Tips for Handling Unexpected Emergencies When Traveling

Everyone loves a vacation and most of the time, with good reason! What could be better than escaping the daily grind to enjoy new places and sights? But every once in a while, people experience vacations that go wrong. From natural disasters to becoming ill to missing flights, there are plenty of problems that can pop up when you leave the comfort of your home and travel into the big, beautiful world. Here are a few things you should be prepared for – just in case!

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Lost Luggage

Horror stories abound of arriving at your amazing vacation oasis only to find your luggage never made it there. Not only is this event every traveler’s nightmare, it can also ruin your vacation right off the bat. With over 24 million suitcases missing their destination each year, it’s difficult to know if you can trust the airlines with your bags! If it does happen that your suitcases end up missing their target, report the incident immediately to the airline.

On the other hand, if your luggage goes missing after you arrive at your hotel, report the incident to the police, hotel manager, or anyone else that touched your suitcases. And make sure to check your travel insurance for possible coverage! Many credit cards with travel insurance include coverage for lost luggage, so that you can immediately replace the things you need and get back to enjoying your trip.

Getting Robbed

A robbery can occur anytime, whether you’re away from home or not. But when someone steals your wallet or ID on vacation, you may feel more helpless, because you have no support system around. Luckily, there are some tricks to being prepared – just in case something happens.

To be safe, always have a copy of your passport, credit cards, travel schedule, and other necessary ID back at your hotel or resort. Also, wearing a money belt can keep your wallet from being taken. If possible, avoid wearing clothes that identify you as a tourist and leave your backpack at home, because the pockets are easy prey. Never carry a purse that doesn’t wrap around your body and never bring all your money out with you at any given time.

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Sudden Illness

Nothing is worse than being in a beautiful spot on the other side of the world and then suddenly falling ill. So, if you get sick while on vacation, the first thing you should do is contact a doctor and ask for a written note about your illness in case you need proof of sickness for a refund on flights, tours, or other prepaid packages.

If you are heading into Europe, check into the European Health Insurance Card that travelers can purchase that allows free urgent medical health care while you are in Europe. And, once again, make sure to check the details of your travel health insurance so that you can provide the necessary information for having any medical costs reimbursed!

Family Emergency

Even the best vacation plans can be waylaid by a family emergency that results in cutting your plans short and heading back home immediately. Whether it is a death in the family, a serious illness of a loved one, or anything else that requires your immediate attention at home, you will need time to focus as you change all the bookings, agendas, and flights you had previously planned.

If you have travel insurance, let the airline know about the situation and call your insurance company to make sure the changes will be covered. If you don’t have trip interruption coverage, call the airline and see if you can negotiate a partial refund of your flight fees. When you contact hotels, ask about rebooking to a later date at no additional charge.

The chances are that nothing will happen to you while you are on vacation. But if something does, it helps to be prepared. If you have a minor problem, look at the situation as a great vacation story to tell everyone when you get home. If something major happens, use these tips to handle the situation with grace. And remember that the chances are your next vacation will be much better!

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