I received an email this morning from my parents in Australia reminding me that I hadn’t yet sent them my upcoming travel itinerary, preferably with contact numbers for the hotels we will be staying at. You’re probably wondering why an independant 26 year old and her 31 year old husband would still be sending mum and dad a copy of their travel itinerary. Overbearing much? Not really.
No matter what your age, never underestimate the importance of letting someone at home know where you will be.
In 2012 Mike moved to Australia. During April of that year we went on a road trip into the middle of the Australian Outback with the intent of hiking the Larapinta Trail. That’s the only information we thought to leave with friends and family back home.
When Mike’s father passed away 4 days into our hike, no-one had any idea where we were. Well out of range of a phone signal, they had no idea how to contact us or where we were meant to be. Sure, they knew we were in the Australian Outback, somewhere along the Larapinta Trail; but with a total length of 223 kilometres, the trail can take weeks to walk.
Going off the little information he had, my father called the Parks and Wildlife Commission and had one of the Park Rangers leave notes at every major trail intersection. They finally caught us on a fluke and transported us back to Alice Springs where we dealt with the tragedy.
Who knows what could happen on our upcoming DTour of Central and South America. We’re planning on ziplining, white water rafting and bungee jumping in Costa Rica, kayaking out to deserted islands off Panama, sandboarding down the world’s largest sand dunes, and hiking to the top of a steep rock staircase known as the “stairs of death”. It’s all fairly safe with the right precautions, but who truly knows what could happen while we’re away.
Two weeks ago one of my close blogging friends was arrested in Egypt under false accusations of kidnap and torture. Thankfully we knew where he was, what his situation was, and he had friends and family working overtime to get him out.
My point is, leave your travel itinerary with someone, or even multiple people, you trust. Let someone, anyone, know where you’re meant to be. It doesn’t make you any less independant, or any less “cool” – in the event that things go south you’ll have someone who can act immediately to aid and assist, or even attempt to locate you.
Many countries have a smart traveler enrollment program where you can register an overseas trip with your government. In cases of natural disasters, civil unrest or other emergencies, your embassy will be able to assist you. Check your government website for more information.