with no money because none of your ATM cards are working.
It is suggested that you have approximately $200 USD on hand in case of an emergency. It will come in handy if you are robbed or misplace your wallet. In case of an emergency, keep a backup credit card and bank card on hand.
You never know when a bank could decide to lock your account without informing you. Even remittance services like Western Union could suddenly decide to blacklist you for no reason other than a system security precaution. Or you could be robbed.
Have photocopies of your travel documents
Having duplicates of your documents on hand might be useful in an emergency, especially if you lose the originals. Having copies of your passport on hand for officials might make filing police reports and acquiring replacement papers much easier if you are robbed or lose your passport.
Backup copies can come in handy when making a police complaint, and they will theoretically serve as evidence of identification when visiting your country’s embassy. Make copies of your passport, health and travel insurance documents, and credit cards.
Know how to contact your embassy
Registering with the US Embassy (or your local embassy) guarantees that they are aware of your whereabouts and can contact you or your family if necessary. It also keeps passengers up to date on travel warnings, alerts, and other relevant information. Before you depart, or as soon as you arrive, register online.
It may seem strange to put your trip plans in the hands of your government, but it will make contacting your family much easier when it comes time to account for residents in disaster zones.
You should also know how to contact the embassy of your own country in the nation you are visiting. The embassy will assist you in locating medical or legal aid. Many foreign internship programs go to great lengths to protect the safety of their participants. Recognize the resources at your disposal, such as a security administrator.
Carry a list of personal emergency contacts
If something occurs to you, having a list of emergency phone numbers on you will make it easier for medical personnel to contact you. For example, if you require treatment and can’t answer questions, have a list of your allergies with you so doctors know what you’re allergic to.
This includes not just food allergies, but also pharmaceutical allergies. Emergency contacts are also essential in worst-case circumstances, such as informing your family if something happens to you.
Stay out of sketchy areas
This is something that cannot be overstated. Keep an eye on your surroundings and follow your gut if something feels suspicious or uneasy. Tourists are often the victims of minor crime and con artists.
Maintain your wits and know how to fit in if you venture off the main route. As much as a tourist can “fit in”, that is to say, but there are ways of carrying yourself that don’t paint you as a target.