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Remote Road Travel Planning

Passengers sit in an old yellow bus that idles on the side of the road with green mountains and blue sky in the background

Photo by Isabelle DeSisto '20, Armenia

Road traffic accidents are one of the leading causes of death or injury abroad. Before you leave, learn how to make safe and informed transportation decisions.

How to Make Safe Driving Decisions

Signage, road conditions, and adherence to rules of the road vary greatly from one country to the next. Travelers are particularly vulnerable in more remote locations. In some countries, traffic accidents are considered criminal acts.

Travel to remote environments requires extensive research, planning, and preparation. Make sure you learn about the conditions of road travel at your destination and how to make safe travel choices. Whether you plan to travel by car, bus, train, or boat, the video, advice, and resources below can help you start the process.

Remote Road Travel Tips and Checklist

Know Your Route

Know your route and map out a secondary route in case your primary route becomes impassable or unsafe.

Plan your travel time for daylight hours. Ensure you can make it to your destination or a stopover before sunset. Know your latest departure time and your turnaround time. Identify a new destination you could reach in the time that remains before sunset.

Know the weather forecast for your routes and destination. Research problem spots that could be made worse by poor weather, including roads washed out by heavy rains or closed due to snow. Never drive when visibility is limited, such as when dense fog, smoke pollution, or sandstorms are expected.

Identify safe havens along your primary and secondary routes. Safe havens are locations where you can seek assistance if necessary, such as hospitals, police stations, gas stations, and NGO or Peace Corps offices.

Know Your Vehicle

Research the types of vehicles in your area. Avoid using a vehicle commonly associated with dangerous or controversial groups.

Make sure your vehicle is well maintained. Test safety equipment like seat belts and brakes.

Determine your vehicle’s estimated kilometers per liter. Identify gas stations along your primary and secondary routes. If you must carry fuel, don’t store it inside the vehicle.

Vet any driver you hire. Use recommended and trusted sources.

Check In

Check in with a trusted local contact before and after your road travel. Appoint someone who can initiate an emergency response if you don’t check in at prearranged times. If you don’t have a local contact, our International Safety & Security team is available for check-ins. Contact us to request support as soon as your travel plans are confirmed, and provide us with your itinerary, vehicle information, and contact information.

Download the International SOS Assistance App app before your trip. In an emergency, you can call or message for 24/7 medical and security assistance (if you have cellular or internet access). You can also check in to share your location for 48 hours.

Remote Road Travel Resources

Talk with Us

Before your trip, we encourage you to meet with a member of our International Safety & Security team to discuss your travel and receive feedback on your plans. Challenging opportunities can be rewarding, but you should always prioritize your safety and well-being.

Schedule a Consultation

In an Emergency

Remember, if you need medical, mental health, or security advice and evacuation support while overseas, call International SOS at +1-617-998-0000 or connect through the Assistance App. And don't forget to register your trip.