Top 3 Travel Mishaps

When the unexpected happens


International travel can be a lot of fun. You get to see new places, meet new people, and experience new cultures. But that’s not to say that holidaying abroad is always stress free – there’s a lot that can go wrong too. It’s how you deal with it that makes the difference.

Here are our Top 3 Travel Blunders and how to deal with them:

Travel Mishap 1: Delayed Flights

There’s not much you can do to avoid flight delays since the cause tends to be out of your control. But, you can still make the most of an unfortunate situation. First, check the flight status. If you know early that it’s delayed, you can spend your time more productively than hanging around at the airport.

If you’re already at the airport when you learn of the delay, ask the airline representative to explain exactly what’s happening around it. Depending on the length and time of the delay, you could be entitled to food and accommodation, so make sure you understand your options.

If you’re planning to make a claim for the delay with your travel insurer, you’ll need a document from the airline confirming the flight number, the length of the delay and the reason. It pays to keep a copy of your travel insurance policy with you or to have the contact number handy so you can check what you’ll need on the spot.

Travel Mishap 2: Falling Sick

Nothing can spoil a holiday like falling sick. But, there’s plenty you can do to avoid it in the first place. Like researching your destination before you travel.

In less developed countries, it’s a good idea to only drink bottled water, for example. Use it for brushing your teeth, and make sure that uncooked food, like salad, has not been washed with tap water.

While prevention is better than the cure, accidents and illnesses do happen. It’s worth checking in advance where the nearest medical facilities are so you know what to do in an emergency. If you’re planning on claiming from insurance, call your insurer as soon after the incident as possible so they can advise you on what to do.

Image of a baggage carousel at an airport.

Travel Mishap 3: Lost Baggage

Few things in life are worse than the sinking feeling that comes when everyone else has left the baggage claim area and your luggage hasn’t come out.

To mitigate some of this dread, keep as many essentials as possible in your hand luggage. That way, you’ll at least have the basics with you if you lose your check-in luggage. Restrictions on taking liquids on planes make them trickier, but if you have a change of clothes and a toothbrush with you, then at least you have that covered if you get stuck.

If your bags do go missing, your first step is to speak to the airline representative while you’re still at the airport. They will give you documentation to prove your claim, and they’re also your first point of contact for recovery or compensation. Some airlines will also provide a toiletry bag with basic necessities upon request.

Next up, contact your travel insurer to let them know. They’ll need copies of the documentation from the airline, so keep this handy. If you suspect that your bags have been stolen rather than lost, you may also need a police report, so call your insurer before you leave the airport. And keep your policy somewhere safe (in your hand luggage, of course).