Handling travel emergencies - what you need to know!

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As the summer rental season heats up, so do the crowds, temperature, and potential for health risk and injury. Travel safety is definitely on the forefront of many people’s minds, and unfortunately, no matter how carefully you prepare, emergencies can happen. No one ever wants to be in a bad situation while traveling, especially abroad, but it happens.

The best defense when traveling is equipping yourself with ample knowledge of your destination (including the potential risks and solutions should those situations occur. )

Below are a few of the best tools , apps, and programs  that may help if you find yourself seriously injured or in a precarious situation while attempting some serious adventures this summer.

First, WIFI is your best ally. When leaving the USA or even traveling domestically; ensuring you have a readily available internet connection can really save you a lot of headache should you require medical or other emergency assistance.

Boingo is an American company that provides global Wi-Fi services to your Phone and/or Tablet anywhere in the world. Global Traveler’s magazine recognized it as the four time winner of “Best WiFI service”. They also have 24/7 phone support available, so if you have an upcoming trip this is definitely a product to consider.

Once you have that basic connection (think of it as maintaining a link to the rest of the world) it will be much easier to contact people who can actually help you out in emergencies. Having the internet as a tool also enables you to download and use popular Emergency and Travel Apps to your phone. These Apps are simple, widely downloaded, and have excellent product reviews.

The Real Alert App is available for download on both Apple and Android devices. In emergency situations, it uses your GPS location to direct you to the closest hospital. It also provides quick access to emergency services/ ambulances and can help ward off potential attackers with its quick tap ‘ALARM’ feature.

The Help Call App is another great option to download before traveling. It will automatically detect your location, and then you can press one button to be connected to the local police, fire or ambulance service. This can be especially useful if you require medical assistance in a foreign country where you are unsure of the local emergency contact numbers.

If you are just sick, and do not necessarily need a hospital; even pharmacies can be overwhelming if you do not speak the language. The mPassport app will find the local brand equivalent of a medicine that you’re looking for, translate medical terms and phrases, and help you find a doctor, dentist, hospital or pharmacy nearby. You can even use the app to schedule a doctor’s appointment.

It is also be worth getting in touch with your credit card provider and finding out about any specific Traveler Insurance plans, policies or benefits that they may provide to their members. American Express, actually has fantastic traveler benefits that it offers its platinum members including but not limited to emergency medical evacuation up to $100,000 at no additional charge! (Mastercard also offers a similar program via their MasterAssist plan.)

Though these tools can’t directly remedy an injury incurred while traveling. Having the best tools at your disposal definitely make that broken leg, spider bite, or common cold way less of a bummer to deal with!

Rachel Weiss is an Owner Specialist within the Customer Care team and contributor to the FlipKey Blog. A Northeastern University graduate in International Affairs, Rachel has spent several months abroad and continues to collect passport stamps while working at FlipKey. She enjoys time with friends and family, red wine, and exploring new places.

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