Emergencies - what to do...
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Mar 10, 2011 4:58 AM Last Post By: lovlee
Feb 18, 2011 3:49 PM
Emergencies - what to do...I'm not sure if I'm posting in the right forum... but...
I'd like to ask experienced travelers or those have gone through some hassle.
- What to do if your wallet, passport gets stolen or lost somehow? Where to go to in such situations. Police stations, embassies, banks, call home? How is the process? Isn't it hard when you're in a third world country, there are language difficulties and you are yourself from a micronation?
Feb 19, 2011 2:46 AM
1Some countries have socialized emergency med.
Cops can do nothing for tourist victims. Police reports are only good for insurance claims.
I use a money belt that holds passport too. Its saved my bacon three times that I'm sure of. Big underground market for hot passports.
In the end; Its our responsibility.
Feb 19, 2011 7:43 AM
2Some might call me paranoid, but I've heard of travelers being asked to strip to show their money belts. Because of this, I keep my cash, credit cards, important documents in several locations on my body. Daily money is in my obvious wallet, credit cards are in a card hold & the backup one is in the money belt, my passport hangs around my neck in a neck purse with some backup cash, I keep travelers checks in a money belt underneath my pants, I have a money belt that actually keeps my pants up with several hundred dollars for emergencies. I also travel in cargo pants with lots of staps & zipper pockets to cause a pickpocket to tire of me. A friend of mine even sews hidden pockets into the back of his pants pockets. Short of being shot and killed, it will be very difficult for me to be relieved of everything. In 20+ years of travels, I've had only a camera stolen - and that was because I let down my guard
Additionally, I have a photocopy (black & white is legal) of my passport and the contact numbers & credit card numbers of my credit card companies all mailed to myself to retrieve in the case of emergencies.
Feb 19, 2011 10:12 AM
3Thanx for the info.
Several locations of valuables seems like a good idea. And a fake wallet or maybe two. Money belt seems like a good idea but maybe the most knowledgeable thieves scan for that.
Been doing some browsing lately and yeah there is a mention of photocopies of ones passport. Other back up info/emergency numbers seems sensible.
Maybe the most paranoid keep their credit cards in their underwear. I've thought of that... maybe it's a bit uncomfortable... But might be used if one sense danger...
I wonder how you get home if you've lost money and passport. By receiving some emergency money from the creditcard company or relatives? Then going to some bank to fetch them?
Regarding the passport hmm.. making some phonecalls to ministry of foreign affairs of your country?, being "identified" in an embassy(of a neighbouring country) or a police station? Thus receiving somkind of an emergency passport. It would be interesting to hear from someone that has gone through some of this mentioned
Feb 20, 2011 3:13 AM
4I got picp. in Puerta del Sol, Madrid. My first day in continent. I only had pesetas (can't be used except by going through a bank) in my wallet.
I keep all except daily cash in hand's reach. Atm card goes in mb, when I am not too lazy. Hey it works.
We only need our passport handy to change hotels and planes.
So its in my Rick Steves washable $7 investment mb too.
I've only been robbed while on the road four? times since 1963.
Didn't care nuch for it.
"IF YA WANNA HIDE YOUR MONEY FROM A THEAF, JUS PUT IT UNDER THE SOAP"
-Swedidish deck hand 1963
Feb 22, 2011 4:05 AM
5I always keep coins in my trouser pockets and notes in the front pocket of my shirt. A single credit card and some ID (passport, driver license or photocopy) in "secret" pocket. I never use wallets or money belts or anything like that.
When going to places more or less ruled by bandits or untrustworthy military I normally hide a few US dollars in my socks.
I have never got robbed or anything stolen from me. But when a friend of mine got stolen her credit card, passport and camera in Uganda the procedure was straight forward. First thing we did was calling the insurance back home. They initially wanted a police report, but when we told them how difficult it is to get such a thing in a legal way, they just payed up right away.
The next day we went to the danish embassy and got an emergency passport. Again, pretty straight forward. They are used to that stuff.
A week after the embassy called my friend and said that somebody had turned in her credit card and passport. Apparently the thieves only cared for her camera.
Feb 22, 2011 6:39 AM
Feb 24, 2011 3:26 PM
7Bleurgh yes the US of A can give you a hard time. One should carry a passport at all times on oneself I was told. On my way home from Boston I had to return some paper document/visa from when I arrived. I had completely forgotten were I put it but luckily it was in my jacket pocket.
Two years ago in France I was at a festival and couldn't find my passport. I had lost my jacket at the festival and deduced from that that the passport was in the jacket. I was supposed to fly at about 13 the day after and managed to get an emergency passport at my embassy( and frantically looked at a photoshop to take a pass pic nearby). The day after while unpacking my rucksack I found my original passport in a pocket in it :/
That passport was made obsolete when I got home and was clipped. However I kept it in my drawer and accidentally took it abroad the year after to Denmark! I was given a warning, but they let me through the icelandic customs... On my way home I held my fingers over the clippings on the passport to avoid trouble ,hehe.
I sometimes have Alzheimers light :/
Other than that some minor hassles with buses, metros and trains. One time I was on my way to Prag from Vienna to catch a flight. I thought it would be self evident that the train would stop at the central station.. but no... I had to go halfway to Dresden. But I caught the flight,
Edited by: ammagamla
Feb 25, 2011 1:36 AM
8First thing you should do is cancel your cards.
You generally need a police report to replace a passport or to claim insurance. I've had claims denied before because of no police report. And the trouble in many third world countries is the police get paid so little they can't be bothered to write a report, so they will tell you to go away, or just keep you waiting for ever. But they will write you one if you keep persisting (greasing palms also helps).
Feb 26, 2011 4:42 AM
9I have scanned copies of my passport and birth certificate, credit cards & drivers licence (actually my mother has both of those - i don't like to keep those online).
I don't want to lose my passport and will protect it but I have copies.
I also only have a small amount in my bank account that each card is connected to so if it got stolen there's only a small amount they can steal.
Mar 3, 2011 8:26 AM
10Many destinations popular with tourists have a "Tourist Police"...that would be the first place to go... They likely handle your kind of problem regularly...and can direct you to the next step... Supposedly these Tourist Police have some language training...mostly in English...the universal language of tourism now...
The next place to check might be in any large hotel...at the desk...they are used to problems coming up and can give good advise...even if you are not staying at their location...English skills are usually better there as well...
It is a good idea to seperate your ATM, credit cards and cash...into at least two locations...so the loss of one will not create a doomsday scenario... Remember losing one ATM card is a problem...losing all of your ATM cards is a disaster...!
You might leave some of your credit card and ATM data with someone at home...who could handle needed notifications if you are in a remote location...
Likely a lost passport will eventually be handled by the local embassy...so it might help to know the address and phone number in advance...
As to medical emergencies...your hotel desk is the best place to start... Desk people are used to tourists having problems...and they live locally so they probably know of the best and closest medical facility and can get your a good reference...and a taxi if needed...
This by the way is a good reason for staying in "real" hotels or hostels...and not renting an apartment... When you rent an apartment for your lodgings..there is often not one to call...and you are pretty much on your own...
The best way to handle emergencies is to be prepared and avoid having one in the first place...
Mar 3, 2011 12:26 PM
Mar 10, 2011 4:58 AM
12I had my bag stolen in a London bar with my passport, and wallet inside. Lucky I had my phone and oyster card in my pocket! Went to the police station but they weren't that helpful and didn't give me a police report which I didnt know I needed, to replace my working holiday visa in my new passport.
I went to the Australian embassy in London the next day and it was a long wait to get served. Didn't need a police report to get my passport replaced actually. It was suprisingly quite easy to get another passport and I didn't end up getting my visa replaced as the Home office required a police report which I tried many times to get it from the police but no one could help me. I called my banks to cancel my card and got my new credit card very quickly but debit card took a while so had to go into the branch to withdraw my money.
My advice is If you get your valuable belongings stolen, go to the police station to report it and don't leave without getting a police report. Then cancel all your cards and check that you don't have direct debits coming out of your card as I had forgotten about them and had a few problems there!
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