Imagine this: You complete months of research, planning your vacation to every detail. You found the perfect destination, with every amenity you could ever dream of, and it is even close to the best spots. You’ve saved and spent your money, booked every last detail, even what you plan to eat the first night. Your plane lands, the weather is perfect, the locals are amazing, and everything is set to become the best vacation ever. Until…..
Trouble hits! You need help. All of the preparation and research you did cannot help you now. What do you do? Who do you contact? Where do you go? Everything seems to be falling apart in an instant.
First, keep calm. Take a deep breath and rationally deal with whatever problem you are faced with. Your best defense against unexpected trouble while travelling is to do your research at home. Not just preventative research on how to avoid problems, but what to do in case those problems hit. Browse this section to learn about what to do in response to the most common problems and to learn about your best resources available to you while travelling.
Well, the research is done and you are aware of your resources, but what do you actually do? Remember, there is a problem happening and you are travelling, away from the comforts of home! Regardless of the situation, it is critical to keep an active record of the facts of the incident and any relevant records. For example, if something goes missing, write down everything you remember about the situation and take some photographs. Or to get medical help, if you get sick take detailed notes on what you ate and drank, what medications you are on, where you travelled for the last few days, and who you were in contact with, also keeping receipts and medical reports. Recording important facts, depending on the situation, could save you time, money and even your life.
You have the facts recorded, are starting to calm down, and are more aware of your situation, but who do you contact? The pages on this website cover the most relevant contacts and help you navigate what can sometimes be a confusing system of local authorities. If there is a problem at home, most of us simply call 9-11 and the relevant local authority shows up. Remember, this might not be so simply in other places. While the first point of contact is often representatives at your hotel, never hesitate to contact your embassy if you think the situation is serious. They have plenty of resources to help you with any trouble you face overseas.
While researching and preparing for potential problems is the best way to solve them if they do arise, be ready to think on your feet and rationally work through every decision you need to make in a time of trouble. The more you are ready while travelling, the more likely you are to be calm and intelligent during a time of crisis.