When you’re traveling, you may hope to find adventure. But be careful what you wish for: Sometimes your adventure can involve the loss of passports, credit cards or money. Or you might find yourself in need of medical attention. Whatever the case, you should prep a game plan to deal with such travel trials and tribulations.
Here are three travel ordeals and how to overcome them, as outlined by the U.S. Department Of State.
Your vacation spot overseas may be a really nice place to visit, but chances are you don’t want to live there. Don’t worry: The U.S. Department of State prescribes a course of action if your passport goes missing while you’re abroad. First, contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for help (you can find a contact list for the country you’re visiting here). Speak to someone at the American Citizens Services unit of the Consular Section and explain your situation.
If you can provide the U.S. embassy or consulate with a photocopy of your passport identification page – or at least give your passport number – that will speed things up.
Let’s say you still have your passport – but you’ve lost everything else, including your credit cards and cash. What to do? The U.S. Department of State recommends that if you need someone to wire you money, follow the same steps as you would for a lost passport. Someone at your local U.S. embassy or consulate can set up a secure money transfer for you. You can also try to arrange a wire transfer through Western Union.
As for your credit cards, make sure you can access your account numbers and the phone numbers for your credit card companies. This way, if your card is lost or stolen, you can contact your banks immediately and give them the information they need.
Because foreign doctors most likely won’t accept American health insurance – and because a medical evacuation back to the U.S. can cost more than $50,000 – you may want to consider buying travel insurance. (Read our recent post, Travel Insurance: How Much Do You Need?, for more information.)
If you become seriously ill or injured abroad and need help locating appropriate medical attention, you can contact a U.S. consular officer. (The U.S. Department of State offers more tips here.)
When you travel, do you prepare for the worst? What kinds of precautions do you take?