The ideal holiday is a special time. After weeks, months, or sometimes years, of planning and saving, ideally, it should be a stress-free and relaxing time for you to enjoy.
Making sure you take enough money with you and have access to your funds while you’re away (especially after saving up for so long), should be a key part of planning your holiday.
What To Do In A Financial Emergency When On Holiday
But what if the unexpected happens, you get caught in a financial emergency and suddenly need money? What are your options and where can you go for help? By answering these questions, this post aims to help.
Typical holiday emergencies
A financial emergency on holiday can be any incident, minor or major, which results in you not having the necessary funds to cover the cost of the problem. Some examples are:
- Replacing a broken suitcase
- Paying for new clothing, due to a suitcase going missing
- Paying for an extra night in a hotel, due to flight delays or cancellations
- Covering the cost of an additional return flight and hotel stay, following a family medical emergency
- Paying for medication and hospital treatment after an accident
- Covering the cost of a lost passport
- Replacing lost or stolen holiday money
- Covering the cost of a lost flight ticket
Emergencies like this can severely eat into your holiday budget and cause financial difficulties. This can put a real damper on a trip you’ve been looking forward to for months.
So what are my options?
Should you find yourself running low on cash on holiday due to an emergency, try not to panic. There are a number of options available to you that can help:
- Travel Insurance – In the event that you lose your flight tickets, have your holiday money stolen, or you need to pay for a medical emergency, travel insurance should be able to cover the cost. This includes needing to return home early because of an emergency and the cost of repatriation (getting you back to your home country).
It’s worth remembering that different travel insurance companies offer policies with different features. So, when planning your holiday, consider doing your research and selecting the one that will be most beneficial to you in a financial emergency.
- Embassies/Consulate – In extreme situations when on holiday, such as bereavement, being the victim of a crime, or losing a passport, the British Embassy can help. In the event of a financial emergency, some of the key things the embassy can help you with, include:
- Help you contact your family and friends
- Issue you with replacement documents, if your passport has been lost or stolen
- Provide information on transferring money
- Supply you with a list of doctors, lawyers, interpreters, and funeral directors
It’s important to note, though, that unless you’re in need of medical treatment and don’t have travel insurance, it’s very rare that the embassy will provide a financial solution. And it won’t pay bills or give you money.
- Family – If you have family or close friends you can lean on at your time of need, then don’t be afraid to. They may be able, willing and happy to help. They could transfer the cash you need to cover your finances until you get home, if an incident has left you out of pocket, or help you fund a costly emergency, like paying for return flights or medical treatment.
Asking family for financial support can put you in (what may feel like) an uncomfortable position. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that a parent or close relative would probably be disappointed or frustrated if you never considered asking them for help.
While there are options of help and support available, with careful budgeting and planning, many financial issues when on holiday can be avoided. So it pays to be prepared. Consider having a travel credit card that holds a small emergency fund, for instance, or keep some spare cash to one side, just in case.
That said, some emergencies that occur on holiday, such as an accident or illness, are unavoidable. Having travel insurance and being aware of where your nearest embassy is located, can be a big help and should be a key part of your holiday preparation.