Keep calm and carry on? A nice idea, but if disaster hits while you are abroad, chances are your first reaction will be panic! But don’t fear, we are here to tell you how to handle a variety of disasters that can hit while you are away on your hols.
Disaster 1 – Missed Flight
Oh dear, with this disaster you are off to a bad start before you’ve even left the country! If you miss your flight, head straight for the help desk and explain your situation. If you miss it because of an accident, or broken down public transport, the airline may well be understanding and accommodate you on the next flight. Or maybe it is the airline’s fault, in which case you’ll be compensated. If the error is yours and incurs additional travel costs, you may be able to recover these costs through your travel insurance, providing you got the right level of cover.
Disaster 2 – Lost Passport
If you lose your passport while on holiday, you must take the following steps IMMEDIATELY!
Report the loss to the local police and get a crime reference number – you will need this to get a new passport. You must also report the loss or theft to the British Embassy by filling in an LS01 form, which will be available from the Embassy or online. Want to know more? Read more in our blog What To Do If Your Passport Is Lost Or Stolen Abroad.
Disaster 3 – Stolen Bank Cards
As with losing your passport, file a police report straight away. The next step is to contact your insurance company and see if you have emergency cash cover. You will also need to contact your bank and credit card providers to stop your cards, and also to see if they are able to arrange a cash withdrawal from a local branch at your destination. To make the process easier, it is a good idea to ensure that you have emergency phone numbers and the right documentation with account numbers etc. to hand while on holiday, or with a family member back home.
Disaster 4 – Hire Car Crash
With any luck, you have taken car hire excess insurance, so won’t have to face the hire company’s charges! Hopefully you have also hired a car off a reputable dealer, and filled out paperwork that states what damage the vehicle had before you drove it away. It is a good idea to take photographic or video evidence before you drive off, as it is hard to dispute. Even if you have done all that and you have found yourself in a spot of bother, you will need to get your camera out again to document the scene of the accident, record the registration of the other car, and of course document the damage that has been caused. Then it’s time to call the insurers, and the car hire company!
Disaster 5 – Hospitalisation
With this disaster, you’ll find that preparation is the best medicine (pardon the pun). If you are travelling to Europe, make sure you have applied for and have your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you. This can drastically reduce your medical bills while abroad. Even if you are travelling to the EU, and definitely if you are travelling outside the EU, get adequate travel healthcare insurance, and keep your information and your papers with you at all times. If you end up in hospital contact your insurers straight away. Without travel insurance, you may have to pay for medical care and repatriation, bills which can run into tens of thousands of pounds!