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Prepare Yourself For the Unexpected

You never know what awaits you on the road. Whether you’re looking for ways to survive reverse culture shock or want to cover all your bases while getting ready to depart for a new country, the following tips can help you prepare for the unexpected. 

Trip Planning Tips

A hiker journaling in the mountains (photo: Tyler Nix)
A hiker journaling (photo: Tyler Nix)

Get Travel Insurance

Most people avoid getting travel insurance because they believe it’s expensive and unnecessary. However, travel insurance is an overlooked yet important asset for any traveler.

It’s meant to protect you from the financial burdens associated with accidents or unexpected errors while traveling. 

Nevertheless, it can be challenging to find a travel insurance provider that’s reliable and accessible. It’s a lot different from looking for the cheapest car insurance in Texas—there are more things you need to consider, like: 

  • Will they cover flight cancellations or delays?
  • Will they cover baggage loss?
  • Will they pay for medical expenses in case of accidents? 
  • Will they pay for emergency evacuations?

Keep these questions in mind when shopping for travel insurance. Ask your prospective provider about them and ensure you’re fully covered before your flight. 

Pack Emergency Supplies

Emergencies can strike you at any moment—which is why having a bag of emergency supplies with you is essential. You never know when you might catch a cold or get physically injured.

In your emergency kit, you’ll want to have a few essentials packed, such as: 

  • Medication
  • First-aid kit
  • Anti-allergy pills
  • Disinfectant
  • A flashlight
  • Portable charger/power bank
  • Snacks

This is a general list of things you want to store in your emergency pack. Depending on your situation and the country you plan to travel in, it may change.

Make sure to research what supplies will be appropriate for you to bring ahead of your trip. 

Travel the World scrabble letters (photo: Priscilla Du Preez)
Travel the World (photo: Priscilla Du Preez)

Keep Up Healthy Habits

Just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean you can’t keep up with healthy habits. It’s important to try and maintain your body even while you’re out exploring the world.

It lessens your risk of illness or injury. Simple things like drinking water and maintaining a balanced diet can take you a long way in terms of your health.

If you can’t find the time to go to the gym, a short but intense workout should help keep your heart pumping and muscles strong. 

You can find tons of travelers’ workouts online. Pick one that you think will be the most effective for your situation. Don’t be afraid to alter the routines a little to fit your current lifestyle better. 

Pay Attention to Your Surroundings

While you shouldn’t put yourself in a constant state of paranoia, it pays to remain vigilant of your surroundings—especially if you’re traveling alone in a foreign country.

As unfortunate as it might sound, not everyone has your best intentions in mind. You may run into a few scammers and pickpockets while you’re exploring the world.

It’s best always to keep one eye open and be aware of your surroundings. The last thing you want is to become a victim of theft or other criminal activities while enjoying tourist attractions. 

If possible, always travel with a friend or a trusted family member. Even hiring a tour guide from a reliable and established company is better than going out alone in a country you’ve only been to for the first time. 

Camping in Big Pine Lakes, California (photo: Andrew Peluso)
Camping in Big Pine Lakes, California (photo: Andrew Peluso)

Set Aside Emergency Cash

Although society has come a long way since the beginning of the industrial revolution, there may still be places where industrialization hasn’t quite touched the people.

In those cases, you won’t have the same technological luxuries that make everything so convenient, e.g., ATMs, computers, cashless transactions, etc. 

Having emergency cash with you can help you pay for services that can’t be paid for by your credit card.

It can also save you from a tight situation if your cards get locked, or your bank goes offline while you’re walking the road less traveled. 

Keep a List of Important Contacts

Having a list of important contacts can save your life if financial or medical problems arise. You can quickly reach out to them for assistance or to get out of a tricky situation.

Make sure to include the numbers to the nearest embassy, police station, local emergency response units, your family, trusted friends, your physician, and other emergency departments on this list. 

Your list may not contain those exact contacts, but it’s a great place to start. 

Backpacking in Poland (photo: Eduard Trott)
Backpacking in Poland (photo: Eduard Trott)

Final Thoughts

It’s always good to do your research and prepare before embarking on a long journey. Adventure can be fun and exciting, but it can also be overwhelming and, at times, risky.

To protect yourself from unexpected events, take steps to prepare for emergencies and unforeseen errors. Be a safe traveler so you can fully enjoy the wonders of your journeys.

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This story is brought to you in partnership with MarketWatch.

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