You’re all set for your trip – you have your visa, your travel insurance, reservations, embassy contact information, maps, plans, and everything else you might need. All the relevant info is printed out and stashed in your hand luggage and, because you’re super smart, a second copy is in your checked luggage.
This is solid start on the prep work. But – spoiler alert – we here at Safe Travels Magazine are big fans of doing small things in advance that can make a world of difference in a bad situation.
You have all that info to hand, so take the next step – send it to a secure email account that you could access from anywhere in the globe. And designate someone who won’t be on the trip with you to be your ICE contact.
- Set up a travel email account on a cloud based option like Gmail or Hotmail, using an address you’ll remember.
- Scan your passport, your visa, any relevant medical documents and send them to that account.
- Forward all your travel and booking info, as well as contact details for the embassy and your travel insurance company.
- Set a secure password that is memorable – maybe the first line from your favourite song, a catchphrase you and your ICE contact use. Make it something that you will remember in a stressful situation.
- Make your ICE contact aware of the account and log in info, and discuss the circumstances under which they might be called on to use the info.
- If you have travel companions, let them know who your ICE contact is and what info they have access to.
If something bad happens and you lose all your belongings and/or your ID, contact your embassy or your local consulate. They will be able to help you access emergency travel documents – and you or your ICE contact will be able to access relevant documents to support that process.
If you don’t know how to contact the embassy, start with a local authority figure. This could be staff at a hotel or the local police. If you are in a country where corruption is rife, be wary of who you trust. Try to avoid exposing too much information or putting yourself in potentially dangerous situations.
Make sure your travel email account is secure. Choose a strong password and change it after your trip. Only give people you trust 100% access to the account and limit the information shared to the account. Delete the emails after your trip.
Always, always buy travel insurance. If you are heading off the beaten path and/or travelling independently, consider buying a support package.
Please note – we offer this advice to supplement any steps you have already taken. Please use your common sense and undertake your own additional research.
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