How to Handle an Emergency While Traveling

You can make the best travel plans and still find yourself caught up in an emergency situation. Fires, theft and car accidents are among some of the most common emergencies that people face during a trip. While it is disorienting to find yourself dealing with a dangerous situation in an unfamiliar place, there are ways to quickly handle the emergency and protect your wellbeing.

Get to Safety

People sometimes freeze in an emergency situation. In some cases, it may be best to stay where you are at such as if you suspect a back or neck injury. However, you may still need to get out of harm’s way. Make sure to move out of the way of traffic from cars or pedestrians if it is possible. This helps to prevent further injuries.

Apply First Aid

First responders need to use their first aid skills to help out in an emergency until the professionals arrive. Depending upon the situation that you are facing, you may need to apply pressure to a wound to stop bleeding or help someone recover from shock. Always do what you can while doing your best to avoid causing further harm.

Document the Accident

Once the immediate physical health issues are resolved, you will need to begin gathering evidence of what happened. For instance, you may need to get a witness statement or photographs of an accident scene that a law firm can use to put together a solid case.

Keep Records of All Extra Expenses

Most travelers have a planned budget that includes a specific amount of hotel stays and money for food. Being involved in an accident could change those plans. You should keep records of any expenses that you incur as a direct result of someone else’s negligent actions. For instance, you may have missed work time that affects your income. You will also want to keep receipts for food and lodging that go longer than the planned end date on your original travel itinerary. Make sure to get automotive repair services and record those as well.

Follow Up After Your Vacation

In most places that you travel, there is a statute of limitations for filing a claim against someone who caused you to experience a personal injury or medical emergency. Don’t fall into the trap of becoming apathetic once you get home. Although you may want to get back into your normal routine, taking the time to handle your case can help you have what you need to get back on your feet.

Being prepared is the best way to handle an emergency that arises while you are traveling, and going over these steps regularly helps you remember them when you are under stress. As a final note, make sure to follow through with any claims that you need to make with your insurance company or the other involved party so that you can move forward with your recovery.


Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at or Twitter @BrookeChaplan


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