When you or your relatives travel alone
Travelling alone can be a great adventure. It is however important to take precautions in order to avoid unpleasant situations. Moreover, solo travelling can also cause fear and worries from relatives. Because what is something happens?
We have gathered some good advice for solo travelers and their relatives in order to support a safe travel adventure.
What if the solo traveler is unconsciously taken to a hospital?
There are no international guidelines or practices for informing relatives if someone has been hospitalised abroad. It depends on the policies of the state and the hospital, and the practices can be very varied. Moreover, the flow of information can be very slow.
Usually, when a person is unconsciously taken to a hospital, hospital staff contacts the consulate in order to initiate that a relative of the patient should be found. At larger tourist destinations, sometimes the hospital also contacts SOS International’s alarm centre directly – especially in cases where the identity of the patient is known.
Information requires consent
Due to the fear of data breach, it can be very difficult and frustrating for relatives to obtain information. Each country also applies its own data protection legislation and there may be great differences between countries. Accessing information by telephone or in writing is another obstacle for relatives, who often must come to the scene.
But the starting point for obtaining for example medical information about a relative, is the patient's consent to inform the relatives of what has happened. Consent is essential to all communication.
SOS International never discloses information to relatives without consent from the patient and there will always be just one contact person/next of kin who can obtain this information.
Good advice when travelling solo
- Let someone know your travel plans: Keep your family and friends notified about your plans. Not only travel destinations, but also if you plan to take a day trip. It is also recommendable to inform someone local such as the hotel receptionist so they can raise the alarm if you don’t return as planned.
- Make friends with hotel staff: Notify the hotel that you’re traveling by yourself and leave a message at the reception when going on trips, so they have an indication of where you are and when you intend to return.
- Going further afield: If you are going somewhere further afield, inform the embassy about your whereabouts
- Join the Danish list (Danskerlisten): If you are going abroad and would like to be contacted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for example in the case of natural disasters, terrorist acts or other, in the country you are staying in, you can register on the Danish list.
- Make copies of your travel documents: Make copies of your passport and the like or take a photo of the documents with your smart phone.
- Remember travel insurance: Always remember to take out travel insurance. As a solo traveller, it may also be a good idea to check what your travel insurance covers. For example, does it cover that a relative can travel to you if you become seriously ill or injured?
- Contact the alarm centre of your insurance company: If you fall ill or get injured, contact your insurance company's alarm centre as soon as possible. Then we know where you are and can ensure the right treatment, just as we can inform your relatives, with your consent.