Safe Travel Requires Planning

It’s fun traveling. Making plans can be exciting too, as we decide where to go, where to stay and how to get there. There is something we should always take into consideration in our planning. Are we prepared for something going wrong? Travel does have its risks, especially if you travel internationally. After a couple of decades traveling around the world, you’re bound to learn a few things along the way about protecting and taking care of yourself. Here are a few safe travel links and safe travel tips.

First and Foremost – never think it can’t happen to you. Believing the worst can’t happen to you is a terrible rationalization. It actually prevents many people from thinking about travel emergencies and can stop them from taking steps to be prepared.

  • Accidents
  • Medical Emergencies
  • Disasters
  • Civil Unrest
  • Crime

These can happen anywhere at anytime and while it doesn’t mean you should give up traveling, it does mean you can, and should, make plans just in case.

Next – don’t guess at what protection you have or how things might work in a crises situation while traveling. On far too many occasions we’ve talked to people that think that their health insurance works internationally just like it does back home. The truth is, health insurance that provides good coverage in the United States provides very little and often no protection at all while traveling out of the United States. Getting stuck for hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills isn’t the best moment to realize you’re not covered. So before you travel check with your health insurance company about international coverage.

Third – the old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is really good advice. Buying insurance has always seemed expensive but if you start looking into areas like travel insurance there are a number of policies that seem reasonable considering the coverage and potential risks. At a minimum you can have emergency health evacuation insurance for a married couple for around $200 a year.

Emergency first aid – Another thing that you can do to be prepared is pack a small first aid and medication kit when you travel. Sometimes there just isn’t a doctor or even a pharmacy readily available and a small kit containing over-the-counter meds for stomach problems, flu and cold remedies along with bandages are worth their weight in gold.

Lastly – everyone should carry emergency ID’s. Oddly, your driver’s license or even a passport don’t provide much emergency contact information. While the U.S. Passport application does have a place on the application for emergency contacts it does not appear in your passport. The information is stored at the State Department but isn’t quickly available.

Also if you have specific medical issues, how are first responders and medical professionals supposed to understand your situation? What’s in your wallet or purse?

You should consider carrying an emergency ID card. It should, at a minimum have one or two contacts with phone numbers and a list of meds and allergies.

What’s In Your Wallet?

MEDICAL DIRECTIVES – In addition to an Emergency Identification card everyone should have Medical Directives (Living Will or Proxy) available in case of a medical emergency. Get and give peace of mind and fill out a living will. It’s easy, quick, and free – get your forms here:

There are also additional emergency ID cards that provide emergency information as well as notice regarding Living Wills and who to contact or if there might be pets home alone and contact numbers.

Have fun traveling but also be prepared…

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