What to do if your holiday turns into a horror

A holiday is a time for rest and relaxation but here are a few tips in case things go wrong before or after you jet off.

If something goes wrong before you head off

You should think about taking out travel insurance as soon as you book your holiday. It can offer you protection if you need to cancel the trip before you go. If you do need to cancel your trip, it is also worth contacting the hotel and airline directly as they may be able to refund you or offer alternative arrangements.

When buying travel insurance make sure to check the price difference between cover for a single trip and for the entire year as it can be more cost effective to get an annual policy, especially if you travel a couple of times a year.

Accommodation isn’t up to standard

If you have booked a package holiday report the problem to your local rep immediately, ask for a complaint form and keep copies of any documents you submit. The complaints procedure should be outlined in the contract from the travel agent.

They must compensate you if what you get is different to what was promised – for example no pool at the hotel when one was advertised – but they should be given the chance to fix the problem at no extra cost to you.

If you are not happy with their response you should gather as much evidence as possible (photos, video footage) as you may want to make a further complaint when you return home. This should be done in writing within 28 days. If you are still not satisfied with the outcome and your claim doesn’t exceed €2,000, you can use the Small Claims procedure.

If you didn’t book a package holiday you will need to make a complaint directly to the hotel or whoever you booked it through as soon as possible.

If something is stolen

You should notify the local police as soon as possible and if you have travel insurance you should check your policy as there may be certain steps you have to take to make a claim. In some cases you may need to get a fully translated police report within a certain timeframe or contact your insurer’s emergency assistance line as soon as possible after the event. Terms and conditions can vary between providers so you should read them fully before you travel as there may be certain things you need to do in order to claim.

If your bank details or debit or credit cards are stolen, notify your bank immediately so they can be cancelled or a hold can be placed on them. You can find emergency contact numbers on their websites or ideally have these written down before you depart.

If you fall ill or have an accident

If you are unlucky enough to get sick or have an accident while away then it is important to know what you are covered for by your travel or health insurance policy. If you have a European Health Insurance Card you are entitled to free or reduced-cost state-provided healthcare when visiting other EU countries or Switzerland. However medical costs in some countries can still be very high so it is better to have travel insurance too.

Medical expenses and repatriation are some of the biggest issues people on holidays can face if the worst happens, so it is important to have appropriate cover in place before you go and to make sure you’re fully aware of what is covered and any exclusions that may be in place.

Learn more about making sure your holiday runs smoothly in our travel guide.

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