Planning to travel over the Christmas holidays? Then beware because holidays abroad aren’t always as relaxing as they’re made out to be. Lots of unexpected emergencies, like having your passport stolen or twisting an ankle, while on holiday can turn a dream vacation into a nightmare. So how do you prepare for a potential travel emergency? Here’s a list of common mishaps that can happen while you’re abroad and how to deal with them as quickly and painlessly as possible:
1. You miss your flight
Don’t panic! Stay calm and tackle the problem objectively and with a clear head. Head to the airline counter you booked with and ask the ground staff what your options are. Some airlines may be able to put you on the next outbound flight with no costs incurred depending on the airfare you paid for but most likely you’ll have to book a new ticket. Pop online to find the cheapest option and focus your energy on that instead of fretting.
2. You had too much sun
Cool the skin as soon as possible with a cold compress and drink lots of water. A rehydration sachet dissolved in water will stop dehydration. Apply aftersun, calamine lotion or aloe vera to relieve the discomfort and try taking an anti-inflammatory medication. A good tip to remember is to avoid the sun between 11am and 3pm and to apply and reapply high-factor sun protection lotion.
3. Jetlag is killing your vibe
Prepare ahead of time by changing your sleeping and eating patterns before you go on holiday. Set your watch on the plane to the time of the destination and avoid too much alcohol, caffeine, fat, and salt. If you arrive in daylight, stay awake and don’t have any naps. Do anything you can to stop yourself falling asleep like going for a walk or having a shower.
(Read more: 9 Jetlag Remedies That Actually Work)
4. Your hotel is a disappointment
If you’ve been allocated a bad room, give the hotel a chance to try and rectify the problem. Ask to speak to someone in authority and explain the situation firmly but politely to them. In most cases, the hotel will offer you another room or an upgrade. Take lots of photos of the problem (for example, if there’s a leakage of some sort) so you have proof to back up your complaint.
5. You lose your wallet
Contact the local police immediately and report any missing cards to your bank as soon as possible so they can stop all transactions and keep your money safe. A good tip when you travel is to keep a decoy wallet on you with some fake money in case you get pickpocketed or mugged. Try and keep your cash and cards in separate locations, too, so all is not lost if you misplace something.
6. Your lose your luggage
If your baggage hasn’t shown up on the conveyor belt, be patient, it might show up eventually. If it hasn’t and all the other passengers have left then go to the airline’s counter or lost baggage office to file a report. Your travel insurance policy will probably cover lost luggage, too, so check your policy and contact them if necessary. To avoid this problem, label your suitcase clearly and put something distinctive on it to help you identify it easily.
(Read more: 10 Tips On Flying With Kids This Holiday)
7. You lose your passport
The first thing you should do is report it lost at a local police station, get the reference number then schedule an emergency appointment with your country’s embassy or consulate in the city you’re visiting. You will then need to fill in a lost or stolen notification form before you’re issued a replacement passport. Always carry a photocopy of your essential travel documents, too, just in case.
8. You get food poisoning
If you’ve got an upset stomach, stay hydrated and drink lots of water. Take rehydration sachets and try to eat bland foods such as bread, bananas, crackers, scrambled egg and plain rice. If you’re vomiting, avoid solid foods until it subsides and if it carries on for more than a couple of days, contact a doctor immediately.
9. Your bags are too heavy on the way back
Travelling light is the key to a happy flight but if you have bags that are overweight, the easiest thing to do is to take some of those heavier items out, put them in another bag and try to take it with you as carry-on. You could also try politely asking the ground staff to overlook your extra weight as it’s usually up to an airline’s discretion if you’re only around 10 per cent over.
(Read more: 15 Must-Dos Before A Family Holiday)
10. You get attacked by mozzies
If you’re heading somewhere tropical, be aware that you may be susceptible to a mosquito attack. Always cover your arms and legs, wear insect repellent, keep bedroom lights off in the evening and the curtains closed, and bring a mosquito repelling plug-in. Try not to scratch as that will make your bites itch even more causing inflammation and distress.