Not everything goes to plan when you are travelling.
You can do everything from your end to ensure things go smoothly, but that’s about all your can do. Unforeseen incidents happen all the time and there’s nothing you can do to stop them.
After nearly four years of travelling on my own, I have accepted the fact that emergency situations will arise. I just have to deal with them when they do.
More than trying to over-plan to ensure nothing untoward happens, it helps if you simply prepare yourself to deal with emergency situations. Let me tell you once again, however much you try, everything will not go according to plan.
Here are eight ways you can be prepared for emergency situations on the road.
Know where the closest high commission is
In an emergency situation in a foreign country, officials at your home country’s high commission/consulate are in the best position to sort things out. So, have a good idea where it is located.
Know what to do if you lose your passport
Losing your passport is losing your identity in a foreign country. Be prepared for such a scenario. (Indians, check this out). This is certainly one of the situations when you need to get in touch with the high commission of your country.
Make enough photocopies of important documents
Keep photocopies of your passport front and back pages, apart from the visa, handy. Keep the copies in two or three different places so that you always have backup in case you lose one lot. Also carry some passport-sized photographs. If you lose your passport, these will help you considerably.
Carry cash with you
In this age and time, ATMs are available nearly everywhere. But the operative word is ‘nearly’. Cards do not work everywhere and carrying a reasonable amount of cash on you makes sense.
Have emergency numbers with you at all times
Write them down and memorise them apart from saving them on your phone. You should have backup in case you lose your phone.
Buy travel insurance
Learn a bit of the local language
This can be a major help in emergency situations. At least learn useful words and phrases such as “hello”, “thank you” and “help”. Take the help of useful apps to learn new languages and help you translate stuff on the go.
Accept the fact that shit happens
Accept it and don’t get worked up if something untoward happens on the road. Identify the problem and find a solution. There’s always a solution. It’s not the end of the world. You just need to keep a cool head and work it out. Remember, there are good people everywhere. Trust your instincts and ask for help if you think you need it.