There’s a sea of information on what to do during a travel emergency, but little on what to do if you’re planning an emergency trip. Sick relatives, natural disasters and unexpected mishaps may require packing up to leave in minutes. Come as prepared as possible with a few emergency trip tips.
Pack a Flexible Wardrobe
It’s unlikely you’ll know exactly how long an emergency will last. Keep your travel plans as open-ended as possible, whether you’re sitting with someone in the hospital or trying to help a family member evacuated from a natural disaster. Pack a flexible wardrobe of comfortable layers that coordinate with each other, a formal item in case of a meeting or funeral, and comfortable shoes that can pass for dressy in a pinch.
Bring Important Documents and Numbers
An overwhelming situation makes it difficult to think clearly about the information you need on hand. If possible, prepare any documents in advance. However, if you need to leave at a moment’s notice, grab your banking information, a passport that can serve as a second piece of identification, medical information and your insurance cards. These are also foundational items you can grab on behalf of a family member or friend you’re trying to help.
Tap Your Network for Accommodations
Extended hotel stays come at a steep price. However, an emergency is an ideal time to tap your network for help. Ask if they know anyone you can stay with for up to a week at a time, or where the most affordable options are.
Upgrade Your Security System
Leaving town unexpectedly and for an undetermined duration requires extra security. Let your local police station know about your situation and call your security provider. Asking for a temporary upgrade so you can monitor your property remotely can give you peace of mind while on the road.
Ask a Friend for Help
Friends have a way of dropping everything and coming to the rescue during an emergency, but only if you let them. Ask a trusted friend to check on your home, take in your pets or collect your mail while you’re away. You may also need help with the basics, like finding a place to stay or making sure your utilities are paid.
Emergency trips are rarely fun but are usually something we all face at least once in our lives. Make it as seamless as possible and put together an emergency travel bag and checklist, so you’re ready to go in a moment’s notice.
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