Don’t let your fear of the unknown keep you from enjoying your time in a foreign country. Instead, be prepared thanks to these eight emergency tips. You never know what will happen when you’re over there, so as long as you have the confidence that you can handle anything – and you’re completely prepared – you can enjoy your trip. Just remember that things in other countries are not handled the same way that they are in the United States.
1) Do Some Research Beforehand
The United States government puts out travel warnings about certain countries and then updates this information all of the time. Even if you’re going to a country without warnings, and one where English is the predominant language, this doesn’t mean that you don’t need to be prepared. Do your research beforehand so that you know about potential unrest and other situations that may occur. The more you know, the better.
2) Know and Store Those Crucial Emergency Numbers
Speaking of knowledge, you’ll need to know some important emergency numbers. Foreign countries don’t always use 911 as we do in the states. Look up and write down the numbers for the fire department, police department, and emergency medical services for where you’ll be staying. Add in the numbers for the U.S. consulate, as well as your hotel. Make sure to store them both on paper and on your phone.
3) Learn How to Ask for Help in the Country’s Native Language
Even if the country is one where many people speak English, you might find yourself in a situation where you need to ask for help from someone who doesn’t understand a word that you’re saying. It always helps to know how to ask for various types of help in the native language.
4) Memorize Where the Local Hospital is Located
If you can’t determine this information ahead of time, ask the concierge or clerk at the hotel where you’re staying. You’ll need to know just how far you are from the nearest hospital in case of an emergency. It helps if you can find the time to walk there and back after placing your suitcase in your room.
5) Have Emergency Funds on You
Always have backup emergency funds. Don’t place them in your wallet or purse, in case you get targeted by a pickpocket. Instead, purchase a money belt and secure it under your clothing, or buy pants with a hidden pocket.
6) Make Copies of Your Passport, Credit Cards, Insurance, and Other Forms of ID
The last thing that you need is for you to end up without identification, your travel and health insurance, and even your bank and credit cards while you’re in a foreign country. Making copies of this information and storing it separate from the rest of your belongings will help you. Also, don’t forget to copy both the front and backs of your debit and credit cards.
7) Know the Location of the U.S. Consulate
If you get into a situation where the only place that’s safe is the United State’s diplomatic headquarters, then you’ll need to know exactly where they’re located. Write down the address. Look up what the building looks like and memorize it. Be prepared to go there in an emergency.
8) Relax When You Can
Now that you’re on vacation and have a complete understanding of how to handle any emergency that arises, you can relax. Enjoy yourself. Take in some of the local sights and eat a great meal. Don’t forget to make some interesting (and positive) memories!