When you are traveling, it’s a great idea to share your itinerary with a family member, friend, or trusted neighbor. Not only does this mean they can easily contact you in case of emergency, it also gives them details to provide authorities should something go awry on your trip.
Ideally, you should share your lodging details including address and phone number along with some kind of daily schedule. If you are traveling on a group tour, just make a copy of your itinerary and share it with your contact. Many tour companies also offer “where to reach me” cards that include lodging details or cruise ship contact information. If you are traveling independently, share transportation details (flight/train/bus schedule or the planned driving route for the day) and a tentative schedule of any planned activities.
I know this might seem like overkill but imagine that your contact needs to get in touch with you immediately and your mobile phone doesn’t have service. Though we depend on our mobile phones, who hasn’t been without service when they need it most? Your contact has the hotel number and can try calling you there. Maybe your contact knows you’re expected to be at a museum and can call to seek their help in tracking you down. You never know when an emergency will require your immediate attention.
Your contact(s) can also find relief in knowing your itinerary when a natural disaster strikes. Imagine you are touring in South America and visiting a number of countries when an earthquake hits Chile. With a quick check of your schedule, everyone is relieved to find out you were safe in Argentina that day.
No one wants to think about it, but by sharing your itinerary, you could also help provide useful clues if something happens to you. Say you are traveling solo and planned to go out for a little hike during the day. Your family member is a little worried about you hiking on your own so he/she decides to call and check in later that night or the next morning but you don’t answer your cell. He/she calls your hotel and you don’t answer the phone. He/she can now decide to ask hotel management to knock on your door and if you’re still not there, it might be time to call the police or the park service in order to track you down. You can see where you might not want to give your schedule to the “nervous Nellie” of your group, but you can also see where this information would come in handy if something bad happened.
As with everything else in life, use your best judgment but strongly consider giving your itinerary to someone you can trust.