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5 May

Top Travel Mishaps and How To Survive Them

Travel Survival Tips and How to Avoid Mishaps

When we think about travel, all the fun and excitement as part of it instantly comes to mind. Avid travelers love to tell their travel stories, the beautiful places that they have been to, the adventurous experiences they have had.  Unfortunately, apart from the fun and good side of travel, there are negative and bad sides associated with it as well. When you are traveling, things can and do go wrong. By knowing and preparing, when something does go wrong during your travels, instead of being anxious and panicky, you can combat the situation and survive it like a pro.

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Natural calamities, man-made disasters, baggage loss, delayed or canceled flights, passport loss, theft, injury, political unrest etc. are a few things that could affect your journey adversely. We know that the chances of that happening to you are very slim; it is good to be prepared so that you can be safe later. Here are some tips that can help you survive and avoid certain likely mishaps while traveling.

Natural Disasters

  1. Be Insured – Purchase travel insurance policy soon after your ticket is booked so that it safeguards you against any financial loss that you may have to bear.  Some policies may enable you to insure your entire trip in case of cancellation if purchased along with your travel package.
  2. Avoid Disaster Prone Areas – When you make plans to visit any specific region that is prone to a natural disasters during a particular time, refrain traveling to that region at that point in time.  If you do decide to travel to the Caribbean during hurricane season, for instance, be sure that you are insured for cancellation due to named storms.
  3. Stay Calm – Whenever natural disasters strike, be calm and don’t panic. You will be dealing already with so much; so, don’t add to the burden of anxiety, as it will make the situation worse.  Be prepared with all your contact phone numbers in advance.
  4. Know the local emergency phone number in advance.  While it’s 911 in the USA, it is 112 in much of the EU, and may be different in the country you are traveling to.
  5. Tell Your Family – Inform your family members about the severity of the disaster so that they don’t worry about your well-being.
  6. Beware – Be aware of the airline policy in regards to a natural calamity.

Political Unrest

  1. Stay Updated – Follow the news related to the country that you have planned to visit so that you know about the current political situation over there.  The internet has many sites that enable you to read newspapers around the globe.c
  2. Know your insurance Plan – When you buy travel insurance, ensure that it provides the coverage for political unrest because some insurers don’t.
  3. Stay away – You are away from home; don’t get involved in it as you could get injured.  Stay clear of gathering crowds.
  4. Be in Touch with your Embassy – If you feel that the situation is really dangerous for you, contact your embassy immediately.

Baggage Loss

  1. Carry Important Documents in Your Handbag or Backpack – Make sure you carry insurance policy, passport, and itineraries in your personal bag.
  2. Stuff an extra pair of appropriate clothing in your carry-on bag.  Clothes should be weather-friendly; it will help you to survive the change of weather at your destination.
  3. Note down the Inventory of Your Checked Bag – If an airline has lost your bag, they will ask what is in your bag. Giving abstract answers won’t help; specific answers would help you to find your bag faster.
  4. Stay at the Airport until you can submit your report and file your claim as soon as possible with the airline and your travel insurance company.

Missing Your Flight – Whose fault is it?

  1. If you miss your flight because of the airlines’ fault, it is the responsibility of the airlines to get you on a new flight.  If you need to be rebooked, join and line at the airline counter and phone the airline on your cellphone while you wait.  See which way is faster.
  2. If you miss your flight because of your fault, you will be charged a fee. Many airlines give the power to their staff to waive off the fee depending on the circumstances – for instance an unforeseen accident on the way to the airport; try your luck.
  3. If you missed your flight because of flight overbooking, you are entitled to specific compensation – know the rules.

Being Robbed

  1. Keep the Copies of Documents and Debit/Credit Cards – It will be of a great help when you have the copies of your important documents with you. Keep digital photos of documents in a safe online file that you could access in an emergency as well as hard copies with you.
  2. Note down the Numbers of Your Debit/Credit cards – Keep it in a secure and a safe place.  Be sure to note the toll free and international phone numbers of your credit and debit card companies.
  3. Keep Money in Various Places – Instead of stuffing your money in a single place, keep it in various places so that not all of your money is likely to be robbed at once.
  4. Keep your eyes fixed on your belongings – Be cautious and proactive so that you can avoid the trouble.  Loop bag handles through your chair leg – never plunk your bags down on the floor and turn your attention away.
  5. Report any theft to the police – It is for your safety. In case you have a travel insurance plan and you want to file a claim, they will ask you for the police report.
  6. Inform your Insurer – In case you want to file a claim.

Medical Concerns

  1. Travel with a copy of all of your medical prescriptions in case you loose them and need a refill.  Travel with your medication in your carry-on bag in case your luggage gets lost or delayed.
  2. Be aware that many pharmacies in foreign countries diagnose common conditions and prescribe medication.
  3. Check with your medical insurance provider at home to determine if you are covered abroad.  If not, be sure to purchase medical coverage with your travel insurance company.
  4. Be aware that drugs in other countries go by different names than you may be accustomed to and many may sounds like your medication but are very different.  Don’t simply as for a medication by its name, explain to the pharmacist what condition it is treating as well.
  5. Be sure to prepare a basic medical kit before leaving home.

While we all love to travel and think that nothing bad will happen to us while on vacation, the truth is we may be more susceptible to mishaps because we are enjoying ourselves and not always paying close attention.  A bit of pre-planning will save you from anxiety and possible financial loss, so follow these basic rules of travel survival and have a wonderful journey.