Thursday, June 29, 2017

Common Travel Issues...What Should You Do?

Lost Passport
When it happens, it can be your worst nightmare. You open your wallet or backpack and find no passport. Did you lose it or was it stolen? It doesn’t matter, it’s gone. What do you do? Act now. Go back to your hotel or where you are staying and search for it…just in case it slipped out of your pocket. If it’s not there…

Contact the police and then your local embassy. You'll have to show up in person at the embassy to apply for an emergency passport to get you back home. An emergency passport is only valid for a limited time, and once you are back in the States you'll have to apply for a new passport.

To be extra prepared, before you leave home pack the items you will need in case you have to get an emergency passport. If you do not have everything you need, you may need to present an affidavit of identifying witness. This will be filled out by a fellow traveler, who can attest that you are who you say you are.
Think about creating an emergency passport kit to take along. 

The procedures for getting an emergency passport differ depending on which country you're visiting, but here's what you'll probably need, no matter where you are:
A passport-size photo
A photo ID
Proof of U.S. citizenship (such as a copy of your birth certificate or the missing passport)
Travel itinerary (airline or train tickets, etc.)

Travelers often make a copy of their passport and store it in a different place from their actual one. You can keep a PDF of it on your phone.

Missed Flight
Don’t wait until the last minute, thinking the airline will wait for you. They won’t.
Even if you allow enough time, things happen. You may encounter security issues that aren’t even related to you. So, what do you do?
Has your plane taken off without you? Immediately go to your airline's desk. It is possible that your airline can get you on the next flight. They may charge you. Passengers who miss their flights sometimes must pay full price for a new ticket -- and prices are steep when it's the day of or the day before your departure.

What about your checked luggage? If you have missed a connecting flight and your luggage has been checked, it will most likely go on without you.
Try going to your airline's ticket counter and ask if it can locate your bags. The airline may be able to hold your bags until you arrive at your destination.

Lost Luggage
Have you ever watched the bags go around and around on the carousel and yours isn’t there? Not a great feeling. Especially when ALL the bags have been taken off. So, what should you do?

First, make sure you have your baggage claim ticket. Find the airline counter or office in the baggage claim area and fill out a missing luggage form. Your bag might just be delayed or put on the wrong plane and it will find you.
If not and the airline is unable to recover it, you can file a claim for damages. In this case, you will probably have to make a list of everything that was in your bag. You will get the depreciated (not replacement) value for the items in your bag. Not a good deal.

Be sure you only have your contact info tag and the one to your current destination on your bag. That way the scanner machines won’t be confused as to where your bag should go.

On the inside of your bag, have your contact info as well.

Illness or Injury on the Road
If you’re in a foreign country, this could be a problem. Do you speak the language? Can you find a doctor?

Call your regular doctor if you need medication. They may be able to call in a prescription for you. Ask the concierge if there is a doctor who can come to the hotel, if your illness is not life-threatening. If not, see if you can get a cab to the nearest emergency room.

If you have a condition which requires a specific medication, be sure to have enough with you and a prescription for additional.
Always have the following information with you:
Your doctor's office and home/cell phone numbers
Insurance company contact information
Embassy contact information

Contact information for a relative or loved one at home, especially if you are traveling alone

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