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Emergency Checklist for a Safe Trip Abroad

Traveling is enriching. It lets you discover new places and meet people all over the world. However, there are many risks involved – especially when it comes to your health. No one likes to imagine the worst-case scenario, but it’s crucial to prepare for risks when you travel. To prepare for your trip, we’ll show you how to make a good emergency checklist.

Whatever country you travel to may have different medical standards, hospital care, and diseases. On top of that, you might not speak the local language. These are just some of the many factors that can make the process of getting medical help abroad difficult. To help you prepare for emergencies, we have summarized some key points for your emergency checklist.

Prepare Before Your Trip

Start preparing for emergencies before your trip begins. Once you have prepared, you will feel much safer.

Learn about your destination

Before you leave, it’s a good idea to do some research on the country you’ll be traveling to. Research what the healthcare is like in your travel destination. Good medical care is not always standard in countries outside the European Union. Therefore, check if there will be hospitals and doctors who can take care of you in an emergency.

In addition, the political situation of your travel destination plays a critical role in your health and safety. Find out how safe the country is and if you will be exposed to any dangers.

Discuss vaccinations with your doctor

Vaccinations are needed to avoid being exposed to diseases. Many countries have diseases that your body might not be used to. For this reason, get vaccinated before your trip. First, find out what the recommended vaccinations are for your destination.

After that, arrange a consultation with your doctor. They will inform you about the vaccinations and their side effects. Only the standard vaccinations are necessary for many destinations. Therefore, make sure they’re up-to-date. Inform yourself in time about any vaccinations you may need, as they usually take some time to receive.

First-aid kit

When packing your suitcase or backpack, always remember to pack a first-aid kit. You never know what illness or emergency you may encounter while traveling. Make sure you’re equipped with the essentials and not extra medications. Bring any medication you need to take regularly – to be on the safe side, it is best to take double the necessary amount with you.

Here is a short list of what to include in your first-aid kit:

  • Plasters and bandages
  • Disinfectant spray
  • Antipyretic agents
  • Remedies for diarrhea or constipation
  • Insect spray/ointment
  • Cold remedies

Get international health insurance

Before starting your trip, make sure you have international health insurance. This is important – even if you don’t travel for a long period of time. Hospital stays and doctor’s visits abroad are often expensive. International health insurance will cover these costs for you and help you get medical care.

If you get a serious illness, your insurance company will take care of your transportation back home or to another hospital. It takes a bit of research to find the best insurance that suits you, but don’t neglect it!

Information to Include on your Emergency Checklist

Personal and medical information

On your emergency checklist, always include a list of your personal information or identification documents. If you become unable to communicate, this will help others know who you are and where you are from. If you have a chronic illness and rely on daily medication, it is best to keep a list of these medications as well. Record exactly what you take as well as the time and frequency you take it at.

Emergency contacts

It is ideal to have two emergency contacts. These contacts will be informed if something happens to you while traveling. It’s good to have a travel companion who is one of your emergency contacts, but you can also designate people at home. Important information for emergency contacts is:

  • First and last name
  • Phone number and email address
  • Your relationship to the person
  • Languages the person speaks

Contact the embassy in the country

The embassy in your travel destination is your first point of contact if you have an emergency while traveling and don’t know what to do. The embassy will support you in difficult situations.

Write down the embassy’s contact details, and always have them with you.

Information about your health insurance

In case of emergency, have your health insurance details ready. This includes: the insurance company’s name, your insurance number or contract number, phone number, and email address.

What To Do in an Emergency Abroad

If you need medical help while traveling, first contact the staff at your hotel or other form of housing. They can recommend or call a doctor for you.

When an urgent emergency occurs, react as you would at home. If you’re not directly affected by the emergency, call an ambulance, and provide first aid. If the country has inadequate medical care, contact the Federal Foreign Office or the embassy in the travel country immediately. Your international health insurance’s emergency number can also be called for help.

To prevent an emergency from happening in the first place, take care of your health. It is better to visit a doctor regularly, even if it results in additional costs. Even minor aches and pains can quickly become serious if they are not treated properly.

Of course, doctor’s visits are a nuisance when traveling, and no one wants to deal with insurance paperwork, but guaranteeing your health and safety is worth it to fully enjoy your journey.


Coronavirus has hit the travel industry hard and still makes traveling to distant countries difficult. In addition to the risks dealt with when traveling, you now have to keep track of coronavirus regulations. This can make traveling frustrating. Generally, don’t travel to a country that has high rates of coronavirus or its variants.

If you catch the coronavirus while in your travel destination, be sure to follow the rules in place there. Find out what the quarantine regulations are and who to contact. It’s best to put this information on your emergency checklist as well.

Although countries have different quarantine regulations, plan to isolate for at least 14 days. If this happens to you, make sure to take care of your return flight, which may have to be postponed.

Most international health insurances will reimburse you for coronavirus treatment costs. Depending on the insurance, the costs for quarantine stays may also be covered.


No one wants to assume that anything will get in their way while traveling. Nevertheless, it’s critical to prepare for emergencies. A good emergency checklist is essential for good trip preparation. This way, you can avoid risks and be prepared.

Inform yourself about the medical situation in your travel destination, and plan who you will contact during an emergency.

International health insurance is also indispensable and will be very useful during your travels.

If you are ready for any situation, you can start your trip relaxed and confident that you have taken the necessary precautions. Check off the items on your emergency checklist, and you will be able to travel worry-free. We hope you have a great time – Stay safe!

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