You’ve been there before. You planned a domestic trip and despite your attention to detail, something goes wrong. You lose your luggage at the airport, your hotel room was never reserved, you forget to pack your cell phone charger, or some other crazy thing goes wrong causing you to have to make a few adjustments. You may be a tad bit frustrated, but your trip isn’t completely ruined. When you add a few thousand miles and an entirely different country to the equation, making even small mistakes could turn your trip chaotic in an instant.
You can’t prevent everything from happening, but what you can do is be prepared. Having a general idea of what could go wrong while you’re overseas can help you take measures to keep it from happening to you. Here are some of the really insane things that could go wrong while traveling abroad (and how you can take precautions).
You Get Lost
When you’re on foreign soil, getting lost could mean the difference between being safe in tourist territory to being at risk of kidnapping in unrestricted areas. Getting lost in an unfamiliar country is the worst. It can take you hours to get back. Meanwhile, you’re a sitting duck for any criminals or terrorists.
Be prepared: First, it’s probably best not to try and tour uncharted territory on your own. Stay in highly public areas where you can get directions if need be. Also, make sure your cell phone is always charged so you can use the GPS to make it back to your hotel (program the address in your GPS prior to leaving). Lastly, it’s probably a good idea that you don’t get too much under the influence as this could cloud your judgment.
You Get Robbed
Though robberies happen in the US all the time, Americans in foreign countries tend to attract attention. You have flashy gadgets, devices, clothes, and jewelry that they’re interested in and it is very possible that you could end up getting robbed.
Be prepared: It’s good to know the contact information for the local authorities just in case you need them. However, you can minimize the possibility of you getting robbed by keeping your flashy items at home, trying to blend in with others, and sticking to paths you know. If you see a suspicious character, report them right away.
If you are robbed, having a way to get more cash is recommended. You could have someone at home complete a wire transfer. You can ask that they send money to Philippines islands or wherever you’ve traveled, so you can afford to get home.
You Get Stuck
This one is probably the worst. If you don’t have the correct documentation while traveling abroad you could end up stuck in the country. Authorities who are aware you’re not a native of the country may ask for proper id including your driver’s license, a passport, and/or a visa. If you don’t have this, you could find yourself in jail or stuck at the airport until the matter is resolved.
Be prepared: Keep all your paperwork with you. It is also a good idea to make copies of the documents to keep in another location (like your hotel room). This way, should you lose your originals, you still have proper documentation at your disposal.
You Get Sick
You’re in a new environment, breathing in different air and trying new foods. Though you hope the experience goes well, you never know when you might fall ill. You could catch a cold, suffer from foodborne illnesses, or contract some other disease. Depending on where you are, there may not even be sufficient medical treatment options.
Be prepared: It is always recommended that you visit your doctor before traveling abroad. Get a clean bill of health, fill up on prescriptions, and update any vaccinations. You should also contact your insurance provider to find out which hospitals and clinics nearby you can retreat to for service.
You could be going along having a good time in a new country and the next thing you know, crap happens. Though no one wants to have any disruptions on their trip, being prepared is a whole lot better than being in a foreign country with no resolution. These tips will ensure your safety, give you peace of mind, and allow you to enjoy international travel without all the drama that could happen.