A recent article offered a peek at the top destinations American travelers are seeking out for road trip adventures. They begin with an international drivers’ license and insurance coverage…why not make sure they don’t end in disaster? Reliable emergency support- right from your mobile phone- could be the most important thing you take along on your next international travel adventure. How so?
Well, first, let’s look at some of the things that could go wrong on a road trip. Given that we focus a lot on international travel or travel abroad, we can focus on overseas road trips. These days it’s not uncommon for study abroad students to rent a car in, say, Italy, and road trip it up to Switzerland or even into Slovenia or Croatia. Or, an executive who’s off to a meeting in Buenos Aires can want to see the real “Pampa” and head off to the Argentine countryside. The rental car companies, as the article explains, as well as international driver license permits have made “road trips” more than just a North American thing. The first and more simple thing that can go wrong is an accident. Yes, you can purchase insurance for your car, but you might be injured in a wreck – ending in a hospital stay to the nearest hospital in Argentina, Italy, or Croatia. Not all hospitals are up to USA standards, even if you speak the language.
Travel Security on an International Road Trip: What Could Go Wrong?
So the first thing that can go wrong is an accident; the second or related thing is an injury and a visit to a hospital. A third common issue can be a mechanical breakdown and then the inability to call home or call for help. You might have a business meeting the next day; or, if you’re a study abroad student, you might have to be at class. Oops. What do you do now? A fourth issue could be a criminal event. Tourists – unfortunately – often travel with big red signs on their backs that say “rob me” (or worse), and even in the so-called “best” European countries crime occurs. So a criminal event can happen.
Now, admittedly all of these things can happen on your USA road trip as well, but here you speak the language and are a citizen. You know what’s up, whether you’re in Taos, New Mexico, or Brooklyn, New York. You’re at home even if you’re not at home. But when you’re road tripping it abroad, you have many security vulnerabilities and concerns that you might pleasantly ignore here in the states. And let’s look at this problem not from the perspective of the travelers but from the perspective of the HR manager or Study Abroad coordinator. Having things “go wrong” even if it’s as simple as a minor accident and minor stay in a foreign hospital, is not what he or she wants to have happen. They want to stay in touch, and have some coordinated mechanism for keeping dibs on where the students or executive employees are. For these reasons, many institutions choose our FoneTrac travel safety app. It makes “road trips” more about fun and less about