Whether you’re considering planning a vacation for you and your partner or looking for some respite for yourself with some solo travel, you must be able to check off several important tasks off your international travel to-do list first. For some of the most crucial and important aspects to take into consideration when traveling abroad, check out our three-part series about how to make your trip one to remember- and not because of stressful planning.
Part III: Crisis Control While Traveling
Run into a problem while on your trip? Here are some common travel emergencies and how to solve them.
Lost Documentation: Lost or stolen passports, IDs, or credit cards are every traveler’s worst nightmare. While it might seem like the end of the world when you are looking through your bags and can’t find them, this problem is incredibly common, so there are plenty of steps you can take to keep your trip going smoothly.
If you lose your passport… Your passport is quite possibly the most important aspect of your trip, so it is of the utmost importance that you keep it safe and secure wherever you go. However, if you do lose your passport, or if it gets stolen, the first thing you should do is to find the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. You will need to replace your passport by the time you head back to the States, so be sure to let the officer assisting you know of your timeline for the rest of the trip. When going to the consulate, be sure to bring as many identification documents with you as possible. Bring your ID, travel itineraries or plane tickets, bank statements, and any other important documents the consulate can use to identify you. For more information about what to do in the case of a lost or stolen passport, look at the website for the U.S. Department of State- Bureau of Consulate Affairs here.
If you lose your driver’s license or other ID… Another common travel emergency could be if you lose your driver’s license or other forms of ID during your travels. For one, you should check with your local DMV before you leave in order to determine what the process is for replacing a lost or stolen license. Every state is different, so it is a crucial step to figure out the process for your specific state, should the need arise. If you do lose your identification, make sure to contact your DMV or talk to local authorities as soon as possible, especially if you think your ID might be stolen. They will help you to take the necessary steps to replace your ID, as well as work with you to determine what to do in the meantime.
If you lose a credit card… Finally, losing a credit card is not something that is limited to only international travel. In fact, your credit card provider is most likely familiar with these situations, and you should be able to breathe normally after misplacing it in no time. When you lose your credit card or believe it has been stolen, you should contact your provider immediately and cancel the card. Doings so will prevent anyone from using it until you can get a new one. After you report the card missing, you can have the replacement card sent to your home address, and it will be as good as new. Luckily, even if you don’t realize your card has gone missing yourself, your card provider will automatically shut down your card if they realize any suspicious activity on it during your travel. Either way, it is important to always keep an eye on your card and make sure you are monitoring your account activity in case any sort of fraud should arise.
Unfortunately, misplaced or stolen items are more common in traveling than we would hope. Make sure to keep photocopied images of your different travel documents and resources should the need arise to replace them. By taking necessary precautions and doing some research, you will be prepared for a last-minute loss of documents.
Cancelled/Delayed Flights: One of my most stressful memories during my months in Europe was when my early-morning flight got cancelled. It was a Monday morning, and I had to get back to London, but instead found myself stranded in Barcelona for the rest of the day. Delayed or cancelled flights happen all the time, so although they are a huge pain and might throw a wrench in your plans, there are plenty of people at the airport who deal with flight changes all the time and are there to help you. Make sure to go to the information desk as soon as you can to see other flight options, or if you need to make last-minute reservations if you must stay the night. These people are trained to speak multiple languages and assist you, so language shouldn’t be an issue. With a little luck, you’ll be back on track to your next destination in no time!
Planning any international travel for 2018? We’d love to hear about it! Share Your Story so Through Wolf’s Eyes might be able to share it with others!
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