There’s little doubt that business travel can be fraught with minor frustrations and occasional inconveniences. Delayed flights and lost luggage seem to be par for the course. There are circumstances, however, that go beyond inconvenient, rising to the level of crisis. Civil unrest, medical emergencies, natural disasters, and lost or stolen travel documents are all situations that require more than just patience to deal with. As one person in crisis management said wisely, “It’s not a matter of if. It’s a matter of when.” Here are five steps to take and be well prepared for a crisis before your next trip.
Have a Plan
Carefully planning for your trip and anticipating “worse-case” scenarios goes a long way to preventing some situations and knowing how to react appropriately in others.
- Make a list of people you will notify in case of an emergency.
- Don’t rely solely on your smartphone to store their numbers.
- Make several color copies of your passport and keep them is separate, secure places.
- If you’re traveling with co-workers, exchange copies of your documents in case yours are lost or stolen.
- Know where your embassy and consulate offices are and how to get to them.
Savvy travelers already know to pack two or three days’ clothing in their carry-on bag in case of lost luggage. But there’s another good reason to do so–in the event that you need to leave a country quickly due to a natural disaster or civil unrest. In some crisis situations, it is simply not practical to retrieve your luggage from your hotel or haul it around with you. Keep a couple of days’ worth of necessities in a bag and keep it with you throughout your trip.
Most people already carry some form of health insurance, but it may make sense to purchase additional insurance for the duration of your trip abroad. Your existing coverage may not cover some expenses incurred while out of country. In the event that a hospital stay is required or a serious injury is sustained, some travel policies will even pay for a family member to travel to you, should you require their assistance.
Cash is King
For most purchases while overseas, your credit card is the way to go. Automatic currency conversion and rewards points accumulation are just two of the reasons to use them whenever you can. In the event of an emergency or crisis, however, there is no substitute for cash. It is always good practice to keep a small amount of cash on you at all times. It is even better to keep it somewhere other than in your purse or wallet, as these are obvious targets of thieves.
In a crisis situation, your smart phone may be your only lifeline. Keep it charged at all times. Additionally, pack an external device charger and make sure that, it too, is charged. It is also a good idea to store the telephone numbers for local police and ambulance in your phone, in case the need arises.
Finally, one of the best ways to deal with a crisis while traveling is to have the help of an experienced travel management company. The professionals at AmTrav have the experience and expertise to help you through most any situation while traveling abroad.
By: Denise D.