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TweetUnfortunately, sometimes things can go wrong when traveling the world, so it’s a good idea to be fully prepared so that you can deal with any potential disaster that comes your way.
Missing a flight is something that most travelers will never experience (particularly the ones that don’t fly very often). Compare this with someone that’s never flown before who decides to get to the airport 5 hours early ‘just in case’.
It sounds obvious, but give yourself enough time to get to the airport and plan to get there AT LEAST 2.5 hours before your flight is scheduled to leave. Because airlines often overbook their flights (as they known someone won’t turn up), getting on the next flight is sometimes just a matter of being changed over. Occasionally you’ll miss a connecting flight because of circumstances out of your control (such as because your first flight was delayed or late getting in). Losing your luggage at the airport is a real pain, and can often have a negative effect on the start of your trip (as you’ll have no clothes, toothbrush, etc.). Depending on the length of your trip, consider not checking any luggage at all (and only taking carry-on luggage with you). Pack one lightweight outfit in your carry-on so that you have something extra to wear if your luggage is lost.
If you’ve waited at the baggage claim for over an hour, and your bag hasn’t come out (and everyone else has left), the chances are your luggage has been lost.
Remain calm and polite, as they might be able to get it to you within a few minutes (depending on where it is). Photocopy the main page (the one with your picture on it) and carry a few copies of it on you (stored in different bags, if possible). Realize that passports get lost all the time, and that (although it is a massive, time-consuming hassle), replacing a lost passport is entirely possible (and that there are systems in place to help you do so).
The speed at which your passport is replaced sometimes comes down to how much you’re prepared to spend. People often talk about certain places being more pickpocket-friendly, but the truth is that you can have your belongings stolen (in one way or another) in anywhere in the world – from London and Paris to Bangkok and Sydney. Avoid looking like a rich tourist whenever possible, as you’ll naturally attract opportunistic thieves. If a local-looking person offers to show you around (or to take you to where you want to go), use caution.
Unfortunately, there is very little you can do to avoid a natural disaster if you’re unlucky enough to be at the point where it hits. Before traveling to a new region (particularly an area that you know little about or haven’t previously visited) do some homework on the area to find out if certain natural disasters are likely to occur during your visit.
You should ALWAYS purchase travel insurance before traveling (as it’ll cover you for financial losses), ESPECIALLY when you’re going to areas that might be affected by floods, earthquakes, etc. If you are unlucky enough to be caught in the eye of the storm (but you’re lucky enough to avoid personal injury), the first thing that you should do is to attempt to contact your family back home to reassure them of your safety (as no-doubt they’ll be worried sick about you). Remember that at times of natural disaster, the whole country will likely be in a state of panic, so it’s important to stay calm and to help out where you can. Unfortunately (as with most natural disasters), there is very little that you can do in regards to avoiding political turmoil whilst visiting a country if it suddenly escalates while you’re there (as many travelers may have found recently during the unrest in Egypt).
Before planning a trip (or traveling to a new area while you’re on the road), make sure to do your homework.
If you’ve planned a trip to a potentially politically volatile area, and before you leave a situation erupts, it’s worth seriously considering cancelling your trip.
Even the best laid plans can go awry, so if you do find yourself in politically unstable country (where protesting, rioting, curfews and all kinds of things might occur) what should you do? Start out by getting in touch with your embassy (every country will have embassy from every other major country in it). If you have a flight out of the country already booked but you want to fly out early, contact the airline to find out what their policy on the situation is.
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You may suffer serious injuries or get sick, miss a flight on an airplane, lose your luggage, have important items stolen from you, lose your passport or encounter natural disasters (such as earthquakes and floods) or political unrest.
It seems a little counter-intuitive, but it’s often the people that fly the most that miss the most flights.
On the day of a flight, however, I always make sure to set a second (back-up) alarm just in case my first alarm doesn’t go off (should I need to wake up early for a flight). As a rule, I like to give myself at least an hour when transferring (although if you know the airport well you may want to cut that time down).
Whether you’re charged a fee for this largely depends on the airline, the person you’re dealing with and how polite you are to them. In times such as these, the airline is completely to blame, and you’ll just have to wait it out until they can put you on another flight.
This essentially removes the chance of your luggage being lost, as it’ll always be right there on the plane with you.
Having your passport lost or stolen means that doing all kinds of things that you take for granted (such as crossing borders, changing currency, checking into hotels and hostels and boarding airplanes) are infinitely more difficult.
If you choose to carry it on your person, keep it in a secure bag (such as a travel pouch or a bag that is hidden under your shirt).
If you lose your passport, at least you’ll have all the necessary information, so it’s better than nothing.
If possible bring a photocopy of your passport as it’ll help when filling out the various forms.
If you have an impending departure, you might need to spend a little to speed up the process. This is why traveler’s checks work so well (as they can be easily replaced if you lose them). Not every room will have this (especially if you’re staying in a beach hut in Thailand), so in these cases you may be able to store items behind the front desk instead. This means you should avoid wearing flashy clothes, big jewelry and carrying a large camera around with you.
This is a lot harder when traveling on your own, as you won’t have a friend to watch them for you (while you go to the bathroom). Even ‘official’ taxi drivers will promise to take you to local landmarks, before taking you straight to their brother’s souvenir shop.
A friend of mine once left his bags in a tuk-tuk in Cambodia while he ran into a convenience store to grab a soft drink. There may be very little that they can do, but at least you’ll know you’ve done what you can. Claims can sometimes end up taking while to complete, so it’s a good idea to get it started as soon as possible. Tornados, hurricanes, floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, avalanches and mudslides are some of the most common disasters.


If you discover that certain disasters regularly occur at certain times of year, consider changing the date of your trip (or going somewhere else).
When buying a travel insurance policy, make sure that natural disasters are covered (read the small print). When a natural disaster hits, the chances are that it’ll be covered by most news channels all over the world. For US travelers, reading the State Department website will give you advice on where safe (and where isn’t safe) to travel. Use your common sense and remember that your health (and your life) is far more important than the price of your trip.
Many airlines often charge you to change the date of your flight, but under certain circumstances they tend to become more lenient.
The chances are that you won’t fully understand what’s going on and the way the country works, so it’s best just to stay out of the situation altogether. The characteristic spiral banding of dense clouds and rains make cyclonic storms easy to identify. When you do something regularly (such as flying), it’s easy to become complacent and to start leaving things till the last minute.
Missing your connecting flight is frustrating and means you’ll have to spend potentially hours sitting around in a strange airport. Being polite and treating the airline desk staff respectfully will also increase your chances of receiving a freebie or two (such as upgraded seats). If you choose to keep it in your hotel room, keep it in a SECURE safe or locker – where thieves won’t be able to get at it. Scan it in and email a copy of this to yourself (so you always have it on your email account). Also try to avoid holding a big map out in front of you like you have no idea where you’re going. When he returned, the taxi driver was gone (along with all of his belongings) and he was left with nothing.
Always wear them diagonally across your body (instead of just over one shoulder) and keep them done up at all times.
In addition to this, insurance companies (providing you have travel insurance) will always ask for a police report when you file a claim, so it’s important to have one for that reason. Fortunately, natural disasters are rare, meaning you shouldn’t be overly worried about them when traveling.
Your family and friends will naturally be worried if they think you might be affected, so by letting them know where you are they’ll know whether you were caught up in the chaos or not.
This does not necessarily mean that they should be avoided; just that you should take the proper precautions beforehand. Note, however, that the warnings given on this site often slightly exaggerate the severity of what’s going on.
Sometimes they may just ask you to stay put, but if the situation is severe and you’re in potential danger they’ll likely have a plan to evacuate you as soon as possible. Obviously if a natural disaster occurs near to where you’re traveling, it’s a good idea to call back home and let everyone know you’re okay. Another good way to research into an area is to check out some local travel and news blogs, as they’ll often have up-to-date information on the area they’re based on. The drive there is usually a pretty easy and uneventful one, but the last time I flew out a lorry had turned over on the motorway and there was a massive delay and a line of traffic that stretched back for miles. Linkages between environment, natural disasters and development need to be clearly established to mitigate disasters and to improve environment.(2) The main thrust should be shifted from Disaster Relief to Disaster Mitigation. All developmental projects in vulnerable areas should be linked with and used to the maximum extent possible for disaster mitigation.



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