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3 Most Frightening Travel Disasters

Untimely disasters, big or small, can ruin even the best-laid travel plans, and not thinking about them will not prevent their happening. It is, therefore, important to have a way to deal with travel tragedies no matter how prepared you are for your upcoming trip. With adequate preparation, you can ease your pain, save time and money. Here are some common travel problems and how to deal with them.

Travel Disaster #1: Lost luggage when traveling

Travel Disaster #1: Lost luggage when traveling

Lost Luggage
The bags glide towards you on the conveyor belt, but yours – wrapped in neon tape for easier spotting – is nowhere in sight. As the passenger next to you picks the last bag off the conveyor belt, you realize that the airline has lost your luggage.

What to Do:
First, get a baggage claim ticket. Without your claim ticket, the hassle of and time spent in recovering your bag will be greater. Go immediately to the area for baggage claims and fill out a form for “missing luggage.” If you are lucky, the bag was just placed on the wrong flight or delayed, and the airline will have it delivered to you within a couple of days. If the airline lost the bag and cannot recover it, you may file a claim for damages. This may require listing all that was in the bag. You will receive the depreciated rather than replacement value for your lost items. What this means is that your 2-year old $300 camera is no longer worth $300. To be on the safe side, always label your luggage before you leave home.

Travel Disaster #2: Lost passport while traveling

Travel Disaster #2: Lost passport while traveling

Lost Passport
It is the ultimate worst nightmare for any traveler: opening your bag and discovering that your passport is missing. Whether it is lost or stolen, you should act immediately.

What to Do:
Go back to your hotel room and search for it in every corner. If you cannot find it, first contact the police and the local embassy. You will need to go in person to your embassy and apply for an emergency passport to return home. Emergency passports are valid only for a limited time. Once you are back in your country, you will need to apply for a new passport.
Before you leaving for your vacation, pack the items you would need while obtaining an emergency passport. You may be asked to present a written affidavit attesting your idenitity written by someone you are traveling with.
Create an “emergency passport kit” to take with you on your travels. While procedures for obtaining an emergency passport may differ from one country to the next, this is what you will require:
• A passport size photo
• A photo ID
• Proof of citizenship such as a copy of your birth certificate
• Travel itinerary – train or airline ticket
Make a copy of your passport and store it in a different place from the actual document. You may even keep a PDF of it on your phone. You’ll certainly be grateful you put this together when you are forced to deal with the headache of replacing your lost passport.

Travel Disaster #3: Getting sick on vacation

Travel Disaster #3: Getting sick on vacation

Injury or Illness
Receiving healthcare in a foreign country is a potential for experiencing culture shock. If you do not understand the local language or the procedures for the hospital, getting ill or injured away from home can prove frightening. The best approach to dealing with injury or sickness during travel is to prepare for this problem before departure. Before your trip, be sure to research the emergency numbers, address and phone number of your embassy, local hospitals and doctors that speak English.

What to Do:
Contact a healthcare provider immediately if you get ill or injured. Contact your home doctor if you lose vital medication, so that they can call in a prescription from the local pharmacy. If it is non-emergent, request the front desk to organize for a doctor to come to your hotel room. If you are in need of hospital care, check your guidebook or ask your hotel to recommend a local hospital then take a taxi there.

Being properly prepared for these travel disasters will reduce your stress of the situation and help you enjoy your travel adventure.

What travel disasters have happened to you? Comment below and let us know so we can Go! See! Learn!

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Michelle Rae

Michelle Rae

Michelle Rae is the creator of The Traveling Vixen, which captures her adventures around the world. Her passion is to inspire others to grow by experiencing and learning new things in the world.


  • Marion

    Always travel with your meds in carry on bag, passport in your handbag or men in
    pocket, don’t put important things in check in bags…..good information above
    and don’t get caught without things important…….if you don’t have a handbag,
    use a waist pocket purse……men included……keep your things close…….

    July 2, 2016 at 6:04 pm
    • Michelle Rae
      Michelle Rae

      These are all fantastic recommendations! Thank you for sharing 🙂

      July 2, 2016 at 7:57 pm