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Minimize Impact of Travel “Disasters”

Dont assume that you are ready to head to the airportafter a thorough review of your cheaptravel options, including cheap airplane tickets, cheap fares, cheapdeals, discount hotel rooms, cheap auto rentals, discounttravel deals, and cheap vacation packages. Travel mishaps are common and can often beminimized with common sense fixes.

The following are typical travel problems and suggestionson how best to deal with them, according to Robert Firpo-Cappiello:

  • Whenfaced with an unexpected hotel reservation cancellation remember to be nicein communicating to the desk clerk. Beprepared to pull out a hard copy of your reservation (or a digital version) orthe phone number and name of whomever you made your original reservation. Often the problem is a simplemisunderstanding or a data entry mistake. If your hotel has no available rooms, askwhat accommodations are available at nearby affiliated or recommendedhotels. To almost always avoid having todeal with this situation, call your hotel a few days before your arrival to reconfirmyour reservation and let them know if you will be arriving late.
  • Insteadof letting a lost wallet ruin your trip, before you depart obtain a backup ATMcard, print out (or digitally store) a list of all of your bank and credit cardaccounts, make a copy of your passport or drivers license, and never carrythese things in the same bag as your wallet.
  • Inorder to minimize the disruption caused by a car accident ask your rentalagency in advance what you should do in the event of an accident, inquire withyour home auto insurance company to see if your coverage includes car rentals,and ask your credit card company what, if any, accident coverage it provideswhen renting a car using its credit card. If renting a car overseas, find out in advance the local customs andrules of the road.
  • Insteadof feeling chills down your spine after learning you have lost your passport,make a hard or digital copy of your passport before your departure. Keep that copy and your drivers licenseseparate from your passport.
  • Findout in advance if your medical insurance will cover you on your trip. If not, investigate emergency travelinsurance. If injured, your hotel and/orlocal consulate or embassy often will be your best source forrecommendations. Packing a modest firstaid kit is wise.
  • Dealingwith lost luggage is frustrating. Youcan minimize the odds that your bag will be misplaced by writing your name andaddress not only on an outside tag but also inside your bag. By leaving a copy of your itinerary in yourbag this will help someone re-route your bag to the correct destination if itis accidentally shipped to the wrong city. Further steps you can take include arriving at the airport and checkingyour bag at an airline desk at least one hour prior to takeoff. Curbside check-ins and checking in less than30 minutes before scheduled departure are more likely to result in bags beingmisrouted.
  • Nothingis more upsetting then realizing you do not know what your child is. Remaining calm and seeking help of qualifiedauthorities is your best approach. Police officers or amusement park security have handled missing kidsituations before and are understanding and helpful. A current picture of your child is importantas well as knowing the clothing he or she is wearing. Make certain that your children carry IDcards that include your cell phone number.
  • Beforeheading overseas familiarize yourself with the laws at your destination. Possession of prescription opioids, takingpictures of certain buildings, and other seemingly harmless acts can result injail time. If you find yourself in aforeign jail, contact the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy. While they cannot necessarily get youreleased, they can make certain that your rights are observed and that you getlegal representation.
  • If youfind yourself in the middle of a monsoon, quake, tsunami, or flood, obey thelocal authorities and keep yourself informed via the State Department websiteor those of local consulates, embassies, or via social media and email withfamily and friends.
  • Whendealing with a missed connection or a delayed flight interact positively withairline representatives. Smile, make eyecontact, and offer the gate agent a bar of chocolate. While such actions will not guarantee you aplace on the next plane or a free hotel room, you will definitely be givenpreference over passengers who are wigging out.
  • Leavingsomething important behind on a plane happens frequently and the major airlineshave very efficient procedures for reuniting passengers with their stuff. Contact the airlines baggage service officein your arriving city to see if your lost item has turned up. If not, go online and file a report. Usually you will get your item back within afew days. Always double check the areaaround your seat immediately prior to exiting a plane.

Minimize Impact of Travel “Disasters”
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