Adventure-Proof Your Travels: How to Handle Emergencies Abroad and When to Call Your Embassy 

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By John Wick

Written by: MJ Vogel

When planning an exhilarating adventure trip abroad, it’s easy to overlook potential international travel problems. Yet, being prepared for the unexpected is crucial for any tourist. 

Imagine facing a sudden emergency during your travels — your passport gets stolen, you need urgent medical care, or you find yourself in legal trouble. Would you know how to navigate these challenges? It’s essential to be prepared for such scenarios. 

According to a survey by Global Rescue, 87% of people report having travel safety concerns. Despite that notion, 96% of respondents said they will continue traveling. Let’s delve into practical emergency tips for traveling abroad that can empower you to confidently handle any unforeseen situations. 

1. Prepare an emergency kit — just in case! 

Before embarking on your journey, it’s wise to thoroughly research your destination. This involves understanding the unique challenges you might encounter, such as natural disasters, political climates, prevalent diseases, or local wildlife. Up-to-date information about your intended cities and countries is crucial for creating an effective emergency guide and toolkit. 

Your emergency kit should be comprehensive yet practical. Include a list of essential contacts like embassies, police stations, and hospitals. Don’t forget to pack personal hygiene essentials, extra medications, first aid supplies, hand sanitizer, and some local currency. Water purification tablets are a smart addition for destinations where water quality is a concern. Additionally, keep copies of your passport, driver’s license, and visa secure in your kit, as they’ll be invaluable if your original documents are lost or stolen. 

2. Educate yourself on the role of embassies. 

The U.S. maintains embassies around the world. While embassies can provide international travel help, they aren’t able to solve every issue, such as paying legal fines or covering the cost of an unexpected surgical procedure. Generally, they’re suitable for giving advice and assistance when major issues arise. For example, if you’re facing legal charges, embassies can connect you with legal representatives who speak English. If you lose your passport, embassies can issue emergency replacements. 

Additionally, embassies can guide you if you fall ill, lose a travel companion, or become a victim of a crime. Keep in mind that embassies have strict security protocols, so you should never walk into an embassy unannounced. It’s better to find the embassy’s contact information on their website. 

3. Say yes to insurance. 

Discovering that your health insurance doesn’t cover international travel can be a major setback. To avoid this, proactively confirm the extent of your coverage with your insurance provider. Many insurers offer temporary medical insurance specifically for travel, which can be a lifesaver in covering unexpected medical expenses abroad. Investing in travel medical insurance can be a wise decision, particularly if your journey involves potential health risks. 

It’s also important to research the health risks associated with your destination. Are there any prevalent diseases or conditions? Is tap water safe to drink? Consider the nature of your activities and their associated risks, especially if they’re physically demanding or in extreme environments. Being aware of these factors helps you prevent or prepare for possible health issues during your travels. 

Globetrotting opens the door to extraordinary experiences and unforgettable memories. However, it’s crucial to give more than just a passing thought to potential international travel problems. A little preventive planning can go a long way in reducing stress and smoothly managing any significant snags that might arise on your journey. 

About the author:

MJ Vogel is the marketing director at Xchange of America, which is leading the charge in making foreign currency exchange more convenient and efficient for travelers planning their next international excursion.