Keep your members safe when they travel
For many religious organizations, mission trips are an important part of their ministry — both domestic and international. When members of your congregation travel, they are taking a significant risk. It is important to provide them with the tools and information they need to accomplish their mission safely. Here are some key steps they should take:
- Create an emergency identification kit. If a traveler’s passport becomes lost or stolen, they could find themselves in a vulnerable position. They should photocopy the data page of their passport and write down the addresses and telephone numbers of the U.S. embassies in the countries they plan to visit. They should store this information and an extra photo of themself in a place separate from their passport.
- Make sure you are aware of any security or public health issues. If there are any conditions that would pose risks to American travelers, your members should know about them. The Overseas Security Advisory council provides up-to-date information on all destinations. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides COVID-19 travel recommendations by destination.
- Check driver’s license requirements at your destination. Some countries require foreign visitors to have an International Driving License before operating a vehicle there. The International Drivers Association offers a list of those countries.
- Make sure you are up to date on your immunizations. Your travelers should see their doctor at least six weeks before they plan to leave, as some vaccines require six weeks to reach their full amount of protection. When they travel, they should keep prescribed medication in its original packaging to avoid problems in Customs. They should make sure they have a sufficient supply for the entire trip, but take a paper copy of the prescription along, just in case.
- Obtain travel insurance. CM Solutions Insurance Agency works with MissionTripInsurance.com, a division of Insurance Consultants International, to help its customers find affordable travel insurance. It collaborates with religious organizations who want to provide peace of mind for members who are working for the greater good. The insurance can cover injuries, illnesses, stolen passports, lost or stolen belongings and trip cancellation. Religious organizations can choose individual or group rates; when they purchase a group policy, they can build the cost of the insurance into the cost of the trip per participant. Each traveler will then receive an individual identification card that will allow them to use the insurance when needed.