In Case of Emergency

I’m currently in the midst of organizing an off-site meeting for my department at work. It’s not only outside of the building, but in another country as well. The initial co-ordination can be a little stressful, but it’s actually one of my favorite aspects of the job.

While I’ve travelled more than some, I’m hardly a globetrotter in the grander sense, so I am always interested in tips for making travel easier and safer. Today a colleague mentioned he’d registered with the government regarding our upcoming trip. Really? Register with the government? I’d never even heard of this. Is this something that everyone else does when they leave the country? I’d always just assumed that big brother was on top of my every move anyway, with my passport, customs forms and credit card transactions.

If you’re new to this concept like me, it’s a simple process. Basically, you just register with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs online and if there’s some kind of emergency or civil unrest in the area you’re visiting, the appropriate people will know where to find you. I think it’s a fantastic idea. If the government wants to help me out in the event of a disaster while I’m abroad, I want to make it as easy as possible for them to find me.

In addition, they give you some comprehensive tourist information about the region, like places to stay away from due to crime or disease. Most of it seems to be common sense but when you’re away from home, the more information you have, the better off you’ll be.

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