When we plan our vacations and trips we think of all the wonderful place to go, food to eat, places to stay and people to meet. Our beautiful world is rich with different experiences, cultures and adventures. It’s very easy to get caught up in all the excitement and fail to plan for the unexpected such as a catastrophic weather event, riots, personal medical crisis and… God forbid… a terrorist attack.
Unfortunately terriorist attacks are becoming more common and often happen in some of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. For that reason, it’s important to include some crisis thought and planning time when you prepare for your next destination trip.
Here are 4 helpful tools for an unexpected travel crisis
Facebook's Safety Check
Facebook now has a great new resource called SafetyCheck. It’s a place to go and connect with friends and loved ones who may have gotten displaced during a crisis. If you're in the affected area, you can tell your friends you're safe and check to see if they're safe, too.
Take a moment and register with the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). When you do this you will have the following resources:
Receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.
Help the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.
Help family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency.
State Department Travel Warnings and Alerts
The State Department also has a great site where you can go and research your potential travel destination. You will be able to see if there are any alerts and warnings related to your travel area. From the State Department alerts and warnings site:
Travel Warnings: We issue a Travel Warning when we want you to consider very carefully whether you should go to a country at all. Examples of reasons for issuing a Travel Warning might include unstable government, civil war, ongoing intense crime or violence, or frequent terrorist attacks. We want you to know the risks of traveling to these places and to strongly consider not going to them at all. Travel Warnings remain in place until the situation changes; some have been in effect for years.
Travel Alerts: We issue a Travel Alert for short-term events we think you should know about when planning travel to a country. Examples of reasons for issuing a Travel Alert might include an election season that is bound to have many strikes, demonstrations, or disturbances; a health alert like an outbreak of H1N1; or evidence of an elevated risk of terrorist attacks. When these short-term events are over, we cancel the Travel Alert.
Finally make sure you get good travel insurance that covers unexpected events. Encountering the unexpected is often a part of travel; ranging from the inconvenient to a truly serious emergency. We have partnered with Travelex Insurance Services to offer comprehensive travel insurance and trip insurance protection coupled with extensive 24-hour emergency assistance services to meet the challenges of today's travel and help you enjoy a worry-free trip.
Enjoy your travels by planning ahead for unexpected events. Contact us today to learn more and purchase travel insurance for your next great adventure!