Getting Help When Your Holiday Goes Wrong
7 June 2012
Even though it isn’t fair, things can, will and do go terribly wrong on holidays. The best thing you can do is get whatever help you need, deal with the situation as best as you can, and carry on. The following is a short guide to getting help on your holiday if it starts to take a turn for the worse.
At the hotel
If you are staying at a hotel on your holiday and experience some kind of emergency, the first thing you should do is call the front desk or go down there yourself. Whether you are staying at a hotel, serviced apartments or other short term accommodation, they have a vested interest in things going well for you, so they should be more than willing to help however they can. If you need medical assistance, they will be able to ensure that it is called, and for non-medical emergencies your hotel will be able to direct you to any of the local services you may need.
Visitor information centres
If you are having an absolute shocker trying to find a place to stay, things to do or even understanding the locals, the local visitor information centre is sure to be able to help. The people working at these places are some of the friendliest and most knowledgeable people you will meet on your trip, and they will likely be able to help you manoeuvre past any predicament and open up a few more options for you.
With the right travel insurance, you won’t have anything to worry about if something goes wrong on your trip and you need help. Your insurance can cover you for everything, from the cost of rebooking flights to buying replacement clothes if the airline somehow loses your bag. You may have to pay for some services up front, but you should be able to recover a lot of your costs when you get back home.
If you are concerned about how safe the area to which you are travelling will be, registering yourself and your travel plan through the ‘Smart Traveller’ website is a good idea. This will mean that if something crazy happens while you are there, the government will know you are there are and that you need help, which can be nice to know if you get stuck in a bad situation.
If you ever get the chance, it is a good idea to learn a second or third language, because in an emergency it can really come in handy. You should always have a language book with you anyway when you are travelling, which will allow you to communicate with someone if something has happened, and let them know that you need assistance.
Even if you almost never use it, having a credit card can get you out of some bad situations, so if you can, have one safely in your back pocket before you head off. Be sure to tell the credit card company that you are going away before you do — otherwise, your emergency might be not being able to use your card.