Home » Featured »

How to avoid these six common travel disasters

When you’re planning a trip abroad, it is unlikely your first thought (or even second or third) is about what could go wrong.


DUInsure sought out the six most common travel disasters and offered insight on how to deal with them.

In many ways, the right way to approach travel is not to worry about what might go wrong. However, as a travel insurer, DUInsure knows only too well the problems and disasters that can befall travellers that can end up costing you time and money.

Their biggest recommendation for travellers will always be to ensure that you take out the correct travel insurance, in particular, a policy that covers everything you intend to do abroad including any sports; too many people either don’t take out insurance at all or don’t fully cover themselves, leading to a hefty bill if something does go wrong.

What do you mean I have to pay?

We’ve all been there – whether you were just having a quick kick-about with your friends or you decided to try a bit of zorbing or quad biking – injuries can happen. But when they happen abroad things can get a little more complicated depending on which country you happen to be visiting.

The UK is lucky enough to have free healthcare but in many other countries treatment must be paid for and as a traveller it can become costly. Travel insurance is there to help cover medical bills and ensure you aren’t left out of pocket. Your insurance will even cover the cost of bringing you home early if you are badly injured.

How am I going to get home?

Have you ever been stuck in the airport, all ready to go, waiting for your flight to be announced – when suddenly the screen changes and you see that your flight has been cancelled? This situation is a nightmare for anyone, but even worse if you then have to find the money to pay for an alternative flight.

Travel insurance is there to cover the cost of alternative flights to get to your destination or even accommodation if you have nowhere to sleep until you can get on another flight. Don’t forget that it is always worth checking your flight before you leave home or your hotel, just in case there have been delays or cancellations.

Had an accident?

As we mentioned in a previous article, road trips are a great way to explore and see some fantastic sights, particularly around Europe. If you are choosing to take your own car abroad, do ensure you are still covered by your insurer or that you buy extra cover, otherwise, if you’re involved in an accident you could be left footing the bill yourself.

When you hire a car abroad, you may find that your own insurer covers you when driving a rental car or that the fee you paid for the hire car covers you. But be careful, as many car hire companies add on large excesses to their rental agreements in the event of an accident, which the hirer is then liable for.

You can cover yourself for this by taking out car hire excess insurance, which covers the cost of this excess if you are involved in an incident. Top tip: it is generally cheaper to buy these before you travel rather than use the rental company’s own policy which can cost much more per day.

What hotel?

We have heard many horror stories over the years from travellers who have arrived at their accommodation to discover it isn’t quite what they expected. Remember when some travellers arrived at their hotel to discover it wasn’t even completely built yet? More common are stories about dirty rooms and rude hotel staff that can leave travellers with a very bad taste in their mouth.

When you’re booking a trip, make sure you thoroughly research your accommodation and check reviews to see what other people thought of that particular place. It’s also worth noting that many insurance policies will cover you if your accommodation turns out to be uninhabitable, but you should check the policy wording for further information.

Where’s my luggage?

If you asked travellers to pick their most annoying holiday disaster, many would likely tell you it involves losing their luggage.

Problems with luggage are common, particularly when you have connecting flights and bags must be quickly moved from plane to plane. However, with travel insurance, you need not panic as your policy is there to cover the additional costs of replacing your clothing, toiletries and valuable items. You are also covered for lost passports or travel tickets, and remember that having photocopies or digital copies of these documents can prove handy if you need to submit a claim.

You can’t fly, there’s a volcano erupting

Remember in 2010 when an Icelandic volcano erupted halting air travel for several days? Unfortunately, nobody can predict or control Mother Nature and natural disasters are a frustrating part of travel. When you’re buying travel insurance, always check if you are covered in the event of a natural disaster. Some policies carry it as standard, whereas others require you to add it on if you should wish. If you’re travelling to an area that is prone to earthquakes, volcano eruptions or tsunamis, for example, it is particularly worth checking your policy for this. Always check your destination before leaving as you may invalidate your policy by travelling despite restrictions.

In general, many of the problems with travel are easily protected against or rectified by having the correct travel insurance policy. It is important to protect yourself and your fellow travellers against unnecessary costs and stress so that you are free to enjoy your holidays.