Whether you’re in a foreign country or a different state, an emergency can leave you in dire circumstances—and even be life-threatening. No matter how careful you are or how much you prepare, travel emergencies can happen. If you find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time, here are some tips to help you manage in the event of a travel emergency.

Share Your Itinerary

Before leaving for your trip, share your itinerary with close friends and family. Make sure to email copies of your vital information, including a detailed list of lodging accommodations, flight times, and planned activities, in case of an emergency.

Consider your hotel your “safe house,” and always let a close friend or family member know if you’re leaving for a day trip or tour. Send the phone number, email address, and physical location of the hotel to your contact at home.

If you’re traveling abroad, register your trip with the State Department to the local embassy. Additionally, plan a few check-in points to connect with them and let them know that all is well.

Make an Emergency Plan

After you’ve made it to your destination, set aside some time to make a family emergency plan in the event of an issue while you’re out exploring. Ask yourself and your family how you’ll find each other if you’re separated, how you’ll communicate, and where you’ll meet up.

Before heading out to explore, make sure each member of your family has a contact card that contains necessary personal and medical information, along with the information of a contact to that notify they’re safe. Ensure that all electronics are fully charged and pack a few bottles of water for the day. If anyone in your family has a medical condition, scope out local emergency services with a Google search like ”urgent care in Wall, NJ” (or whatever state you’re in).

If you’re traveling alone, program an emergency contact into your cellphone under ICE (In Case of Emergency). In most cases, emergency personnel will check a patient’s ICE listings if they need to contact someone on your behalf.

If you break your phone on the trip, search for a local electronics repair service as soon as possible to avoid getting separated from family members or to stay connected with contacts if you’re traveling alone. For instance, if you’re traveling in Birmingham, Alabama, search ”iPhone repair services in Birmingham” to find a local phone repair service. uBreakiFix, an electronic device repair service, completes most repairs within two hours and offers a low price guarantee, so you won’t have to worry about sacrificing your travel budget. To find out more, call (205) 408-1333 or visit uBreakiFix at 5492 US-280 Birmingham, AL 35242.

Be Cautious

Travel emergencies are rare, but in case there’s an issue, be cautious. Don’t put yourself or your family in danger, don’t be a hero, and remember to stay calm. It’s much better to err on the side of caution and get through the situation unscathed.

For example, if you’re traveling to a sports game, concert, or popular tourist spot, like Birmingham's Civil Rights District, keep an eye out. If you notice any suspicious activity, report it to law enforcement. Always go with your gut, and if there’s an emergency, staying calm will help you cope more effectively.

In the case of an emergency, like a riot or natural disaster, pay close attention to what locals and law officials do, as they’ve probably dealt with similar situations before. Additionally, stay up-to-date with international news and research local news stories so you can stay well rounded.

Experiencing an emergency on vacation can be traumatic, but staying calm and rational can help you effectively cope with the situation. Don’t be embarrassed to accept help from friends, family, and even strangers, and reach out to local law enforcement or emergency services if needed.

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