Worry is not something we want to associate with travelling for leisure. In fact, the whole point is that travel should take you away from the stresses and concerns of everyday life. The last thing we want is a whole heap of new issues.
But the truth is, Lady Luck is no respecter of who we are or where we happen to be. Things can go wrong anywhere. The problem is that accidents and mishaps in a different country can seem ten times worse because we are out of our comfort zone and our usual support network. They then have the potential to ruin an entire trip.
But as we said, that is not what travel is about. There’s no point worrying about things going wrong before they happen. But with a little preparation, we can make sure we are in a good place to ride out whatever fate throws at us, and enjoy our time away to the max regardless.
Here are some tips for making sure you can cope with any emergency that might befall you on your travels.
Keep a note of your bank details somewhere safe
In most parts of the world, the days of using traveller’s cheques are behind us. For those who do not like to carry large amounts of cash they have exchanged at home, it is easy enough nowadays to get local currency, from a bank teller or an ATM, using your bank card. However, this can leave you stuck if your card is lost, stolen or eaten by a machine. It is always a good idea to carry a back-up card if you have one, or make a note of your account details and keep them somewhere safe. That means, should you lose your card, you can contact your bank and still arrange a withdrawal to see you through.
Stash some emergency cash
Again on a money theme, it is always a good idea when you have obtained some local currency to stash some in a safe place - a safety deposit box in a hotel is ideal. Loss or theft of money can happen at any time, if it is at night or on a Sunday or a similar religious holiday, the banks might not be open and you could be caught short.
Look up contact details for your embassy or consulate
Your national embassy or consulate can provide you with assistance for all sorts of situations which might arise while you are abroad, from replacing lost passports to organising repatriation if the emergency is bad enough to call for it. Having a phone number or address with you is always a good idea just in case.
Carry a copy of your passport
Should you lose your passport, you will usually have to file a police report locally before going to your consulate or embassy to request a new one. Having a copy of your passport with you can speed up the process for identification purposes. A photocopy is safer than taking a photo on your phone - should you lose the phone, a picture of your passport is a prize catch for identity thieves. If you really wanted to be extra prepared, you could carry a passport-sized photo ready for if you have to apply for a replacement document.
Take emergency contact numbers with you
If something did happen abroad such as you fall seriously ill or are involved in a police incident, it is helpful to the authorities if you have the numbers of people back home they can contact should they need to. This is particularly important if you are planning on travelling solo.
Get the right travel insurance
Not all travel insurance policies are created equal. Your average general policy will not, for example, provide you with cover if you have a pre-existing medical condition. You need to find a specialist policy which will give you the correct level of cover you need should you need medical assistance while abroad. This applies even if you need treatment for something unrelated to your condition - on many general policies, the fact you have a condition is enough to invalidate the medical cover.
Single trip insurance, suitable for any one-off expeditions from beach holidays to cruises. Avanti Travel Insurance specialises in policies for the over-50s, with a wide range of packages for those going abroad, with pre-existing medical conditions. For more information on our tailor made products, visit our website and take a look at our bespoke single trip travel cover. Keeping you covered for the duration of your trip.