Perhaps you’ve been planning your dream holiday for years. Maybe you booked it at the last minute when you saw a sale. Either way, you’ll want to make the most of your trip. Here’s what you need to know to be prepared in case problems do appear.
The first step is to make sure you have the information you need before anything goes wrong. Check online for the latest travel advisories for the places you’ll be visiting and find out if you need to take any special precautions before you go. Vaccines, for example, may need to be scheduled well in advance of your travel for maximum effectiveness. Before you leave on your trip, make photocopies of your passport and other ID, your insurance cards, and contact information for your credit cards. As an additional backup, you can scan or photograph everything so you have electronic versions.
Have duplicates of your travel plans printed and tucked into a different bag or pocket. You don’t want to fly into your destination only to realise the reservation for your rental car is missing or you don’t know the address for your hotel. Printing out extra copies reduces the chance that you’ll have trouble upon arrival.
Consider looking up the contact information for your country’s consulate in the country you’ll be visiting. In case your phone is lost or stolen, make sure you take a separate listing of important contact information for your family, work, friends etc. Give at least one of your contacts at home detailed information on your itinerary and contact information for where you’ll be staying throughout your holidays. That way, they will be better able to assist you or contact the consulate on your behalf if something goes wrong.
When Things Go Wrong
If you are sick or injured and there is time, try to contact your insurance company before you seek medical care. If it is an emergency, it might be necessary to phone your insurance company only after you’ve called an ambulance. Be sure to document your efforts to contact your insurance carrier, all the steps you’ve made to seek medical care, and the seriousness of the medical situation. One way to quickly get documentation of your experience is to use your phone to quickly take a picture of the name of the ambulance, medical centre, doctors, etc. If the problem was caused by an accident, try to get as much information as possible and photographs to document it.
If you are facing a serious issue like a major medical crisis, legal trouble, or other significant and complicated problem, contact your country’s consulate. They could be able to assist with translation, arranging medical air transport, or working with legal authorities. When facing legal trouble, notifying your consulate could provide you added protection. In many countries, foreigners have few legal rights if they are arrested and they may be held for extended periods without a trial or legal representation. Letting your government know you are in trouble could be extremely important.
Once you return home, the work may not be over. Keep all your documentation and any new information that comes in. Additional bills or legal proceedings may become an issue, even months after your trip. If they do, speak to our holiday sickness claims specialists, who will be able to provide you with a free consultation, and guide you through the subsequent legal process.
All of that said, most holidays will pass without serious mishap and we at DFR Solicitors hope yours do, too!