Are You Prepared for the Unexpected When You Travel?
I am reminded of an experience sitting in my hospital room a few years ago. I had not been prepared to make this trip. I thought I had a 1 hour doctor appointment. Six hours later I was being transported by ambulance to the hospital.
What’s with this? I don’t have time, I told the doctor. I need to get some things done FIRST!!! But, in the end, I was whisked away.
Be prepared when you travel…
In travel, I have had times when the trip did not go as planned and I was not prepared. So here are my suggestions:
- Pack as though your checked bags will not arrive with you. Maybe your connection doesn’t work out and you have to live out of your carryon for a few days. Can you?
- Take every phone number of family/friends, credit card numbers and phone numbers, copies of all your docs in a separate place, copies of driver’s license, passports. Bank account numbers and phone numbers. Insurance policies and phone numbers. Make sure you have phone numbers of car rental agencies and hotels – booked or close by if you need to rent in an emergency. I could tell you lots of stories. Phone numbers and websites of airlines – your own and others you could book if you can’t get close to a desk at an airport. Sort out the cost later
- Don’t max out your credit cards on vacation. Or, better yet, take one that is open and not used. Make sure every company knows where and when you will be gone.
- Take some snack or energy bars for emergency food. Always keep bottled water that you buy after going thru security. Food places in airports close and you may get stuck without food or drink.
- Take some US dollars in small bills hidden on you someplace. Even if you loose some exchange, you may need to buy food, water or tissues in the restrooms.
- Make sure you have the necessary clothes (underwear in particular) for a couple of days in your carryon. A heavy sweater or blanket is important as some airports and airplanes are very cold. I have a vacuum bag I put these in and roll them into my carry-on.
- Even though you may not have weather situations, you could have mechanical issues. Just be ready for anything you can think of that would delay your trip and plan, plan, plan
Mostly be sure you have booked with a Certified Travel Agent.
**originally published 11/10/11