"You never know what might happen on the road"
Stepping out your door into the unknown is what makes travel so exciting. Each day brings endless possibilities, but that possibility is for both good and bad. You may end up enjoying a day sightseeing in Japan— or getting robbed in Australia. You may spend an amazing day on the beaches of Singapore— or suffer food poisoning in Costa Rica.
But if you’re prepared, you’ll be able to face whatever happens to you on the road
10 Tips To Be Prepared for Anything While Traveling
1. Study Nonverbal Communication (Basic Phrases Is A Must)
Most people interact using both verbal and nonverbal communication, so paying attention to facial expressions can help you appropriately read a situation, even if you don’t understand the verbal part. When you don’t know the language or might take words out of context, keep calm, and take a moment to read the feelings of the person. This has helped me defuse tense situations with taxi drivers, vendors, and hotel owners. Understanding nonverbal communication doesn’t happen overnight.
Locals don’t expect you to be an expert in their language, but knowing how to say “hello,” “goodbye,” and “thank you” go a long way in endearing yourself to locals. After all, wouldn’t you be annoyed if someone came to your home and expected you to know their language?
Knowing a few key phrases will not only make interactions easier, but it will also help you when you bargain for goods, order food, get lost or need help.
2. Carry a Medkit (and know how to use it)
Virtually all momentary health crises can be averted with a legit medical kit and some basic knowledge of how to use what it contains. Take basic classes in person or online (youtube is an okay place to start). Whether it’s urban travel in Singapore, a harrowing boat ride down the Mekong, or rainforest hammock sleeping adventures in Guatemala and Belize, this is what’s in my basic medkit, at all times:
Over the counter pain medication:
- -1 round of antibiotics
- -Triple antibiotic cream
- -An inhaler
- -Anti-nausea pills
- -A dental filling patch kit
- -Suture, syringe and IV start kit
Hear me out on that last one. I’ve gotten some negative feedback for suggesting a stuck kit, but I’m not recommending field stitching your own partner in the wild unless you absolutely have to. I carry this kit because we were in a situation once where a med center in a backwater place didn’t have the necessary equipment, and I realized that lack was my fault, not theirs. Now I carry it, and any potential “dirty needle” crisis is averted.
Carry your immunization records as well as any other pertinent information a medical professional might need (digital copies are fine) and make sure that you’re as prepared as you can be to use what’s in that medkit without panic.
3. Carry a List of Emergency Contacts
If something happens to you, having a list of emergency numbers on you will help medical professionals know who to contact. I also keep a list of my allergies with me so if I need treatment and can’t answer questions, doctors know what I’m allergic to.
I keep two copies: one with me and one in my bag in my hotel room. Because having backups are important
4. Check the Weather (Always)
The weather is the single factor most likely to affect your trip positively or negatively, and one of the things many people most take for granted. Of course, it is going to be warm in Spain during the spring — right?
But there are always exceptions to prevailing weather patterns, especially during transitional seasons. A weather forecast can guide your packing strategy, and failure to check the weather can result in unprepared, unhappy, and very soggy travelers.
5. Ensure your credit card will work in the country you’re visiting.
Does your card have a chip? Most foreign banks have switched to chip-and-PIN technology, and fewer businesses abroad accept the outdated magnetic-strip cards.
6. Check Public Transit Maps
A bit of research online before you leave will also allow you to check fares, print transit maps and plan your itinerary
7. Manage Your Cash Flow
If you’re traveling domestically, be sure to hit your own bank before leaving for your trip; that way you won’t arrive short on cash and have to immediately search for an ATM. Further, you will save on ATM fees at machines run by someone other than your own bank. Go to your bank’s website and map out any available ATM locations near your destination so you are not forced to use other banks’ machines
If you’re traveling overseas, the most economical option is to visit an ATM as soon as you arrive at your destination and make a withdrawal in the local currency. Check the website of the airport where you’ll be arriving to make sure it has an ATM you can use. Most international airports have several, but if you’re flying to a smaller airport in a developing country, there’s no guarantee that there will be one (or that it will be working properly). In these cases, you may want to purchase some local currency ahead of time
Call your bank or credit card company and let them know about your travel plans. Most banks and credit card companies keep track of spending patterns and may interpret an unexpected overseas purchase as credit card fraud. Your account could be locked if you use your card in another country without notifying your bank
8. Escape Options (Backup Plans)
The truth is that sometimes things go bad on a trip. Maybe you get very sick. Maybe someone at home dies. Perhaps you’re one of the statistical minority who is in the wrong place at the wrong time when a terrorist attack. There are any number of reasons that you might need to quickly get out of dodge, and the smart traveler is the one who has thought about this ahead of time and prepared
How do you keep your escape options open?
- Get proper travel insurance that includes emergency evacuation and expatriation of remains in the policy.
- Maintain an emergency escape account; always have the money to buy a last-minute ticket out.
- Make sure your passport is always valid for another six months.
- Stay abreast of the security situation in countries you’re traveling in.
9. Activate your phone’s global capabilities
There’s usually a charge for doing this, but it is much less than the roaming charges you’ll get if you don’t.
Two cheaper alternatives:
- purchase and use a local SIM card
- download WhatsApp for calls and text
10. Prepare tickets and documents
There aren’t a few things more annoying that an endless queue made by someone who can’t find his boarding card or don’t remember where the document to check-in in the hotel is.
TIPS: Try to avoid these situations saving the QR codes in your phone and this will make this process faster.
Have you already set-up everything? Remember that the key to enjoying the trip is not on your destination, but the feelings and memories that you get. So, it is important to plan everything and look for better services around you.
Which step do you never miss when preparing for a trip? Leave a comment and tell us about yours!