I was very lucky this week. I flew out of Mexico City one day before a massive 7.1 earthquake shook the city. It’s a scary thing to think that I might’ve been there traveling while such a huge catastrophic event was happening.
That event inspired this post for travelers. You might not have a trip planned right now but these are good resources to know and have in case you are ever in a situation where you might need them.
CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
This is the best resource for updated health information traveling abroad. Check the site before you plan a trip to see what kinds of vaccinations you might need, and what kind of health precautions that you should take (like drinking the tap water or mosquitoes). My doctors always reference this site when I am going in for my travel visit to get vaccines and medications.
US State Department
If you are unsure about the safety of a country, the State Department website keeps an updated summary of every country. They also have a Smart Traveler Enrollment Program that you can enroll in online. It will allow you to receive updates on the country you are visiting and gives the local embassy an easy way to contact you if there is an emergency while you are traveling.
Sometimes there are more local issues that you need to find information on. For example, while I was traveling in Bolivia there were often road closures because of strikes that weren’t reported on the news. Using Facebook groups fellow travelers were able to tell others what they had seen or share recommendations and tips from locals for going around or avoiding certain things.
Social media has also become a way for people to reach out to the public for help during a natural disaster or let friends and family that they are safe.
Travel insurance not only provides you with financial help but can help you while you are abroad if you need them in a specific situation. They should have a 24 hour hotline and can help you with issues that may come up during your trip. Keep your card on you with their contact information.
SEE ALSO: Why You Need Travel Insurance