Planning for the worst and hoping for the best is a smart way to travel. An article on BudgetTravel.com talks about ways you can help yourself to prepare for and manage a travel emergency.
Points covered include:
You lose your passport
You’re sick–really sick
Your wallet is stolen
Your luggage is damaged, or worse
The flight is canceled, or you’re bumped
You’re in trouble with the law
You get the worst seat on the plane
Your companion is missing
There’s no record of your reservation
Stop procrastinating and start getting prepared
How does this work for visitors to Bali? Let’s go through the list.
• You lose your passport
Notify your consulate immediately. Here is a list of foreign consulates in Bali. If your country does not have a consulate in Bali or an embassy in Jakarta, contact the passport office in your home country. Also notify the local police department (0361-224111 in Kuta area) in case your passport in handed in. In this situation having a photocopy of your passport, as well as other photo ID will come in handy. Passport sized photos stored in your money-belt are always a good idea to bring, although you can get them made in Bali in about 20 minutes.
• You’re sick–really sick
Go to a reputable clinic such as BIMC or SOS International and get checked out. At this point in time you’ll realize the value of health insurance, as international quality health care comes with an international price tag. Here is a great place to buy travel / health insurance. If you have a special medical condition it might be a good idea to get a printed report from your doctor, along with medications prescribed. Someone once said if you can’t afford travel insurance you can’t afford to travel. They were right.
• Your wallet is stolen
Check your bags and your hotel room, list everything that was in your wallet, then make a
police report. Realize the police will also search your room to make sure you are not committing insurance fraud. If credit cards are also lost you need to cancel them. Having your bank data stored online can help. Yahoo Notepad is one of many places one can store data in Notes / Folders.
• Your luggage is damaged, or worse
Check your luggage BEFORE you pass through customs. That way you can quickly file a report
with the airline and force them to deal with you.
• The flight is canceled, or you’re bumped
Flights out of Bali are often quite full, especially the cheaper airlines. If a flight is canceled you should contact the airline staff at the airport and use your best judgment. If there is only 1 flight per day, who knows how long you’ll be hanging around. Try to get the correct info on when you will be on a plane. Fortunately the airport is close to many hotels, with the Patra hotel adjacent to the airport. Airlines will often put you in a hotel if your flight has been canceled.
• You’re in trouble with the law
In Bali the police generally have a friendly, non-threatening demeanor. There is no point is getting heated with them, just co-operate but ask to contact your consulate ASAP. If its more than just a traffic accident, you might want to wait until a lawyer is present before you make a statement.
• You get the worst seat on the plane
Best bet is to arrive at the airport early and remember to ask the check staff for the seat you want. Many people forget to ask and wind up in a spot they don’t like. Garuda flights out of Bali are often full, being the affordable option. Once inside the plane you should wait until the doors are shut and then move to a better seat if one is open.
• Your companion is missing
This may sound strange but sometimes people cannot remember which guest house they are
staying in, given the number of them. A night out in a new place, a few drinks and you might have difficulty finding your way home. When you check into a guest house take a card from the counter. If your friend gets lost and does not have a cell phone, you should both call home (this should be arranged before). Situations vary, but one strategy you might use is to cruise the area they were last seen in a taxi, also informing your guest house / hotel staff to keep an eye out for them. When you decide things have gone far enough contact the local police and your consulate.
• There’s no record of your reservation
Paper tickets are always better than e-tickets. If there is a problem with the computer system you always have some proof of having a ticket. Procedures in Bali / Indonesia may be a little erratic compared to western countries, so keeping your cool and politely asking questions is your best bet. A cell phone may come in handy if you are suddenly thrown a curve ball and have no time to alter plans.
BudgetTravel also has this to say about what to do when disaster strikes:
Stop procrastinating and start getting prepared
Make a photocopy of your passport.
Write down contact info for your health insurer, credit card companies, and bank.
Find out if, and how, your health insurance works abroad.
We could also add to that:
Getting your important data stored online.
Arranging a home phone number for travel partners to call in emergency.
Sharing copies of important documents, i.e giving a photocopy of your passport / credit card to your friend in case you lose everything.
Arrange your health / travel insurance.
Get printout of your medical history if special case applies (give copy to travel partner).