Traveling is an enjoyable way to spend your time after retirement or for a special vacation with a loved one. However, a good time can quickly turn into a nightmare if you have a medical emergency or crime that happens to you in another country.
Here are some tips to prevent your trip from turning into an experience that you’ll regret.
Share Your Itinerary with Family
When you’re traveling, it’s always a good idea to leave an itinerary with a trusted family member or friend and stick to it. Write down your schedule if you’re taking a tour or an approximate one if you’re traveling on your own.
Call the person who has your itinerary to check-in every couple of days so that they know you're on schedule and safe. If they don’t hear from you, they can then alert the authorities at your last destination, who can look for you to check whether you’re okay.
Taking Medications on Your Trip
Don’t put medications in the luggage that you check on a plane or train. Always pack it in your carry-on bag. If you take a large number of medicines, carry a doctor's note with you. Also, take enough medication to last an extra two or three days.
If there is a delay in getting home, then you will have enough medicine with you to keep from getting ill. Do some research before leaving home regarding your medications.
Some of them may not be legal where you are going, so you will need to exchange them for prescriptions that are legal in those countries.
Buy Travel Insurance
Your medical insurance does not cover medical expenses when you travel overseas. Buy a senior travel insurance policy and try to get one that covers any pre-existing medical conditions. A traveler’s insurance policy also has coverage for many things of which you may not know.
Most policies cover trip cancellations or delays, food or accommodations if the delays last for several hours or days, and lost or stolen personal items, such as your glasses or electronics. Make sure to fill out the beneficiary information, even if it doesn't end up being necessary.
Be Cautious When Leaving Your Hotel
Don’t stick the “Clean Room” sign on the door if you’re going to be sightseeing. Hotels are magnets to unscrupulous people, and leaving the sign out will indicate that you're not in the room and probably won't be for several hours.
If you want a clean room when you get back, then call the front desk or concierge before leaving the hotel and ask them to relay instructions for cleaning it to housekeeping.
If you have any valuables like jewelry, expensive electronics, or passports, don’t leave them behind in the room. Instead, ask to have them put in the safe that the hotel reserves for guests.
Carry Copies of Passport
One of the targets of thieves in some overseas destinations is passports. Along with your money, many pickpockets hope to score passports as well.
To protect yourself, make copies of your passport before leaving on your trip and place them in several locations, like your luggage or in a fanny pack.
Use technology to copy them as well. Scan copies of your passport and other relevant documents into your computer and email them to yourself so that you can pull them up on your mobile phone or a laptop or tablet that you’re taking with you.
These precautions can keep you safe in unfamiliar destinations, and they may save time when going through customs or waiting in lines at airports or train stations.