Most people who go on vacation don’t arrive at their destinations fully prepared.
We can’t blame them. There’s a lot of excitement and buzz leading up to the big trip. But even though you want everything to go perfectly on your time off, it really pays to prepare for the worst. Or at least, that’s the advice from travel expert Loren Christie, who sat down with Canada AM recently to discuss how to handle any kind of travel emergency life could throw your way.
Here’s what you should do if…
You lost your passport
Before you leave for your trip, it helps to pack photocopies of your passport (and all of your important travel documents) and also leave another one with a friend back home. If you do actually lose it while abroad, you want to immediately contact the nearest government of Canada passport office. If you’re returning to Canada, the problem should be solved within 48 hours. If you lose it in the middle of a multi-national trip, well, the office will have to investigate and it will likely take longer to resolve.
Your hotel lost your booking
Again, before you even leave Canada, call the hotel to confirm your booking. If you arrive and they still have no record of it, make sure you’ve brought some form of confirmation with you. If you can provide that, the hotel should honour it. If the building has been overbooked though, the hotel is responsible for arranging, and paying for, your alternative accommodation.
You get stuck on the tarmac
This won’t be the answer you were hoping to hear, but your rights are very limited when stuck on the tarmac. This is because these delays are caused by the airport, not the airline, and regulations differ from country to country. In Canada, the plane is supposed to return to a gate after 90 minutes to give passengers the option to disembark. But in some cases, there are no available gates to return to, which is why you sometimes hear about 6-hour plus tarmac delays. This is one problem where you have to cross your fingers and just hope for the best.
Someone dies on your trip
Obviously, this is the last thing you want to happen on your vacation. But it does happen, and it’s good to be prepared. If someone on your trip passes away, you want to follow local regulations when it comes to registering the death. You also want to obtain a death certificate from the country where the death occurred, as you will need that to register the death back in Canada.
For more information about what you can do in various travel emergencies, check out the video above.