Travel mishaps and how you can overcome them

Overseas travel is an Aussie pastime. For some, it's a chance to relax. For others, it’s a chance to learn something new. But whatever your reason, there's no denying that travel brings along its fair share of challenges.

While some of these challenges can certainly make a good story at the pub, what you really need to watch out for are the unnecessary hassles.

Let's look at some of the overseas travel mishaps Aussies commonly encounter.

5 common Australian travel issues

A finder.com.au survey shows that nearly 40% of Aussie travellers have experienced an overseas travel mishap within the past five years. Here are the common predicaments travellers report.

  1. Travel delay (reported by 16% of Aussie travellers). Delays and cancellations can wreak havoc on the rest of your plans, creating undue stress and expense. They can also affect your safety depending on where you are stranded.
  2. Lost luggage (12%). Lost luggage is a huge time and money waster. There are the countless follow-ups with your travel providers, the stress and expense of locating replacements overseas and the danger of personal items falling into the wrong hands.
  3. Theft (11%). There’s nothing like theft to make you feel vulnerable. Stolen items are usually those that are expensive and/or tied to your identity, making the situation much worse than it needs to be.
  4. Seriously ill or injured (6%). Becoming ill or injured overseas can be a scary experience. You have to put your faith in an unfamiliar medical system, and even the mildest ailments can carry a hefty price tag.
  5. Car accident (5%). A lot can change in the blink of an eye. With car accidents, your finances, your safety and your plans are at risk.

Top 5 travel insurance claims

Not all of the situations described above are avoidable, but you can minimise some of the resulting loss and strife. One of the best ways to do this is by taking out travel insurance – a precaution taken by 89% of Aussie travellers, according to DFAT.

These savvy travellers are claiming for a similar set of mishaps as described above:

What happens if you're not insured?

If you’re among the 12% of travellers who don’t take out travel insurance, you might want to reconsider. A small one-time outlay of cash can keep a challenging situation from spiralling out of control.

Here are some of the consequences of not being covered when it matters most:

  • The expense. The cost of an uninsured mishap can really add up. Just a single day in the hospital can cost anywhere from $400 to $900 in some countries, not including the actual medical treatment. One delayed flight can cost hundreds if you’re forced to change the next few days’ worth of plans. Most insurance companies offer policies for situations just like these.
  • The time sink. Dealing with an airline that lost your luggage can be a bureaucratic nightmare. More serious situations like theft and automotive accidents can result in hours of paperwork and phone calls with authorities. Insurance companies will often handle some of this grunt work for you.
  • The vulnerability. A serious incident in a strange country can make you feel vulnerable. A policy that kicks in when you need it gives you a sense of control and gives you one less thing to worry about when times get tough.
  • The health concerns. Not all healthcare systems are created equal. Having insurance improves your chances of getting the best medical care available because you have the insurance company working on your behalf.

How to protect yourself when going overseas

Here are some simple steps you can take to minimise the impact of setbacks you experience while travelling:

  • Get a check-up beforehand. Your doctor will make sure your vaccinations are up-to-date, top up any important prescriptions and offer general medical advice regarding your travels.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Tourists are prime targets for criminals, so it pays to stay alert while travelling. Stay in well-lit, populated areas at night, keep your valuables out of sight and know where to find the Australian embassy in case of an emergency.
  • Don’t overdo it. Traveling is stressful enough as it is, so try not to fit too many things into your itinerary. A rushed schedule can lead to a scattered mind, increasing the possibility of injury, theft and missed connections.
  • Check travel advisories. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) regularly issues travel advisories for most countries. Check their list before planning your trip, and avoid countries DFAT has deemed to be unsafe.
  • Get travel insurance. Travelling overseas comes with enough challenges as it is. There’s no need to make it worse. With the right travel insurance, you’ll be reimbursed for situations like travel delays, medical expenses, thefts, lost documents and more.

Compare your travel insurance quotes

warning Finally, some good news! Domestic travel is picking up, so some insurers have started offering cover again 🦘
Just remember, you won't be covered for any pandemic related claims if you do take out domestic travel insurance.

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