On a vacation abroad, 5 tips to deal with emergencies

1. IF YOU LOSE YOUR PASSPORT

If your passport is stolen or lost, the first step is to file a police complaint.Next, get in touch with the Indian embassy or consulate in that country and it will issue a temporary passport. To avoid the problem of locating the embassy in an unknown place, carry the telephone number and address of the embassy in the country you are visiting. You can access the contact details for all Indian embassies at http:www.archive.india.gov.inoverseasembassy_detail.php?type=IE. To expedite the process of issuance of a temporary passport, carry passport sized photos, copies of your passport, or scan and store these in your e-mail or smartphone.

2. IF YOU MISPLACE YOUR INSURANCE & FALL SICK

Try logging on to the insurer’s website or contact the insurer’s point person in that country. If neither is possible, call up the insurer’s India toll-free number, if any. To be able to do so, make sure you carry the contact details before embarking. Once you make contact and provide basic information-name, policy number or passport number–the company can e-mail the documents to you. After this, all you need to do is contact the local service provider.

3. IF YOU LOSE YOUR LUGGAGE

If the airline has lost your bags, contact the airline help desk before leaving the baggage reclaim area. If it is not traced within seven days and you have a travel insurance that covers baggage loss, you can claim compensation. Also, make sure you pack your crucial documents, valuables and change of clothes in the carry-on bag to avoid problems if you lose the checked-in luggage. If the flight is cancelled, airlines usually reroute via the next flight, refund or offer credit for future flights. The best option, however, is to get into a ticketing queue and call up the airline or make online contact to find out about the earliest flight. You can also claim compensation if you are insured.

4. IF YOUR CREDIT CARD IS STOLEN OR BLOCKED

Before you begin the trip, inform the bankcredit card issuer about your travel plans. This will help you secure the local contact details and find out about any transaction fees that you are likely to be charged for overseas usage.It will also make sure the company doesn’t block your card fearing fraudulent transactions.international vacations

If your card is stolen, call the bank and have it blocked. You can also get a replacement from the local office. Carry internationally acceptable cards or those from global banks to expedite replacement. You could also avail of the card protection facility by CPP India, which is affiliated to leading card issuers. For a small fee, it helps block all cards at one go and facilitates payment of hotel bills or travel tickets.Contact CPP at 1800-419-4000 (emergency toll-free number) or +91-9212444000 (emergency international number). For global helpline numbers of Visa cards, check http:www.visa.co.inpersonalbenefitsassistance.shtml. For MasterCard, check http: http:www.mastercard.comglobalcontact index.html.

5. IF THERE’S A CALAMITY

If you are stuck due to political or civil disturbance, call up the embassy and air transport could be arranged to bring you back.

In case of a natural calamity, if you are unable to contact the embassy, check into a hotel, stock yourself with food and ensure that your insurance doesn’t expire. If it does, make online contact or call the insurer and try to have it extended.

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