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Travelling abroad can be exciting, providing a sheer pleasure knowing that you will be on holiday to enjoy the sights and activities of the place. 

However, tragedy can strike at any time and knowing how to deal with it can be a big help.

Travellers face many mishaps when abroad, some that ruin their holiday all together. While some cannot be avoided, you can be prepared when you are faced with it.

Travel tragedy 1: ‘I have food poisoning’

Undoubtedly one of the most terrible experiences when abroad, food poisoning can put a brake on enjoying a particular country. Food poisoning happens when food is contaminated, not properly cooked or left opened for insects and bugs. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite.

What to do: When confronted with food poisoning, one needs to have lots of rest and drink lots of fluids. They will also need to ascertain the cause of the poisoning and alert the person responsible. To prevent this, try to eat food at established spots and steer away from street food unless you have had the necessary medication and vaccines. There are also compensation that can be paid to you for the inconvenience. To get more information, speak to the authorities or the hotel who will advise you how to go about claiming.


Travel tragedy 2: ‘Someone stole my belongings’

No one wants their belonging stolen on holiday, but there are thieves waiting to prey on tourists. Whether its for a phone, your cash or to inflict pain, thieves know exactly what to do to get what they want. Sometimes one can retrieve their belongs, but other times your belongings are gone forever.

What to do: While the initial response is to panic and be scared, one has to rub those feelings away and be brave. You should not show your vulnerability in a foreign country as that is what attracts thieves to you. Instead, keep a number of the nearest police station with you to report the matter. Try to get witnesses to help during this time as the more witnesses, the better the chances of the culprits being caught. If police are not doing much, try to alert the nearest embassy who can also try their best to help. It's important that when out exploring you do not take much with you. Try to stock money, travel documents and other important travel items in the safe of your hotel room. Try to take only what is needed and never walk alone, especially in places known for their crime. Report stolen items with your travel insurance.
Travel tragedy 3: ‘I have been scammed’

Scam artists prey on tourists and if you are not educated about the scams of a particular destination, you are likely to be one. Scams can be avoided, but if you are a victim there are ways to rise above it.

What to do: Be smart, ask questions. Scam artists think tourists are naive and use that to their advantage. If you get scammed, alert the police and provide a description. In most cases, the perpetrator is a repeat offender and police can get back your belongings. The transport sector, that is taxi and tuk tuk drivers are usually the ones who scam tourists with exorbitant prices.  

Travel tragedy 4: ‘I need to be treated in a foreign hospital’

Many people are skeptical about going to hospitals in their home towns, so imagine the horror when they need to be hospitalised in a foreign one. Health problems or accidents can happen anywhere and being able to get reliable treatment during this time is a must. Many people do not like taking insurances when they go abroad, but it's the same insurances that can help when a tragedy like hospitalisation happens.

What to do: Alert your insurance immediately, who will run you through the process. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, ask your doctor to write a note so that when you abroad and need medical help, the doctor in that country can better understand the condition.