Stranded! you do agree with me that this is one “word” no traveler likes to hear especially when away from home. But it does happen, natural disasters do occur, flights get cancelled due to bad weather, political unrest and even outbreak of infectious disease. The novel coronavirus https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html is a pandemic that struck the globe rock hard this year is a perfect example, no doubt left so many travelers abroad stranded.
These circumstances are inevitable, some come with advance warning like the call for action on climate change while other times gives no room to prepare ahead. Therefore being able to manage this situation when it does happen is to “prepare” ahead for any unforeseen event whenever you set out to board a flight away from home.
Best decisions are made when calm, a panic mind does more harm than good mostly in critical situations. Take a deep breath, look around your location to ensure you are safe and then start to act on “to do list” of action for emergency situations.
First, contact your loved ones to let them know you are safe and leave an open means of communication. At this point, I will suggest you tune-in to a credible news channel, could be television, radio or online media to get informed. Technology has turned the world into a global village, nevertheless caution should be taken when sourcing for accurate and reliable news.
CONTACT YOUR AILINE & HOTEL
Contact all service providers you used for this trip to find out what arrangements are made for passengers and guests affected. Service providers in this case could be your travel agents, airline, hotel, tour operator and event organizers. I am of the opinion that calling the various offices respectively is the fastest but not the preferred. Most airlines and hotels are usually proactive in times of dire situations, they give updates on their websites and edit their frequently asked questions (FAQ) to make the process easier for affected customers.
In times of crises, natural disasters or bad weather, airlines and hotels normally adjust booking policies with more flexibility.
Once acquainted with all that is required and the arrangement made for affected customers, a quick decision has to be made in good time. Communicate your final decision to all service providers directly and preferably by email for easy trail of communication. Be open to change, be flexible.
CONTACT THE EMBASSY
Not all difficult situation requires contacting the embassy, except when your life is at risk or you are at a disadvantage. If that happens, do not hesitant to contact your embassy located in the country you are visiting. For crises like terrorist attack, political unrest, natural disasters, its important to contact your embassy for immediate evacuation if possible or be on the list of whatever arrangement is in place for visiting citizens.
If there is no embassy in your location, go online and look for the nearest one, in such instance you can only call the office. Whatever decision made do ensure that it is safe for you.
I often hear travelers ask this question “Why do I need a travel insurance?” my response is because Travel insurance protects you against certain risks, emergencies and financial loses that may occur when travelling.
Travel insurance is designed to cover unforeseen events, I strongly recommend to purchase a plan that suits your needs. A plan that covers major loses like medical emergencies or last minute trip cancellation mostly on trips abroad and far away from home. Aside from the financial benefits, you are sure to have access to assistance services, so if your travel insurance does not do all that for you, you need to change to another.
The world of travel is changing fast TIPS FOR A SAFE TOURISM EXPERIENCE and more dynamic than ever, the advancement of technology is making travel seamless and convenient even if you get stranded.