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DISCLAIMER: This is a sponsored post for Allianz Global Assistance (AGA Service Co.) and I have received compensation for it, but all opinions are my own.
Since we travel quite a bit we have had our fair share of travel disasters. Here is the thing, there are a lot of ways that travel can go wrong, but there is still a lot you can do to help make sure these little mishaps do not ruin your vacation, or your bank account. I want to get a little personal today and share with you 5 Travel Disasters we have had and how you can handle them if they happen to you.
I am a planner. Some might say I am an over planner. Because of this, I almost always have everything planned out, and every scenario of how things could go wrong. But that doesn’t mean I don’t get thrown for a loop every now and then in our travel. That is why I try and think ahead to what can go wrong with our vacations, and do my best to be prepared just in case they happen.
5 Travel Disasters We Have Experienced
- Hotel Overbooked! Did you know that some hotels will overbook? Not sure if it has to do with expected cancellations, or if it is just a mistake every now and then, but hotels can overbook. One time, when the Goof was only 2 months old, we were doing a 7 state road trip with my parents. When we got to a hotel we had booked (and we had our confirmation with us) we found out that they did not have two rooms for us, only one. There was no way that we could all be in one room with an infant that woke every couple hours at night. Since they did not have any rooms, and we were past the cancellation time, they did offer to send us to another hotel…. that was 2 hours away. Thankfully that hotel was the way we were heading, so we agreed. That hotel ended up being more expensive though. How we handled it: I emailed the hotel’s customer service, explained what happened and how we had to pay $100 more for our one night stay, and after sending in a copy of our confirmation, the letter we had the overbooked hotel’s manager write and our new hotel’s receipt, we were refunded the difference. Thankfully we had an emergency fund for this trip.
- The vacation that went to crap! I wrote about our horrible, rotten, no good vacation earlier this year. It started with a car breaking down, our towing coverage from our insurance being garbage, rental car issues, and then a hotel with burst pipes in the room next to us but the hotel was completely booked with no extra rooms, and more. We ended up having to cancel part of our vacation. It was awful. How we handled it: We went with the flow, utilized our card holder benefits, and were thankful we had purchased travel insurance which helped with expenses from the part we had to cancel.
- Having to cancel a prepaid vacation. Maybe you booked through a travel agent or you were like us and used a pay before you know booking site to book your hotel to save money. Either way, payments are made and suddenly you have to cancel your vacation. This happened to us in 2014 when we were going to head to Disneyland. First, I was having complications with my twin pregnancy, but on top of that my grandmother passed away. We had to cancel our vacation just days before we were supposed to leave and we had booked through a pay before you know site for our hotel. How we handled it: Thankfully, we had purchased travel insurance through an independent company such as Allianz Global Assistance. As soon as we cancelled our trip, we filed a claim, submitted the required documentation and we were able to get a refund for the costs we had already paid out of pocket within a few weeks. I have always purchased travel insurance when buying pre-paid hotels, and this incident just confirmed my belief in the importance of buying it.
- Getting sick or injured on vacation. The first time we took the Goof to California he was 10 months old. He was playing and fell and hit his head and was bleeding from it. We needed to take him to the hospital before even thinking of heading to the theme parks that day. Sometimes emergencies just happen. Whether you are hurt or maybe you get sick, it can throw a real wrench in your vacation plans. How we handled it: We luckily had a friend in the area who told us where the closest ER was. Back then, we didn’t have smart phones, but now, I am prepared for these kind of situations by having apps that can help me in case of an emergency. One of those apps is the TravelSmart App from Allianz Global Assistance (which you can download HERE). The Travel Smart App can access my travel insurance information but it can also help me find a hospital if needed. It can also help you translate first aid terms, find the name for medications, and even give you important numbers in other countries. Also, some travel insurance options have emergency medical coverage to help with those unexpected medical expenses.
- Lost or stolen luggage, etc. Okay: confession this didn’t technically happen to us, but to friends we were traveling with. We were in Southern California (because it is our favorite vacation destination after all) and the very first night there, someone broke into their Suburban and stole a bunch of items (including our extremely nice air mattress). But we have had lost luggage before (thankfully nothing important) and this is actually a pretty common travel disaster. How we handle it: Once again, this is where travel insurance is handy. Check your travel insurance policy because many include coverage for lost or stolen luggage. Second, check your home owners or renter’s insurance. Our insurance will cover theft of items in our vehicle, and so did our friends’ insurance. Also, take precautions and be sure to mark your items if flying with a ribbon or something that helps you know what is yours (sometimes people just grab the wrong suitcase). When you get to the hotel, be sure to take everything inside with you. Do not leave electronics in the car – not even your GPS. If you have lost or stolen luggage, a car break in, or anything else happen, call your insurance immediately.
Allianz Global Assistance can help you have peace of mind and enjoy your travel experience, even when a travel disaster may hit. Be sure to download their free TravelSmart app before your next vacation.
Have you experienced a travel disaster? How did you handle it?