There are a lot of things that could go wrong on a trip. We are sharing some of our experiences with you.
On a trip to Delhi, India for business, our production team took a break at a mall for dinner before their flight. They parked their hired cars right outside the mall. When they returned two hours later, the windows were broken, and their laptops, chargers, and travel documents were stolen.
Regardless of the amount of work they lost, or the documents they had to replace, they will not speak of the incident (out in public) to date because of how embarrassed they are. What happens in Delhi stays in Delhi.
Our team’s adventure inspired us to write about travel safety tips we have picked up from experience. You know tips other than generally leaving your valuables parked in a car in an area infamous for crimes.
With that, let’s dive in shall we?
DO YOUR RESEARCH
I mean other than the best hotels and sites to visit.
You should be aware of the crime rate and what you might encounter at your destination. Travel notices issued by the government are a start.
If there are any viruses or infections, you could catch them. Take, for example, the recent Coronavirus outbreak. There is a travel ban issued by many countries, from travelling to China. But, since it’s started to spread, you should take measures to stay safe from it. Wear a mask in public areas because the disease spreads through air or by contact. All those infected have been put in quarantine all over the world but better safe than sorry right?
CARRY YOUR INSURANCE PAPERS
This is especially necessary if you’re travelling abroad and (in the worst-case scenario), need medical care. Some hospitals refuse treatment until they have seen that you carry insurance. You can also consider taking a Medevac Insurance, which would help you get airlifted out of the country you’re in, to the nearest country with better medical care.
CARRY MEDICATION IF YOU OR YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS HAVE A CONDITION YOU ARE AWARE OF.
If, for example, you or your travel companions suffer from low/high blood sugar, asthma or diabetes, keep your inhaler and insulin in your carry on bag. So it’s easy to reach. Also, insulin could become too cold in checked-in luggage. Carry the medication you would need on your trip. As a general measure, keep fever (paracetamol) and vomit tablets handy for emergencies. Consult your doctor before travelling on the specific medication you need if you have a condition. Don’t let it hold you back from travelling.
STAY PREPARED MEDICALLY
Speak to your family doctor and get the contact details of reference doctors in the city you’re travelling to. This is especially important for an existing medical condition. Also, research substitute brands for the tablets you take, that are available in at your destination.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
Research the distress number of the country you visit. The police and medical emergency contacts should be written down in a card and kept in your pocket or someplace handy. God forbid you’re in an emergency and need to contact the police, send out an SOS or a distress signal fast, so you receive the medical help you need.
CARRY MULTIPLE MODE OF PAYMENT
Be sure to carry cash, debit, or credit cards together. They should be kept safely in your carry-on luggage, suitcase or handbag, as a precaution, in case you need to buy emergency tickets etc.
BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS
DRESS LIKE A LOCAL
Act like you belong and know where you’re going. It’s also easy for street vendors to hike prices if they know you’re a tourist. Understandably that’s not possible all the time in which case travelling with a local would be helpful.
Prevention is better than cure, but what do you do if your luggage didn’t make it on the plane with you, or you’ve lost your passport, or there is a terrorist attack in the country you’re in!
Oh, that escalated quickly. Sorry, my hyperactive imagination makes me want to be prepared for anything.
Either way, these are all possibilities, so what do you do in the worst-case scenarios? Let’s go step by step. Staying calm is the best way to think of solutions to a problem, or else you’re just panicking. Easier said than done, but it’s something for you to remember.
IF YOU LOSE YOUR LUGGAGE
Get in touch with your airline help desk and ask them to track it. You should receive it after some delay.
IF YOU LOSE YOUR PASSPORT
Go to your nearest embassy and report your passport missing or stolen. You would either be taken back home or left to start a new life in the country you’re in. I’m just joking. I had to make sure you’re still awake (That was in bad taste).
They will be able to print out a fast turnaround passport in some cases. You would have to give them copies of your lost passport and a police report. However, this passport may need to be changed when you return home.
Your embassy can, in fact, help you with other untoward situations as well.
IF YOU LOSE ALL YOUR MONEY – They will first help you get in touch with your family back home and arrange for transport. As a last resort, they would arrange it for you. However, you would have to repay them with interest.
IF YOU ARE A VICTIM OF A CRIME – They will help you get in touch with translators, lawyers, and the police. Although you would have to bear the expenses.
We covered a lot of what-if scenarios, a lot of these are unlikely to happen at the same time, on the same trip. It is still good for you to be prepared no matter what the situation. We wish you safe and happy journeys always.
Get in touch with us if you have some travel safety tips to add to this list.