Don’t Leave Home without Your Preps

Beach resort in Mexico


I read these articles Mexico storms strand thousands of tourists, with no reprieve in sight


Desperate thousands try to escape cut-off Acapulco and realized that many people prepare for emergencies at home, but decide to forgo prepping while on vacation.  After all, being on vacation means being carefree, and who wants to think about disasters while on vacation?  Unfortunately for the tourists in Acapulco, that is exactly what happened.  The inescapable fact is, you shouldn’t leave home without at least a minimum amount of emergency supplies.

Of course, your emergency kit would have to be portable, inconspicuous and take a minimum amount of space especially if you are flying to your destination.

Let’s just look at the basics.  To be able to carry your emergency supplies, you will have to check a small piece of luggage.


  • Carry at least two to three days worth of food.  MREs are good because of the heating element, but MREs tend to be heavy.  LRPs and freeze dried entrees are small and light weight, but you would need a tiny stove and a small cooking pot to heat water.
  •  If you are staying in a hotel that has a microwave, you may have more options as far as heating food.
  • The food should be easy to prepare, needing a minimum amount of ingredients.

Packable Emergency Snacks

Packable Emergency Snacks

  • Nuts, Protein bars, beef jerky, ramen noodles, granola or nutrition bars would be easy  to carry.
  • Don’t want to pack more than you have to?  You can still be prepared:   scope out the hotel gift shop and buy a few food items to save for later.  If you stay at an all-inclusive hotel, you will have access to muffins, bread rolls, mini cereal boxes or even apples that can be saved for later.  (Note:  if you have produce and you are returning from a foreign country, finish them up before you go through customs inspection.)


  • Buy a few liters of water at your destination, and keep the bottles at the hotel with you.
  • Pack a small water filter or  refillable sport filter bottle

Clothing and Footwear

  • Bring comfortable shoes for walking.  A lot of people bring only sandals and flip flops but those are too flimsy to walk out of a city
  • Pack a hat and sunglasses for sun protection, a bandanna is also handy to have due to its multiple uses.
  • While it might be tempting to pack only skimpy tank tops and shorts, bring clothes that offer a bit more sun and wind protection such as t-shirts and pants, in the event the environment becomes inhospitable.

Health and First Aid

  • Always carry a small first aid kit with you.  If you lack space, at least carry a pocket first aid kit.
  • Take along extra prescription medicines.   In case you are delayed, you have a few extra to last you.
  • Bring an extra pair of glasses or contact lenses.
  • Before your trip, find out what your health insurance covers while on vacation.  If you are going to a foreign country, find out how to access care in your destination.
  •  Take your health insurance card with you.


  •  Take your cell phone charger with you; a solar charger would be even better if you have the room
  • If you are going overseas, call you cell phone provider to find out fees and accessibility while your are traveling.  Sometimes calling and texting home from a foreign country gets so expensive it is a lot easier to take a tablet and use Skype.  That’s why you need to find this out before you even leave town.
  • Keep a hard copy list of emergency contacts with you in case your cell phone is lost or stolen
  • Upon arriving at your hotel, especially in a foreign country, check the hotel phone book or ask the front desk about how to access police, fire, hospital etc.
  • Always check the weather reports and stay aware of the news so you can plan accordingly.


  • Inform your bank and credit card company’s fraud department you “may” be using the card at a destination.  For security, no need to give exact dates and addresses – just give an approximate window when you will be traveling.
  • Bring extra cash hidden within your belongings.
  • Consider trip insurance.  Trip insurance can come in handy if you have to reschedule due to illness, an impending hurricane etc.


  •  Check all the fire exits in your floor; find backup exits out of the building and property
  •  Do not broadcast your whereabouts on social media
  • Look around you and consider what you can use for defense.  Some experts suggest wasp spray as an easy to obtain substitute for pepper spray


  •  If you are stranded, you may be spending a lot of time at the airport or waiting in line so you might as well be occupied.
  •  Bring books, magazines to read, and pack a few non-electronic games for the kids.

I wouldn’t want to count myself or my family among the starving tourists in

Grid Down Acapulco: “There’s Nothing to Eat”

If nothing happens then you lost nothing by preparing, however if something does happen, you will be glad you planned ahead.


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