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How To Avoid Holiday Headaches

Aug 17, 2007
Planning a holiday? Here are some top tips on how to make your trip as pleasurable as possible and avoid those common holiday headaches:

1) Make sure you get two photocopies of your passport before you travel. Leave one with a friend or a relative and take the other with you on holiday, keeping the copy separate from the original.

2) Report a lost or stolen passport to the Identity & Passport Office as soon as you can so it can be cancelled. Contact the local police and report the passport to the nearest British Embassy, Consulate or High Commission, who can help you arrange a replacement.

3) Keep your passport with you at all times when travelling to your destination.

4) Photocopy your travel insurance details, tickets and travel itinerary before you travel and leave a copy with a friend or relative.

5) Make a note of any emergency numbers for lost or stolen credit cards and take this with you.

6) If you are taking anything valuable or any electrical equipment, take photographs of it before you travel. If you need to make a claim, you will be able to provide accurate descriptions. Make sure you have the receipts also as many insurance companies request proof you owned the item in the first place.

7) If baggage does not always arrive at its destination, or it may be damaged or something might be missing. If this happens, the airline is liable under the Montreal Convention. But be aware that airlines impose maximum claim limits, regardless of what your luggage and contents are worth. You also have a set time limit to claim.

8) A bag is classed as delayed if it arrives within 21 days. If a bag has still not turned up after 21 days, it is classed as lost.

9) If you make a claim, an airline may ask for a list of items that were in the missing baggage, and possibly for original receipts. Be aware that any offer will be unlikely to match a claim in full because they will take into account depreciation. An airline's maximum liability is 1,000 Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). This is a unit of currency that fluctuates. 1,000 SDRs is worth approximately GB£809 (US$1542)

10) When individual items are missing from baggage it is very difficult to get any compensation from an airline because it is hard to prove you packed them in the first place. Most airlines have a clause saying that they do not accept responsibility for valuable items such as cameras, camcorders, mobile phones or jewellery. Always have travel insurance to cover you for this instance and always carry valuables in hand luggage.

11) If you need to make a baggage claim, report it to the service desk in the baggage hall before you leave the airport. They should make out a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) and give you a copy. Your airline will want to see the PIR when making a claim.

12) You have seven days from receipt of the baggage to make a claim for damage, 21 days from delivery for delayed baggage and lost baggage has no time limit but you should make the complaint as soon as possible.

13) Always pack medicines, valuables, passports, insurance documents and itineraries in your hand luggage. If you have to check in your baggage because it is too big or heavy, make sure you remove these items.

14) If travelling with someone, it is a good idea to pack some of your clothes in your companion's case and vice versa, in case one bag is delayed but not the other.

15) Make sure that your travel insurance includes cover whilst your bags are in the care of an airline (not all policies do). And look for policies that have cover that is higher than the Montreal Convention limit of 1,000 Special Drawing Rights per person.

16) Try to use traveller's cheques instead of cash when on holiday. They offer much more security. Before you travel photocopy your cheques or write down the serial numbers and keep in a separate place. If lost or stolen you can arrange replacements, usually within 24 hours.
About the Author
Paul Drew is eCommerce Marketing Manager at http://www.cooptravelshop.co.uk offering offer you a selection of cheap holidays to many major worldwide destinations
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