When planning a vacation, it can be easy to focus on making memories in unforgettable destinations. While this is all fine and dandy, it’s equally important to spend as much time considering and preparing for potential emergencies that could occur on your trip.

Whether it be lost luggage, a breakdown on the side of the road, or a sudden illness — there are plenty of scenarios that could happen, so you need to be prepared to take the right steps to ensure your family’s safety. Doing so can prevent panic which can easily make a situation worse. Let’s talk about potential emergencies to keep in mind during your next trip.

Be Prepared

To tackle any potential emergency, you need to be prepared before you leave. If you are travelling far away, consider purchasing travel insurance, which can assist in unfortunate financial situations like emergency room visits, delayed flights, or other unforeseen circumstances.

You should also look at the weather conditions in the area where you are visiting and pack enough clothes to keep you warm and out of danger. If you are travelling to a place where severe storms like hurricanes or tornadoes are common, do your research about how to best respond before you leave home.

How to React to an Emergency While Travelling - The Wise Traveller - Packing

Lost Luggage

If you are flying to your destination, the first potential emergency that you could encounter is lost luggage. It’s a scenario that can cause major stress, so be proactive by keeping a carry-on bag that is separate from your checked luggage and stocking it with essential belongings, including your passports and IDs, necessary medications, your wallet, money, and information regarding your hotel stay.

As soon as you discover that your luggage is missing, report the situation to the airline in hopes that they may recover your property. Also, call your insurance company so they can start looking into the situation.

Medical Emergencies

The last thing that you want to experience during a trip is a medical emergency, but denying the idea that it could happen is a bad idea. You need to know of common issues in the area that you're visiting and understand potential pitfalls. For instance, as many doctors are facing retirement and others are becoming burned out, compounded with the current physician shortage in the United States, access to care could be hard to come by.

Knowing this, try to reduce your chances of contracting an illness. You can do that by following the same guidelines that you follow to prevent contracting COVID-19, which is to wash your hands after using the restroom or eating meals, maintain your distance from strangers, and drink plenty of water.

If you do become ill or physically injured, then you will want to take immediate action, depending on the severity of the injury. For minor issues like cuts, burns, and sprains, you may be able to visit an urgent care facility or see a local doctor. However, for more extreme ailments such as broken bones, excessive bleeding, or impalement, you should get immediate care at a hospital or emergency room.


If you are taking a road trip, then you must be aware of the potential for a mechanical failure or breakdown. This is another case where being proactive can mean the difference between life and death.

Ensure that everyone in the family keeps their seatbelts fastened and the kids are secured properly in the back seat. If you find yourself stranded on the side of the road, try to move the vehicle as far off of the roadside as possible, turn on your hazard lights, and call roadside assistance. Stay in the vehicle as much as possible until help arrives.

How to React to an Emergency While Travelling - The Wise Traveller - Roadside

Lost Children

If you lose track of your child during a trip, you must not panic. Instead, find an authority figure and alert them of the issue and describe your child in as much detail as possible. Then, go to the last place you saw them and look there while keeping your phone active in case the police find your child and try to contact you.

If you are planning a future trip, take the time to create laminated ID cards that contain your contact information that your child can carry with them at all times so they can show it if they get lost.

In the end, while you can’t prepare for every potential travel emergency, you must have a plan so you can act swiftly should you face an unfortunate situation. Consider the tips above and enjoy your awesome adventure in confidence.