Backpacking : Avoid the Mishaps

An international vacation is one of the best ways to explore the globe and experience different cultures. You should carefully plan each day of your trip and go to great lengths to ensure a smooth, fun vacation. But despite your best efforts, mishaps can happen. You can run into different issues when traveling abroad. The more you prepare, the better equipped you are to handle these issues.

plan your trip
Plan your Trip

1. Lost passport. Whether your passport is lost or stolen, losing this important document when traveling abroad can present a nightmare when flying home. In order to reenter your home country, you need to show your passport. Ideally, you want to keep your passport in a safe place at all times.

But in the event that your passport is lost or stolen, contact your local embassy and apply for an emergency passport. This is a temporary passport that allows your return home. The process of getting an emergency passport is not simple, and the agency will have to confirm your identity. To expedite the process, have a certified copy of your original passport. Obtain this copy before leaving home and store this copy in a safe place.

2. Lost luggage. Airlines handle thousands of bags daily. And throughout the course of a day, some bags will be lost. To reduce your chances of lost luggage, remove old airline tags. This can confuse the bag handlers and they may inadvertently placed your bags on another flight. Provide the airline with the name, telephone number and location of your hotel, as well as your cellular number if you have an international calling plan. Plan for the possibility of lost luggage and bring a carry-on with enough clothes and toiletries for a couple of days.

3. Medical illness. No one anticipates getting sick while on vacation, but it can happen. Unfortunately, U.S. health insurance plans are not accepted in a foreign country. And if you seek medical treatment, you’re required to pay this cost out-of-pocket. Plan for the unexpected medical emergency and purchase travel insurance before traveling abroad. These policies provide coverage for a variety of mishaps when traveling, such as a missed flight, trip cancellation and medical emergencies.

4. Method of payment. Many travelers rely on credit cards and prepaid debit cards when traveling abroad. This alleviates currency exchange and losing their cash. Although credit and debit cards are acceptable forms of payment worldwide, there’s plenty to consider before leaving home. If using either a debit or credit card, make sure the card features a Visa or MasterCard logo. This is the only way to ensure acceptance in a foreign country. Also, call your credit or debit card issuer and notify them of your travel plans. Using your credit or debit card in a foreign country will trigger fraud alerts, in which the bank may place a freeze on your account. Confirm that the card will work internationally and ask about any foreign transaction fees.

Travelers typically plan for everything, except misfortune. Don’t let one fiasco ruin your well-planned trip abroad. Anticipate problems that can happen and have a backup plan. The sooner you overcome mishaps, the sooner you can move on with your vacation.

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