What to Do If You Are Stranded Abroad
Guest Post By: Mark Gray
Being stranded abroad is something that nobody wants to have to experience at any time. However, in the current crisis, and with COVID-19 spreading across the globe and wreaking havoc everywhere it goes, the concept of being stuck while on holiday, a stag party, or visiting family overseas has become a stark reality for more people than ever before.
This article will tackle the concept of being stranded abroad under normal circumstances, while also taking a look at what can be done if you end up in the wrong country in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Many countries have now closed their borders, and so foreign travel may not be possible for some time, but when restrictions are lifted, there could be another outbreak – and you need to be prepared. Planning for disaster is never easy, but being aware of what to do can be incredibly valuable at a time when you feel most vulnerable.
So, without any further ado, let’s break this down and give you all of the information you require.
If You Are Trapped Abroad (Under Normal Circumstances)
Of course, the very first thing that will cross your mind is the idea of getting home. This is your key priority, and we’re here to let you know how you can achieve it. However, there are also a number of considerations you must think about to ensure that you attain the right outcomes.
1. Stay informed
If you’re trapped overseas – either because of a natural disaster or an airline going bust – then you need to ensure that you get as many updates as you can. Keep checking social media, let the embassy know your situation, and make friends and family aware of what is going on so that they can – if necessary – make enquiries on your behalf.
2. Ask your airline
It seems like an obvious thing to do, but by asking your airline what the best course of action is, you will be able to potentially book a flight home (the best case scenario), or you will know more about when you might possibly secure a flight in the future (worst case scenario).
3. Speak to your embassy (and keep in touch)
This will largely depend on the severity of your situation – if you’re going to be stuck for weeks or months, for example – but your embassy might end up being your very best port of call if you need to secure urgent transport. If you are unable to sort yourself out, for whatever reason, then they will be able to offer advice or make arrangements on your behalf if it is warranted.
4. Be proactive and don’t lose hope
You have to ensure that you stay on top of things even when it looks like everything is crashing down around you. Keep doing things like checking the Google Flights website, keep the ITA Matrix website up on your phone or laptop, and make sure you aren’t spending unnecessary amounts of money on food or accommodation. Also – and this is probably something that most people don’t do, but should do prior to any trip – work out whether you will have access to additional funds should anything go wrong, and have a clear idea of where the embassy actually is.
Stranded in the Time of COVID-19
The coronavirus crisis is intensifying daily, and with borders closing and airlines reducing their flight numbers, many people are going to find themselves stranded.
Here’s what to do if you find yourself amongst that number.
1. Go to the airport and stay there
The official advice is to get to the airport as early as possible on the proposed day of departure, but that could mean lots of travel between airport and hotel, extra money spent on taxis, and additional stress due to being unaware of what is going on at any given time, and whether you will be able to get a seat on a plane should one turn up. Staying at the airport may be uncomfortable, but it will save you a lot of hassle.
2. Speak to your travel insurer
This may seem like obvious advice that doesn’t need to be reiterated, but it is absolutely essential that you get in touch with your insurer to explain your situation. Don’t leave it until you get back. Make them very aware of the situation, and keep any receipts for extra costs you may have accrued during your additional and unwanted stay.
3. Keep your phone by your side
With the situation around coronavirus changing continually, and given that there is so much information to try and stay on top of, it is important that you don’t try to navigate the situation alone. Ask for help from people back home and try to cover as many bases as possible.
Our thanks to Mark Gray for providing us with this excellent advice on what to do is you are stranded abroad.
Do you have some travel safety tips you would like to share with our readers? If you do, we would love to hear from you. For more information on how to get a guest post on Best Panic Alarm, visit our guest post submission guidelines. We look forward to hearing from you soon!