Emergencies happen. They happen if you’re at home, at work, or traipsing around the globe. The thing with emergencies is that you can’t predict when they will happen, but you can have some measures in place to help you when they do happen. Handling travel emergencies can look like anything from lost luggage to broken bones to returning home suddenly because something happened back home. Don’t panic, but here are some of the top ways you can handle emergencies when you travel.
Always Have a Contingency Plan
While you hope to never use a contingency plan, it’s important, especially when you travel internationally, to know how you will get home in the event of an emergency. A contingency plan can include a backpack filled with emergency supplies, it can be a first-aid kit when you are hiking that includes something to help you stabilize a joint if needed.
It can include knowing where the nearest US embassy is, and also how to communicate with family and friends if something comes up. A contingency plan is also about how you’ll get money for the big things so you don’t end up stranded in the Yucatan peninsula hoping someone will have pity on you and give you a free hotel for the night.
Get a Loan if Necessary
Some expenses are just too much to bear. If you need to return home suddenly for a death in the family, or if one of your kids ends up in the hospital while you’re away and you need to be there, last-minute flights can cost a lot of money. The good news is that there are plenty of personal loan types and even emergency loans for bad credit situations that can help you get home quickly. It’s okay to get a loan if you need it, and while you hope to have enough savings to cover emergencies, sometimes the costs are more than you expected.
Get Travelers’ Insurance
Traveler’s insurance policies come in many different forms. Some of them cover the cost of medical expenses in a foreign country or in locations out of your insurance coverage area. Others will reimburse you for travel costs associated with emergencies such as a death in the family or an injury that requires you to either stay longer in the country or be airlifted somewhere else.
Travelers’ insurance is especially helpful when you plan to be gone from home for extended periods as they come in lengths of 30 days to 6 months or a year or more. The rates are usually quite reasonable and can help give you peace of mind when you travel that at least some of your expenses would be covered or reimbursed in an emergency.
It’s easy to get freaked out when you get sick and need to head to the emergency room in a country where you only know 6 phrases and none of them are, “I feel like my head is going to explode and I can’t stop puking.” Many emergency facilities in foreign countries have people who speak English and other languages so the good news for you is that you don’t always need to know the local language to get the care you need. Staying calm is also good for your mental health because let’s face it, people do not make great decisions when they are freaking out. Go back to your contingency plan to see if there is anything in it for the type of emergency you are having, and do that first.
Have a Way to Communicate
Thankfully, many countries make it easy to buy burner phones or to add a SIM card to your phone to use overseas. This can help if you need to make calls, send text messages, and sometimes even look up information like, “where is the nearest hospital?” You can also use things like walkie-talkies in case you get lost in crowds or in the woods if you take a hike somewhere in the wilderness. When commuting by car or on foot, hand held CB radios are the most convenient.
Handling emergencies comes down to planning ahead. You need to ensure you have all your medications on you and even a write-up of the script you take. In a pinch, some countries will let you get a prescription at the pharmacy for at least a few days. Additionally, having an emergency bag with emergency mylar blankets and even medicines and copies of passports can be extremely beneficial.
We are happy to present this collaborative post to offer valuable information to our readers.