Numbers to Have Before Traveling
you program them into your phone, scribble them on a piece of paper or
just have them in bookmarks, don't leave home
'em. Most of these numbers should be programmed into your phone all the
US "800" Numbers Do NOT Work Internationally:
Also have the
regular or "international" 10-digit number for US-based services.
- Your Airline's Reservations Center:
can be especially helpful when you miss a connection or your flight
gets canceled and you need to rebook. Enter both their "800" number and
their 'normal' 10-digit number for international calls. Some airlines
do not give out a non- '800' number so you'll need to use the
international access prefix (i.e. '00' or '001') to make it work. Most
GSM phones can figure that out for you (program in a '+' sign first)
but make sure you have the proper country code ("1" is for US numbers).
If you're an
elite mileage member, you can often get help from your airline more
quickly by using an exclusive elite customer service number.
card is lost, stolen, eaten by a bank machine, or rejected by
merchants, you'll want to be able to report and resolve the problem as
soon as possible. Often your credit card supplier can help with
difficult travel situations. Their concierge-type services can book
travel or a room for you, often for free. Many cards offer a form of
travel insurance which could help out with a medical or similar
emergency. Also, download the bank's app or sign up for their
notification service in case they notice a problem, first.
- Health Providers:
The number for your
health insurance company could be vital should you become ill or
injured while away and need to verify
your insurance coverage. Some providers have an "ask-a-nurse" or
similar medical consultation. Also, there may be a different number if
you signed up for specific travel medical insurance. Bring your
doctor's phone number in case you have a non-emergency health concern
or need a prescription written. Pharmacies may also be able to transfer
a prescription within their own network. Also, your credit card may provide medical
the contact information for your hotel, car rental agency, cruise line,
tour operator, and any other travel provider you're using should you
need to alter your vacation plans or if you experience a service
you used a travel agency to book your trip, they're often the best
resource when trouble arises. Look up the number of a major cab company in your
destination before you go. You never know when you might need a ride.
Also, keep the number of your friend,
relative, transfer service, or whoever is picking you up at the
airport. They will be
grateful if you can inform them of delays or changes to your flight
numbers of several trustworthy relatives or friends, and program
one as your "ICE" number.
This is the
"In Case of Emergency" number, programmed as "ICE", that gives a way
for someone, like the police, who might find you unconscious, to call
someone who can decide what to do. It also works if you lose your phone
and don't have a number programmed for "Home."
Own Voice Mail Number:
wireless provider probably saved their own
voice mail access code in your phone, usually as "V-M" or similar. That
won't work outside the US. Instead, add an entry to your phone book
that includes the entire string of digits (including "1" before the
Area Code) necessary to call your own wireless number from a foreign
country. With most phones, you would only need a "+" before the entire
number in your phone book and the phone determines the necessary long
distance codes to call your own number. Your call should eventually go
to voice mail where you can enter your PIN and access your
cases your hotel can help you out of a jam, arrange to pick you up, or
at least direct you to the proper resources.
problems can be a headache, and, while you could try to call 611, you
should also have your provider's non-"800" number available so you can
call internationally. The major carriers will not charge for calls made
to their alternate numbers.
have trip cancellation, travel medical, emergency evacuation, or any
other type of travel insurance, you won't get coverage unless you call
and get approval from your insurance agents. You may also have travel
insurance provided by your credit card company.
local 911 equivalent for emergency calls in your destination.
Generally, it's 911 in North America, 112 in
most other countries. If health or security is a particular concern, it
may also give you peace of mind to have the numbers for the local
police and hospitals. Most GSM wireless phones will automatically
the local emergency number if you enter '911'.
- U.S. Embassy
need a stolen passport replaced or are dealing with a more serious
problem abroad, the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate may be able to