The people at the Eurocross Emergency Center help out holidaymakers every day. They know the common problems and how you can prevent them. These are their top tips.
Preparing for a vacation
Are you going on holiday abroad? Good preparation is half the job. For example, consider the following things.
1. Check if your destination is covered by your travel insurance. The countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea usually fall within Europe as a coverage area. Will you go further afield, for example to the US, Asia or the Caribbean? You need global coverage.
2. Check if Medicare is properly covered. Do you only have basic health insurance? Then you will not be compensated more than the cost of treatment in the Netherlands. Do you need more expensive treatment abroad? Then you need additional health or travel insurance with medical costs covered. If you will be participating in extreme sports, you will often need additional cover for this. Think winter sports, diving and mountaineering. You can find information about this in your policy schedule. Or ask your insurance company.
3. Verify the validity of your passport. If you go to the UK, your passport must be valid for at least six months.
4. Check if you need to be vaccinated, for example against rabies. If you are bitten, licked or scratched by an infected animal, you need to be vaccinated to protect you from getting the disease. There is a shortage of vaccinations in some countries in South America and Asia. If you get vaccinated before leaving, you are at lower risk. You can check which vaccinations you need on the GGD website.
5. Find information about your vacation destination. Check the weather during your travel period, what facilities are available nearby and what travel documents you need. It is also wise to check where you can go if you are having health issues in your holiday destination.
6. Save a copy of your passport or ID card in your phone.
7. Make sure your debit card is suitable for the area you are going to. If you go on holiday outside of Europe, you must activate your debit card to use it outside of Europe.
8. Bring a valid credit card for emergencies and car rentals if necessary.
9. Place medications, glasses, and other essentials in the bag you carry with you. Also remember pain relievers, first aid kit and sunscreen.
10. Make sure you can charge your phone on the go, for example using a power bank.
11. Carry your health insurance card with you and save your emergency center number in your phone.
The most common diseases on holidays are stomach and intestinal infections. You can’t completely prevent digestive problems, but you can reduce the risks. These are the most important tips.
- Make sure you know if the tap water at your destination is safe to drink. If not, make sure you have plenty of bottled water.
- Do not eat raw meat.
- Always wash vegetables and fruits well, and make sure to pre-cut vegetables.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or using an antiseptic gel.
Accidents are also common on holidays, for example while exercising outdoors. If you plan to go hiking in the mountains or rafting, for example, make sure you are in good shape and that you are using good equipment. If you are going to practice a sport that you do not have much experience with, it is wise to do so under supervision. Also be careful when renting a scooter or bicycle (electric) abroad. For example, the roads on a Greek island can be more dangerous than you are used to. Only drive a scooter if you have experience. Also make sure you have protective clothing and of course a helmet.
Are you going on holiday by car or camper? These are useful tips for traveling safely.
1. Check the car before leaving. You can also perform certain checks yourself, such as tire pressure and oil level. During a long trip, it is wise to repeat these checks along the way.
2. Check your car insurance coverage. Are breakdowns and damages abroad covered by insurance?
3. Make sure you know the traffic rules of the country you are going to or driving through. You can search for the rules on Europe.eu.
4. Make sure you’re ready to crash. Think warning triangle, safety vests, spare wheel, spare key, and vehicle papers. Also make sure you have a water bottle and blanket in the car.
5. Are you suffering from a breakdown on the road and waiting for help? Then stay behind the handrail with the passengers.
Please note that if a malfunction occurs, you may not be able to use your vehicle for a long time. Repairs can sometimes take a long time, for example because the garages do not have enough staff or because certain parts are not in stock. It is also not always possible to quickly find a rental car. If your car is beyond repair, you may need to use another means of transportation home, such as a train.
Travel safely with your important belongings
1. Don’t keep all your important things together, divide them into different bags. Think about your bank cards, credit card, travel documents and phone.
2. Take copies or photos of important documents, such as your passport. Keep this separate from your passport.
3. Save the emergency center number in your phone.
What if I get robbed?
- Were you injured during a robbery and would you go to see a doctor? Always contact the emergency center for possible treatment and for advice and assistance.
- File a report to the police. If you do not speak the language well, you can seek help from the emergency center. Make sure you get a copy of the official report.
- Have you lost your necessary travel documents? Please contact the emergency center for advice and assistance. You will find information about applying for an emergency passport on the Dutch government website Nederlandwereldwijd.nl. Do you have to travel by plane and cannot obtain an emergency passport before that time? Then ask the airline if you are allowed to travel, for example by showing your police report and/or a copy of your passport. If you are not allowed to attend, you may have to incur additional costs for a new ticket and additional overnight stays. You may be reimbursed for these costs from your travel insurance, depending on the terms of the policy.
- Have you lost your money and bank card? Then block your bank card as soon as possible. This can be easily done via online banking or in the app. Sometimes you can request emergency funds from your bank. Or you can ask family or friends to transfer money to an exchange office. This is only possible if you can show a valid ID.
- Have you lost your money, bank card and passport? Then you can’t send money because you can’t identify yourself. So you must first arrange an emergency passport, but that costs money. Can’t you borrow this money and there is no one who can help you? Then call the emergency center. People at the emergency center can discuss with your insurance company what help you can get.
- Have you lost your driver’s license? Then ask your local police if you are allowed to drive if you can file a report of your lost driver’s license.
- Did you miss other things? Then you don’t have to call the emergency center. For example, if your sunglasses are stolen, you can call your insurance company when you are home.
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