I love America and the freedoms we enjoy. I am especially fond of the fall season and how everything feels alive once again. The cool fall air, back to school, fairs and carnivals, football, and the turning of the leaves. It is truly easy to become complacent in our utopia. I even find myself falling into this trap when I am home and sometimes put off planning my next trip until right before it happens. The problem with this attitude is that complacency kills or will at least cost us dearly if we are caught unprepared. We recommend some important travel planning tips that may save the day if an emergency happens during a trip overseas.
- Have a current last will and testament.
- Identify a family crisis committee who will represent you, should something happen to you overseas. Make sure you give your spokesman a power of attorney for such an event.
- Research the country or countries to which you are going. Make sure you are familiar with their laws and the geopolitical situation there. Make sure you study location maps so that you understand the layout of the city or cities where you are going.
- Make sure your passport and documents are up to date. Make copies of your passport to take with you.
- Purchase Travel Insurance. At a minimum, make sure you are covered for health care, medevac, accidental death, and remains repatriation. Should you be traveling to Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Nigeria, Egypt, Burkina Faso or any other location where kidnapping for ransom is popular, you need to purchase a kidnap for ransom (KFR) policy. If you are going somewhere where even a KFR policy will not cover, my recommendation would be to not go.
- Take a basic Anti Kidnapping and Hostage Survival Course.
- Take a Wilderness First Aid Course. You may need to stabilize someone longer than the golden hour of care if you are traveling remotely.
- Take a self-defense course. Most countries and even some states will not let you take a gun with you. Empty hand skills are at a premium overseas.
- Learn map and GPS skills. Navigation skills are critical, especially when your smart phone may not even work where you are going.
- Talk to people who have been there recently. Ask them about their experience. Get the good, the bad, and the ugly from them.
Set these things in motion well ahead of your trip so that you can enjoy your travel.