Maybe you are preparing to travel to a new country, and in that case there are some things to learn that will keep you protected. One of them is getting informed on the embassies and consulates abroad. Here are a few things you should know in advance, as it will help you in case of emergencies.

Locating your country’s embassy is easy, so make sure to check online for a list of embassies before leaving. You should get their phone number and all the other contact information. In the case of an emergency, the consulate can contact your loved ones for you.

Before your trip, you should also contact the embassy and let them know you will be away. This can help you in a variety of different situations, such as medical or even financial emergencies. For example, you may get injured and in need of immediate assistance. This can prove to cost more than you can afford if you traveled abroad. Furthermore, if you don’t know the language spoken in that particular country, it may be even more difficult to find the help you need. The embassy or consulate can give you some options, or at least let your loved ones know about your situation. If you need to pay for your medical care, the embassy personnel can help with transferring the funds you need. Your insurance might not cover the cost of your emergency, so you should strongly consider getting at least a basic travel insurance.

In the case of arrests, each country has its own rules. If you are an US citizen, you may find some of the penalties differ based on that particular country’s laws. Sometimes, these can be harsher and you might need extra help. No matter what your charges are, your consulate will get involved and offer some services you could benefit from. Another unfortunate event that could happen while traveling internationally is death. The embassy will contact your most close relative by using your passport. The family will also be able to choose what to do next, and where they want the funeral to take place. Plane arrangements can be made in case the family wants the remains flown to the country of residence.

If you go missing, the consulate will get information from your relatives and proceed to look for you. All the hospital records will be checked, as well as police records. In some specific cases, the consulate can also contact private establishments like hotels, or even prisons. However these options are taken on a case by case basis. You should also know that the embassy is not allowed to disclose any information regarding your whereabouts.

The embassy can also help in the case of less urgent situations such as document stamping or tax forms. Overall, it is recommended to contact your embassy and consulate before taking any kind of trip abroad. Although it would hopefully not be necessary, this will put your mind at ease in the case of any unforeseen circumstances.