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"My bag is where?" Dealing with Travel Mishaps

Travelers Today       By    Ernest Hamilton

Updated: Nov 19, 2019 03:35 PM EST

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"My bag is where?" Dealing with Travel Mishaps

(Photo: "My bag is where?" Dealing with Travel Mishaps)

Lots of people are afraid to travel because of all the things that can go wrong. You miss a flight and get stranded in a foreign airport. You get sick and need medical care in a country where you don't speak the language. The hotel you booked turns out to no longer exist. Then there are the minor mishaps like lost luggage, food-borne illness and getting lost. Here are a few tips for dealing with travel mishaps.

Give Yourself Margin

There are several ways you can avoid mishaps. Schedule your itinerary with several long breaks between events. Then you can choose between spending an extra hour at the location or returning to the hotel to take a nap. Learn about the local travel options so you can take a bus if the official tour bus is late or you miss it. Carry extra cash so that you don't have to worry about being unable to pay the bill because your credit card was declined. Have backup plans and fallback options so that mishaps are an inconvenience, not a disaster.

Pack Appropriately

Pack everything you need for one to two days in a day bag you carry onboard the flight. Carry essentials from medications to clothes to cash in that bag along with your cell phone, charger and other essentials. Don't forget spare glasses/contacts and other must-haves. Then you can get by for a day or two before your luggage gets back to you. Or you can get by until you buy replacements for the luggage that was lost or stolen. Put these essentials in a bag you can carry over your shoulder, since it is more prone to theft if you're constantly putting it down.

Utilise Your Travel Insurance

Your travel insurance probably comes with a number of benefits. It might allow you to recoup your money if you have to cancel the trip or return home early in an emergency. It generally covers other travel mishaps too, such as arranging alternate transportation when your rental car dies or you miss the ferry. In some cases, it will pay for you to stay at a hotel in the area while you recover from an illness before continuing on the next leg of the journey. Or it might pay for you to buy a set of new clothes while waiting for your luggage to arrive. Travel insurance tends to come with assistance if your luggage or identity is stolen. Then you aren't stuck in a strange country without money or any idea what to do.

Plan for Self-Care

There are several variations of this advice. One is to take both copies of your prescriptions and the medications themselves. Then you can take the medication and refill it if necessary. More importantly, take over the counter medication like anti-diarrheal medicine and allergy meds. Then you can treat yourself for minor issues, and if you're still ill, you may be able to manage the symptoms until you can get to a doctor who speaks English. Save your pertinent medical information in a file format you can show others, but have it written down as well. Better yet, translate it into the local language. Then you don't have to try to explain your medical history while suffering from an injury or illness. You can reduce the financial risk by taking out international medical insurance. Know before you go if your medical insurance will cover medical bills incurred abroad or pay for your trip home. Compare travel insurance policies on iSelect and find one to suit your budget and trip. 

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

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