Planning an overseas trip (of course it will be to South Africa – the most beautiful destination in the world) is an awesome opportunity and an exciting task; this allows you to experience new and exciting things in a different part of the world. Yet, dealing with an emergency abroad is the last thing on one’s mind when preparing for the adventure – an unforeseen crisis can be a harsh reality.
When travelling abroad, you could be faced with challenges like losing important documents, getting sick, being involved in an accident or becoming a victim of a crime. These challenges are all unplanned, and even though we would hope it never happens to us, the odd chance is always there that something might go wrong.
The most important is to stay calm and handle these situations to the best of your ability, especially while in another country. Before starting your journey, it is important that you prepare yourself as best as you can for anything that could happen while you are away from home. Copies of important documents and medical insurance are just a few things to be prepared with before your trip.
An emergency travel pack is a vital component when planning a trip. The most important things of this pack are medical and personal documentation.
A few other items you should have are:
- Copies of your passport/Visa
- A copy of your insurance information
- A copy of area maps of your destination/ places you may visit
- Copies of your air ticket
- Medical needs treatment
- Copy of your home country’s drivers licence
- Cellphone with local Sim card – international roaming costs are still very high
- Credit Card
- List of emergency numbers provided by your travel agent
Tips for handling an emergency situation
Dealing with lost/stolen goods: If any of your possessions are lost/stolen, the first thing to do is report the lost items/theft immediately at the closest police station. A police report is needed for any insurance claims, so report a crime to the local police station.
Handling a medical emergency: Medical insurance will benefit you. In an event of an injury, you should get help from the nearest location and call an emergency number immediately. You should also get to a clinic/hospital as soon as possible to stabilise your condition.
Listen to Locals: Being in a place that is not familiar to you could expose you to risks and unsafe areas. It is important to listen to advice from people that are used to the area/country.
Always ask for inside info or handy tips. For the backpacking industry, this should be easy as the staff at the hostel are always willing to give the best information and recommendations of the area.
Plan your transport arrangements before you leave. If you decide to do Tours, go in a group and always let someone know which route you intend taking. Stay in well lit and well marked areas at night.
Travelling with everything prepared ensures maximum enjoyment and a worry-free journey.
If you have any questions, or would like to add more items and advice to the above, please comment below.
(blog article composed by Insaaf Kamaldien, consultant at Baz Bus)