We take once in a lifetime luxury vacations because they enrich our lives with new and unique experiences. But sometimes the experience isn’t quite what we bargained for.
A dream vacation that you planned for months can instantly turn into a nightmare if an unexpected emergency occurs. That’s life, and it doesn’t care if we’re on holiday. We can’t prevent every problem, but you can prepare in advance so your vacation isn’t completely derailed.
Put Up Financial Safety Nets
Be Prepared For: Lost/stolen wallet, medical expenses, unexpected expenses.
You’ve spent months carefully budgeting and saving for your vacation. Don’t let an unexpected emergency undo all of your financial planning.
There are a lot of things that could put you in a financial bind when you’re far from home. Getting your wallet stolen or accidentally damaging something in your hotel room are just a few scenarios where you might need extra cash that you don’t have on hand.
During an emergency you may need money fast. Line up a way to send money online both ways in case you need to give or receive additional funds. Verify that the funds can be transferred to the country you’re visiting if you’re traveling internationally.
You can also protect yourself by:
– Using a money belt if an area is crowded or known for pickpocketing.
– Take a picture of all important documents with your smartphone before leaving.
– Take pictures of the front and back of credit cards so they can be cancelled quickly if needed.
– Password protect your phone so it can’t be accessed if it’s stolen.
– Let your financial institutions know you’ll be traveling. It will prevent any service disruptions.
– Don’t take all of your cards with you. One debit card and one credit card is usually enough.
Get Additional Medical Insurance
Be Prepared For: emergency medical care, medical expenses.
You may have adequate medical coverage at home, but traveling abroad could be another story entirely. The first step to protecting your health on a vacation is to review your insurance plan. Find out if your travel destination is covered, and if so, what kind of healthcare is provided.
Even if your health insurance provides coverage, it will probably be limited. A short-term travel health insurance plan may be needed to fill the gaps. It also helps to research the medical facilities where you plan to travel so you know what kind of care is available.
Be Prepared For: illness, emergency medical care, medical expenses.
Another precaution you can take to protect your health is getting vaccinated. After the Zika outbreak vaccinations became a topic of interest among travelers. It highlighted the importance of preventative measures that can impact a person’s life well after a vacation is over.
Always check with a resource like the Centers for Disease Control to learn about the current health concerns where you will be traveling. You’ll find vaccination suggestions and other advice based on your current health and travel itinerary.
Get Travelers Insurance
Be Prepared For: Lost luggage, canceled trips, evacuations, accidents, terrorist attacks, medical evacuation, and business closures.
Travelers insurance may seem like an unnecessary expense, but it could end up saving your vacation. Many of the unforeseen events that you aren’t considering are already accounted for on the insurance plan.
If things go astray on your vacation, travelers insurance can help remedy the situation. The insurance company will have plans in place for quickly handling emergencies and helping you overcome unexpected travel mishaps. It’s much-needed guidance and assistance when you’re not sure what steps to take next.
If nothing else, travelers insurance helps limit the cost of cancellations and unexpected expenses so you don’t end up paying for a vacation you don’t take.
Have a Point of Contact Back Home
Be Prepared For: emergencies at home that need to be dealt with immediately.
Sometimes everything is going fine on your trip, but back home things are falling to pieces. You may not become aware of the situation until you return or you may find out too late to do anything about the situation.
Alleviate this concern by asking a family member or friend to keep an eye on things for you. Better yet, see if they’d like to housesit while you’re gone. Homes that are vacant are susceptible to burglary.
Make sure your contact will be in town the entire time you’re gone. Give them keys to the house or security code so they can access the property in case of an emergency. Finally, share your itinerary and all contact information, including the phone number of each place where you’ll be staying.