The Worst Case Scenario Vacation Survival Guide

Social media makes it easy for even the most cautious among us to feel the stirrings of wanderlust. Gorgeous mountain peaks, beachside cocktail indulgences, and Italian wine tastings would give anyone a serious case of FOMO. Luckily, there are many affordable ways to indulge yourself in some vacation days, even if you’re a student or an underpaid worker.

With plenty of cheap flight reseller apps and hostels for wanderers on a budget, your dream trip is within reach. If you’ve decided to take a well-earned vacation, congratulations! We commend anyone who yearns to wonder where the WiFi is weak.

Remember that fate can step in at any time to wreak havoc on your good intentions. Chances are, however, you’ll have a great time and face only insignificant bumps in the road (such as forgetting the word for coffee while ordering at that adorable Parisian bistro) will interrupt your otherwise luxurious time away from home. In the unfortunate case that you run into a real crisis while traveling abroad, take heed. There are some simple tips you can use to survive even the worst case scenario.

Crashed your rental car?

Rental cars make navigating a foreign country a whole lot easier, even if you’re driving on the opposite side of the road. You would be surprised how often attorneys deal with personal injury negligence cases involving drivers in foreign countries. The possibility of getting into an accident abroad is about as likely as it is in your hometown, so this shouldn’t be a deterrent. On the other hand, it isn’t a bad idea to know what you could be getting yourself into and what to do should an accident occur.

The first thing to do following a fender-bender or collision in a foreign country is the same thing you should do at home: Call the emergency number (know what it is for where you are; for instance, it’s 999 in the UK) and request police assistance. Speak to the other driver and assess the severity of their injuries. Even if there is a language barrier, they will be grateful that you took the time to see if they’re okay.

After the police officers leave, you can and should request a report of the accident to review what has been written about the incident. Take photos and document the damage, all the while remembering to breathe and stay calm.

Going into shock after an accident is very common. It may be helpful to recall that rental car companies are aware of the potential of accidents and take precautions to protect themselves and you. Most will have 24-hour roadside assistance available. If the damage is unsalvageable and the vehicle needs to be removed from the scene at once, enclosed auto transport companies are only a brief phone call away.

Broke an appliance?

If you break something in a hotel room, are you required to pay for it? It’s a commonly asked question for good reason. Plenty of travelers accidentally smash vases, drop mirrors, dent headboards, and more. If you do break something, you might be tempted to deal with it yourself by replacing the item or calling for repairs as discreetly as possible. Of course, appliance repair is accessible all over the country, so you’ll be able to get a qualified repairman to swing by, but you should never lie about an incident.

In the travel industry, it’s considered extremely bad manners to keep damage a secret from hotel employees. They likely will find out, but even if they don’t, guests who stay in the room after you can hurt themselves on shards of glass and complain. Housekeepers typically do a good job of cleaning between stays, but they sometimes miss small pieces of glass.

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