Do you know how to call for help in a foreign country? It should come as no surprise that 911 doesn’t work in most other countries, so it’s important to know how to dial.
For example, in many countries from the UK to Malaysia, the emergency number is 999, while in Australia it’s 000. Across the European Union, you can dial 112 to reach medical, fire and police emergency services.
But here’s a little tip: mobile phones on the GSM network have 112 as the designated emergency number. That means if you dial the number from a GSM phone, it will be redirected to the local emergency services.
In many cases, that will work even if you don’t have any talk-time minutes available or if you don’t have a SIM card installed for that country.
But that’s not a foolproof method, so it’s wise to arm yourself with the local emergency number before you go. The U.S. Department of State includes the emergency number in its country-specific information guides.
Posted on February 2, 2011
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As we are seeing this week, winter travel can be less than pleasant. And, whether you are a road warrior or an occasional family vacationer, when you are stuck in an airport you are stuck in an airport or worse yet, your car.
Well, as Mark Twain suggested, there is nothing you can do about the weather. However you can be prepared to make the most of the situation and to be as comfortable as possible. Here are some travel tips that I think everyone taking off for a trip between November and March should take notice of.
• If you are taking to the skies pack a pool float. Yes, a pool float. One of those cheap ones that you can get at the 7-11 during the summer. The cheap ones are small and easy to pack in your carry on. It might sound silly now but when you are looking at making a pallet on the floor of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport you will be happy to have this makeshift air mattress. If you want to pick one up now, you can thank the Internet. Amazon has one for under $7 .
• If you are taking a road trip make sure that you have a warm blanket and a candle in your trunk. The candle will warm the inside of the car more than you think and it can be used to melt ice or snow into water.
• Speaking of water. Whether you are flying, driving or taking the train, it is always good to have a bottle of water on hand. If you are stranded and can’t find a place to get water, you can drink what you have then use the bottle to pack snow in or to fill up at an airport water fountain.
• Another good road trip tip is an emergency jump-start system. You can find these units most anywhere but I have included a link for you to get an idea of what I am talking about. This is a great product and could be of great use once the snow melts and you are ready to move your car.
• A power strip is always my number one tip for any mass transit traveler. It gives you the opportunity to charge multiple devices at once and using only one public outlet. And, if there are no outlets to be had you can ask someone if they will let you plug in your strip and share the power with you. They are also good for international travelers who will have to use an adaptor.
• Rent movies for your laptop, smart phone or pad ahead of time. I always keep favorites and standards available for moments when I am stuck somewhere and need some entertainment.
• Your Medjet card is an obvious essential for any sort of travel. In addition to the primary medical evacuation benefit, Medjet also offers medical concierge style ancillary health and wellness benefits. A slip in the snow or car tires on patch of black ice could quickly turn your winter vacation into a medical disaster. Taking trips, not chances is more than just a tagline, it is the best travel tip you can take.
Take these tips and add in some common sense and you will be ready to weather any storm. One last suggestion though, make sure you pack some patience. A cool head will get you further than a hot head.