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How to Handle Minor Travel Emergencies

When travelling, it is important to go with the motto “expect the unexpected”.  This means to be prepared for all those unexpected minor travel emergencies such as missed flights, lost travel documents and may be even problems with rental cars.

The best way to prepare yourself for these unexpected travel emergencies is to learn how to handle them should they happen to you. The team at Ace Airport Parking have gathered some helpful tips on how to handle some of the most common minor travel emergencies.

Photo credit: Mac Qin on

Travel Emergency #1 – Rental Car Breakdowns

Anything can happen when you are driving a rental car.  You could experience a flat tyre, the engine could overheat or the car could just simply stop working.  It is important to know what to do should this happen to you while on holiday.

First, don’t panic. Get yourself safely to the side of the road and out of the way of traffic.

After that, you can call the rental car company.  Some rental car companies include basic roadside assistance in the cost of the rental.  Call the company and see how they want you to handle the repairs.

In some cases, the rental company may come out and send you a new car.  Other times they may send a repairman to help you out.  In rare cases, you may be responsible for the repairs yourself, especially if you haven’t purchased roadside assistance from the rental company.


Travel Emergency #2 – Lost Photo ID or Passport

Everyone who travels needs to have a photo ID or a passport.  If you have misplaced your ID or passport or it has been stolen, you need to get a replacement as soon as possible.

For lost photo IDs, you can report the loss or theft to the local police.  That is if you are travelling domestically.

International travellers will have to go to the consulate or embassy to replace their photo ID and passport.  There is an entire process that must be completed and this can take anywhere from a few hours to several days for you to be issued with a replacement passport.


Travel Emergency #3 – Missed Flight

Afraid you might miss your flight?  The first thing you should do is to call the airline.  Many airlines allow you to make changes to your flight if you are running late.  There may be a small fee associated with the change, but it is better than missing your flight and having to buy a new ticket.

Travel Emergency #4 – Phone Goes Missing or is Stolen

The minute you suspect your phone is stolen, call the company and suspend the service.  This will prevent people from racking up charges and leaving you with a huge bill. If you find the phone, you can always restore your service.   If the phone has been stolen you will need to contact the local police.


Travel Emergency #5 – Hotel is Overbooked

Hotels, especially in foreign countries, will often book more rooms than they have.  This allows them to keep a constant stream of money coming in should someone cancel their reservation.  Unfortunately, this can lead to problems.

If you show up to your hotel and they are overbooked, don’t panic.  The hotel will usually offer to pay for your first night in a nearby hotel that is similar to the hotel you booked.  This will still give you a place to stay.


Travel Emergency #6 – Cancelled Flight

Cancelled flights are frustrating, but most airlines will handle everything for you.  They will help with getting you onto the next flight and will even offer food and accommodation vouchers if the cancellation was their mistake.


Travel Emergency #7 – Lost Luggage

If you arrive at the luggage carousel and your bags aren’t there, there are a few things you need to do:

  • Check that your bags have not been taken off and set aside.
  • Talk to the airline and make a report that your bags are missing.
  • Ask about the deadline to file a lost luggage report (usually 24 to 72 hours after the bags have gone missing).

If the airline loses your bag completely, they may be responsible for providing financial compensation so that you can replace the lost items.  Compensation will vary depending upon when you file the lost luggage report and what was inside the bag.

Learning what to do in a minor travel emergency can help reduce your stress should you encounter one of these situations.  These tips hopefully will prove helpful when you are preparing for your next business trip or exciting family holiday.


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