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Sep 12, 2017

Are you protected when you travel internationally?

Recent air-travel events as well as terrorist attacks in high-traffic tourist areas have caused serious concern for travelers. As the frequency of these events continues to escalate, more preparation is needed by individuals and families to ensure they enjoy a worry-free trip.

In addition to booking transportation and accommodations for your business or pleasure travel, you face plenty of other considerations including country- specific political advisories, embassy location and contact information.

You should also be looking at: virus- outbreak warnings, location of medical facilities, relevant documentation and identification, advice on the handling of valuables and money, social media risks, travel insurance, emergency contacts and even appropriate clothing.

Thinking through all of these issues prior to leaving for the airport can be daunting, but the consequences of ignoring any one of them could easily ruin your trip.

Specific travel preparation actions you should take include:

    Scan your documents. Having access to digital copies of your passport, driver’s license, itinerary and visa is an easy way to deal with lost or stolen physical documents.
  • Share your plans only with people you trust. Sharing dates, times and locations of your whereabouts on social media or with hotel staff may provide opportunities for thieves.
  • Don’t make yourself a target. Keep a low profile in taxis and airports and blend in by wearing appropriate clothing in crowded tourist areas.
  • Plan for an emergency. Locate the local hospital and write down the contact information for the U.S. embassy closest to your destination.
  • Don’t forget about home. Safeguard your home against burglary, water damage and injury to house-sitters or maintenance staff while you’re gone.

Starting with a preparation checklist a few months in advance of your trip is the best way to organize and address each travel risk. There are plenty of materials online, but your personal insurance broker should be able to provide you with a checklist as well as inform you of coverage you may already have in place.

Most major insurance carriers offer valuable resources that respond to specific situations during your trip. Other situations, such as trip cancellation or repatriation, may require additional insurance. For high net worth individuals and families, kidnap and ransom coverage should also be considered. While kidnappings are rare, one instance can be devastating.

In sum, there are plenty of reasons to be fearful in today’s travel environment, but preparing for potential risks allows your trip to be fun, relaxing and inspiring rather than worrisome. Taking the time to think through each step of your trip and discussing plans with your family prior to departure will allow you to confidently explore and enjoy your experience abroad.

1 Experian Summer Travel and Budget Survey report, 2015.
2 U.S. Travel Insurance Association, http://trip.ustia.org/
surveys

3 “Road Safety Worldwide,” www.interhealthworldwide.org,
July 11, 2013. 4http://www.asecurelife.com/burglary-statistics/
This article was originally published in the August—September 2017 issue of Worth.

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