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families. But, since family memberships can include 
up to five children, they can also be a bargain. Most of 
these policies exclude war but will cover attacks. Go to 
Insuremytrip.com to begin research. 

3) Do your homework before going overseas. 


makes this easy. Get the address and contact numbers 
of the embassy or consulate for every place you will 
visit, and keep them in your wallet. Mark the location 
of your hotel and the embassy on an actual map—not 
a GPS—so you can see the big picture in case you need 
to find alternate routes. Always keep a few business 
cards of your hotel on you in case you need to return 
in a hurry so you can show to a taxi driver instead of 
trying to remember details.

4) Have a working phone. 

Check out time-limited 

international service or local SIM cards. Plug in the 
numbers of your hotel and embassy. 

5) Make copies of your passport, travel insurance policy 

number, contact numbers and embassy contact 

 whatever you feel would be useful if you were 

incapacitated or hospitalized. I fit oodles of information 
in small type on one front-and-back card the size of my 
passport. Then laminate it. Anything laminated will be 
easier to locate and harder to lose than paper. 

6) Leave copies of all of the above as well as an itinerary 

at home, 

and email your support person when plans 


7) Learn a few phrases of the language so you can ask 

for help if you need it.

 These can also be on a small 

laminated card so you do not have to rely on your 
memory. You can cram in multiple useful questions 
such as “Can you point me to the nearest bathroom, 
please?” on one 5x7 card. 

8) Use stats to calm your angst.

 According to recent 

analysis by the New America foundation, some 45 
Americans have been killed by terrorists abroad since 
the 9/11 attacks. Statistically, this means the average 
American is more likely to be: 1) killed by a cow 
(Centers for Disease Control reports an average of 20 
such deaths a year), 2) shot by a toddler (Washington 
Post reported 43 of these incidents in 2015) or even 
killed by scalding tap water (a 2013 John Hopkins 
Bloomberg School of Public Health study reported an 
average of 100 of these deaths per year).

9) Start buying lottery tickets.

 Because, if you ask me, 

you’re more likely to win a million bucks than be a 
target of terrorism.