I love to travel and when I do I want to focus on my journey. But before I pack my suitcase or strap on my backpack I make sure I have taken appropriate safety precautions. I am not a “worrier” by nature, but I know that I cannot control every situation. I have found that the five tips below have given me and my family and friends peace of mind. Let me know your thoughts and suggestions.
- Always leave an itinerary with a friend or family member. No, you don’t need to plan every minute of you trip. But for example, you can let them know where you will be starting or ending each week. I always give my husband a list of destinations with approximate arrival dates.
- Check in periodically. Use social media or call a friend to let them know you are ok. Yes, you are an adult, and perhaps a seasoned traveler, but friends and family will still worry. I activate a GPS tracking app https://www.mapmyrun.com whenever I’m walking, even within town. My husband receives a “ping” on his phone that lets him know I’m walking and he can see my location at any given time. Recently I was on a long training walk by the river. I called him just to check in and ended the call with “I’m about to cross Jackson…need to go.” Jackson is a very busy street with no crossing lights. About ten minutes later he calls me back and asks are you ok. Apparently the GPS signal had dropped momentarily and he could not see my activity. I had stopped at an ice cream shop! Peace of mind if invaluable.
- If you are traveling abroad, register your trip with STEP https://step.state.gov/step
The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service to allow U.S. citizen s and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. You will receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans. They will also be able to contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency. It just takes a few minutes to enroll.
4. Have emergency contact and medical information on you at all times. I am a two time breast cancer survivor. As such, I cannot have needle sticks on my left arm. I rarely go on training walks with my purse, so I don’t have my ID. Thanks to Road ID, I have my name, medical information, and emergency contact information on the band of my Apple watch. I am not sponsored by them, but they have many solutions for active lifestyles. https://www.roadid.com
5. Enroll in a travel health insurance program, such as GeoBlue https://www.geobluetravelinsurance.com or Allianz Travel https://www.allianztravelinsurance.com . While many credit cards offer insurance programs to cover travel delays, they do. Not fully cover health related issues once at your destination. Even though I am healthy, I want to make sure that if I needed medical care for a cold, broken leg, or worse, I will be treated and not have to worry about the cost.