Prepare for Unforeseen Life-Altering Vacation Events

July is here along with heat and humidity.  It is the perfect time to take a vacation.

It is also the perfect time to make sure you have a plan in place for any unfortunate or life-altering events that can happen while you are away. 

Last summer, Jane and Jorge traveled on a cruise visiting exotic and exciting locales.  Jorge overexerted himself and developed a cough.  Because he was traveling without the appropriate medications for his cough, it developed into a severe infection.  Jorge ended up being evacuated to the nearest port.  He found himself hospitalized in a foreign country, with only Jane to look after him, and they both had significant language barriers to effective communication.  

Although they had purchased travel insurance, they only had the minimum amount of coverage.  The flights, evacuations, and resulting hospitalizations were not fully covered and ended up being extremely expensive.  Adding to that, Jane decided to shop while Jorge was hospitalized, spent a bit too much and forgot to declare the items when returning to the United States.  Jane also forgot to note the conversations she had with various officials and doctors.  It was a vacation disaster.

This is what Jane and Jorge should have done and how everyone should prepare for unforeseen circumstances that could crop up at any time.

  1. Health Emergencies or Accidents: To prepare for the unexpected, ensure you have appropriate travel insurance including medical coverage.   Additionally, make sure you have health care directives in place.  For example, a Health Care Surrogacy will enable a loved one to make a medical decision for you if you are unable to communicate. It may also be helpful to bring along items for illness or pain relief as well as a list of your prescription medication. 
  2. Organize Important Documents: Update your estate plans!  Gather your essential documents such as wills, trusts, insurance policies, and powers of attorney. Inform a trusted family member about their location and provide them with necessary contact information.
  3. Asset Protection: Overspending or encountering financial problems during your trip can be stressful. Inform your bank about your travel plans to avoid any issues with your credit or debit cards. 
    Falling victim to theft or losing important travel documents like passports or identification can be a true nightmare. Make digital copies of your documents and store them securely online. Carry physical copies in a separate bag or wallet and consider using a money belt or hidden pouch to keep them safe while traveling.
  4. Language Barriers and Communication Issues: Being unable to communicate can lead to confusion or difficulties while traveling. Learn a few basic phrases in the local language, carry a translation app or phrasebook, and research common gestures or customs to navigate interactions smoothly.

Remember, it’s important to be prepared and take precautions.  Speak with an Estate Planning attorney to make sure you have the appropriate protections in place!  Don’t let fear deter you from enjoying your travels. Stay informed, be adaptable, and embrace the adventure while keeping your safety and well-being a priority.

Andrea L. Jakob, PA is located at 12401 Orange Drive, Suite 219 in Davie.
They can be reached at 954-862-1479 or on the at