When traveling or moving abroad, you need to be prepared for anything. A new environment is a great place to learn new things and experience once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. However, visiting or moving places can bring risks that you should be aware of. For your safety and protection, you should have a plan in place when something goes wrong. Keep these 7 things if you have an accident while traveling or living abroad
Possible risks you could encounter abroad
If you move across continents, you are likely to experience major changes in your physical environment. These include weather, altitude, sun exposure, and humidity levels, to name a few.
For example, while moving to a sunny tropical country is the ultimate dream for many people, coming from a cold country and suddenly dealing with a lot of sun exposure can take a toll on your body and well-being. Likewise, you could move to a high-altitude location that you didn’t experience in your previous home, which could lead to hearing and balance problems.
Moving to a different country involves traveling by air or by road. If you are a passenger, you have little control over the pilot or driver. Air travel can have turbulence and other flight problems. Vehicles such as cars can experience traffic accidents and collisions. Statistically, air travel is safer than land travel, but accidents are still possible.
Health is on everyone’s mind. Traveling abroad can pose certain health risks, especially if you are moving to a distant place. For example, your vaccinations may not be sufficient in a particular country. While health authorities proactively inform the general population about common illnesses, you still need to do your part in researching illnesses you may catch during your travels to a new city, state, or country.
Wherever you are in the world, a foreigner can attract unwanted attention from thieves, swindlers and the like. In this case, standing out can put you in danger.
If you are not familiar with the area, people may notice you when you are alone and lost. In places where the crime rate is high, there is a risk of being cheated or taken advantage of.
Instances of terrorism are also possible, although some countries experience them more than others. This depends on the political situation and the history of a country.
The economy of a country has a great influence on the cost of living, available job prospects, house prices and other important aspects of life. If you’re planning to move for work, you need to prepare for the risk of running out of money before you find a good job. Even if you already have savings, you may find unexpected start-up costs, like new appliances or internet installation.
Keep them in case of emergencies
Planning your trip or migration can take some time, but it will be worth it if you have an accident or an unexpected problem. You can never predict a theft or slip and fall accident, so it’s best to be prepared for anything.
copies of documents
You may already have your passport, visa, tax information, and other important documents while you travel, but it’s a good idea to have copies of them, too. If you lose the original copies, at least have backup copies to submit as needed. Even electronic documents need to be printed because you may lose power or Internet access unexpectedly.
Make copies of the following where applicable and keep them in a safe place.
- Birth and marriage certificates
- Tax information
- Driver’s license
- Vehicle registration and insurance
- bank account details
- vaccination papers
- COVID-19 test result
- pet papers
Print the emergency numbers of your country of origin and your destination. In case of accidents or emergencies, you can easily extract this list and contact the necessary parties.
If you will be passing through other areas for a layover, you should also prepare numbers for those countries.
Hospital, fire and police numbers should be on this list. You can also add your airline numbers and close family members or friends who live nearby.
Staying healthy should be a priority, so carry enough medications with you. Stock up on common health and medical products.
- Band aids
- allergy medication
- motion sickness pills
If you have any prescription medications, be sure to bring enough to travel with, plus a few extra supplies. Take the time to find a doctor in your new country who can provide treatment and prescribe medications.
Amid the chaos of preparing to travel, insurance may take a backseat to your priorities. However, keep in mind that unexpected accidents and disasters can happen wherever you are in the world.
Consider getting insurance for the following:
- Travel insurance
- International health insurance
- Home insurance
- Life insurance
Make sure you understand what is included in your insurance plan before you commit. Many travelers make an insurance claim only to find that it was not, in fact, part of their coverage. You can avoid potential life-changing misunderstandings by carefully reading the terms of your insurance and asking your insurance agent directly.
Carrying enough cash with you is essential to ensure that you will get home or be able to call for help during an emergency. Even if you use a credit card or mobile payments for most transactions, it’s a good idea to carry an adequate amount of cash with you when you’re on the go.
You should be prepared if any of the following occur.
- Your car breaks down.
- Your phone is lost or stolen.
- Your wallet is lost or stolen.
Remember to bring enough cash, but not too much. Legal restrictions may also apply, so make sure you know how much money you can legally carry.
First aid box
The Red Cross recommends the following supplies in your emergency kit.
- One gallon of water per person for three days: If you live with other people, prepare three gallons per person. That means if you live with your spouse and one child, you’ll need to store 9 gallons of water.
- Non-perishable food for three days: Choose foods that are safe to eat over a long period of time. This includes ready-to-eat canned foods, dry cereal, protein bars, dried fruit, canned juices, and the like. If you bring cans, be sure to bring a can opener as well.
- Flashlight: Choose a good quality flashlight for emergencies, preferably one that is bright and waterproof.
- Battery or crank radio
- Medicines and medical items.
- Sanitation and hygiene items.
- area maps
Other recommended supplies include a whistle, surgical masks, blankets, and extra clothing. Research common disasters, crimes, and hazards in the country to help you plan accordingly. For example, a particular country might experience more flooding, so adding rain boots would be a good idea, while cold winters in another country might call for thick clothing and blankets.
Having a backup phone in case your phone is stolen can save you from undue stress. You can use an older phone as this type of phone is less likely to be stolen and then turn it off when not in use. An alternative is to get a non-smart phone to make emergency calls, so keep your important contacts here.
Tips to stay safe abroad
Prioritizing safety and security can help reduce avoidable circumstances such as theft, personal injury, or scams. Here are some tips to stay safe when you are in a different country.
1. pack wisely
Keep your valuables safe by packing them wisely. Jewelry, expensive technology, and other precious belongings should be close to you at all times.
However, avoid putting anything of value in your back pocket. Pickpockets can easily pickpocket you at busy airports without you realizing it.
two. Know the health system
Learn about the health of the country. Some countries have universal health care, while others do not.
Find the hospital closest to your home and workplace. Do you offer free ambulances in case of an emergency? Are your facilities adequate? If applicable, ask your employer about health care plans.
3. Gain a good understanding of the laws, language, and culture of your destination.
Discover the main aspects of living in your destination country. Some of its laws may be the same as where you come from, but it may have laws that you are not familiar with. For example, chewing gum is found almost anywhere in the world, but it is illegal in Singapore.
When you move to a place with a language you don’t speak, you should still do your best to learn some basic words and phrases. This can be useful when you meet someone who doesn’t speak your language. Common words to know are “yes”, “no” and “Where is __?”
Avoid disturbing the locals because you didn’t take the time to study their customs and culture. To get started, you may want to write down common greetings and gestures. If you can, also ask someone who has moved from another country, as natives may not be able to identify the differences between their culture and theirs.
Four. Learn the public transportation system from a local
Ask a friendly neighbor or co-worker to show you the best ways to get around. Locals who have lived in the area for a long time will know the best routes and potentially dangerous places to avoid.
Understanding the transportation system also means you won’t stand out or get lost in traffic, making you less of a target for anyone with bad intentions.
5. Keep your electronic devices and gadgets safe
As much as possible, be aware of your phone at all times. Phones are easy targets for thieves and pickpockets, so remember to store them safely in your bag or purse.
Check the compatibility of your devices in your country of travel, especially the voltage and plug type. You may not immediately notice that the electrical outlets are different in your new home. Plugging a 110-volt device into a 220-volt outlet, for example, can cause a breakage or fire. Consider taking power converters with you.
6. Keep your data safe
We store a lot of information on our electronic devices, so be careful when connecting to public wireless networks. Consider using a VPN when entering sensitive information like passwords, addresses, and credit card information. Also beware of public charging stations and unknown USB devices. Back up important information before you go, either to the cloud or to a secure device.
Going abroad is a life-changing experience, but you should always make safety a priority wherever you go. By stocking up on emergency essentials and following these tips, you can keep yourself and your belongings safer when you’re in a new place.