It's likely that your holiday will be trouble free, but if you are faced with a problem you should be prepared and know how to deal with it. When things go wrong abroad, it can be stressful, but it's important not to panic as it will only compound the problem.
Reading travel advice before you go will help you to be well prepared for any eventuality, making you more equipped to deal with any problems that may arise. You also need to know what steps to take whilst you are away if you are faced with unexpected problems or you need to make a travel insurance claim when you return home.
The EHIC is free, and it gives you access to state provided healthcare in the European Economic Area and Switzerland.
Travel insurance can cover the cost of medical treatment, repatriation, lost luggage, travel delay and more. It should be bought in addition to an EHIC, as the EHIC doesn't provide enough cover on its own. For example, the EHIC will never cover repatriation costs.
Your travel insurance provider should offer an emergency assistance phone number so that you can contact them if an emergency arises whilst you are abroad. It's a good idea to put this number into your mobile phone.
Check the latest FCO travel advice about the country you are travelling to. Their advice is constantly updated and can provide information on crime, terrorism, industrial action and natural disasters.
Consular Assistance can provide help if you lose your passport or you need legal advice whilst you are on holiday. They can be reached on: 020 7008 1500 (+44 20 7008 1500 from abroad).
As well as continually updating their FCO travel advice, The Foreign and Commonwealth Office also operate a support system called LOCATE.
LOCATE holds details of your travel arrangements so that you can be located more easily if there is an emergency. You can easily update your travel arrangements using their simple online system.
You can refer to the copies if the originals are lost or stolen.
Find out about any local laws and customs that differ to those in the UK. This can prevent problems arising from cultural differences. Again FCO travel advice can be a useful source of information.
Keep your flight ticket as proof of your travel dates if you need to make a claim on your travel insurance. Check your policy wording for information about what documentation you will need to send, as it may differ between providers.
If you are the victim of a theft, obtain a police report within 24 hours of the incident occurring. You will need to send this to you travel insurance provider as proof of the incident.
If your luggage is lost, stolen or damaged at the airport, obtain a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) from your airline. You will need to provide this to your travel insurance company in order to make a claim.
If you fall ill or you have an accident, keep receipts for any medical treatment or medication you receive to send to your travel insurance provider.
If you have hired a car and you are involved in an accident, take photographs of the damage
In the unlikely event of a terrorist attack, remember to stay calm and report any suspicious behaviour to the police.
When things go wrong abroad, the more travel advice you have taken and the more prepared you are, the quicker you can deal with the situation and then continue enjoying your holiday.
Remember to take the necessary steps to avoid any surprises when you come to make a claim on your travel insurance when you return to the UK.