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Dealing With Major Travel Headaches
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As much as people are encouraged to travel via a plentiful supply of cheap travel options such as cheap airplane tickets, cheap fares, cheap deals, discount hotel rooms, cheap auto rentals, discount travel deals, and cheap vacation packages, travel nightmares caused by missed connections, lost reservations, and credit card snafus, make some pause before making future travel plans.
In many cases, the steps you take before you depart for a trip will go a long way in determining how serious a travel problem you may face. The following are common sense tips on how to best deal with travel mishaps, according to Budget Travel:
• If you arrive at your destination hotel only to be told that it has no record of your reservation, remember to “be nice” in dealing with front desk personnel. Always carry a printed confirmation of your reservation. If your hotel is overbooked, ask what accommodations are available in nearby affiliated hotels.
To almost guarantee you will never have to deal with this problem again call any hotel you are planning to stay at a couple of days before arriving to confirm your reservation. Also make a point of letting your hotel know if you are going to arrive late to ensure that the hotel does not give your room away.
• The best time to deal with a lost wallet is before you actually lose it. Before departing for a trip order a backup ATM card, print out a list of all of your bank and credit card accounts, and make a Xerox of your passport, if traveling overseas. Never carry these items in the same bag as your wallet.
• If you will be renting a car abroad, ask your rental agency in advance what you should do in the event of an accident. Also check with your home auto insurance company and credit card to determine if you covered for an overseas rental car. Frequently coverage does not extend to rentals made abroad. Make a point of learning local customs and rules of the road. In the event of an accident, call your rental agency, file a police report, and get the insurance information of anyone else involved in the accident.
• Keep a copy of your passport and your driver’s license or state ID separate from your passport when you travel.
• Make certain you understand your medical coverage when you are overseas and, if needed, investigate emergency travel insurance. If you are injured or become sick, your hotel and/or local consulate or embassy are good places to request doctor recommendations. It is smart to pack a modest first aid kit.
• Dealing with lost luggage can be a pain. Given that over two million bags are lost, damaged, or stolen annually, this is an all too common problem. To improve the odds of your bag eventually making its way back to you, write your name and address not only on an outside tag but also inside your bag. Leave a copy of your itinerary inside your bag. Arrive early at the airport and if checking your bag, do so at an airline’s desk not at the curb.
• If you ever cannot find your child, remain calm and enlist the help of qualified authorities immediately. Police or theme park security have dealt with missing kids before and will be understanding and helpful. Before leaving your hotel give your child an ID card that includes your mobile phone number. Also tell your kids that if they get lost that police and security personnel can help find you.
• The most common reasons people get arrested in foreign countries are drugs, illegal possession of an antiquity, or chewing gum, if you happen to be in Singapore. Regardless of the reason, you should contact the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy. They can ensure that your rights are observed and that you get legal representation. To avoid arrest, before you leave the States make certain you understand the laws of the country you will be visiting. Possession of prescription opioids, taking pictures of certain buildings, and other seemingly benign acts can land you in jail depending on the country.
• If you are suddenly faced with a monsoon, earthquake, tsunami, or flood obey the local authorities and keep informed via the State Department website or via social media and email from family and friends back in America.
• The most common reason for missing connecting flights is a weather related travel delay. Airlines are not obligated to put up passengers for the night or supply them with meal vouches if the delay is due to “acts of God.” Keep a list of hotels near airports you will be connecting through. Make a point of packing extra chocolate. If your flight is cancelled, smile, make eye contact, and offer your airline representative a bar of chocolate when trying to secure a replacement flight.
• If you leave something important on a plane, contact the baggage service office in your arriving city to see if the item has turned up as soon as you realize it is missing. If not, go online and file a report. To avoid this problem altogether, always double check the seat pocket in front of you, as well as the area around and under your seat before getting off a plane.
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