Don’t Panic! Here’s What You Can Do if You Get Robbed While on Holiday
This is probably a traveler’s worst nightmare, being in a strange and unfamiliar place where you don’t know anyone and probably don’t speak the native language, and then suddenly, you’re robbed of your precious belongings. There goes your wallet, your ID cards, credit cards and more importantly, passports.
The first natural reaction you may have is to panic. Without any personal documents and no one to help, you’ll most probably feel lost. However, if you remain calm, you’ll find that it’s still possible to recover and return home safely. These are the most effective steps you can take in the case of a holiday robbery:
1. Visit the Police Station
Although the police may not be able to recover your belongings and in some cases, may not even be able to apprehend the thief, you need a police report in order to proceed with the application for a new passport and other personal documents when you return home. A police report is also necessary for claiming travel insurance.
2. Visit Your Embassy
Find a way to reach your embassy or high commission where you will be able to apply for temporary passports or travel documents. This is necessary for you to leave the country and return home. Most embassies will push you to the front of the line if you are requesting emergency passports.
3. Cancel Credit Cards and Phone Sims
Find the nearest internet café, or try to borrow a computer with internet connection and cancel your credit cards, phone sim and other bank related cards as soon as possible. This will prevent unknown expenditures being charged to you and complicating the situation.
4. Call Your Travel Insurance Provider
The earlier you contact your insurance provider and forward them a copy of your police report, the faster they can process your claim and reimburse you for your loss. Certain travel insurance will wire you some money once they have confirmed your case so that you can pay for flight tickets and other minor expenditures.
5. Obtaining Some Money
One way you can achieve this is by contacting anyone from home to wire you some money via the Western Union. If you fail to contact anyone, then the best option you have is to explain your situation to your embassy and have them arrange a flight back home for you immediately or tide you over until your pre-arranged flight is due. You may have to repay any cost you incur with your embassy at a later date.
In any situation, it is important that you do not lose your cool. Remember that there are people who are willing to help you. You should also take the necessary precautions to prevent theft while you’re abroad in the future.
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