Over the years I have spent travelling and snowboarding I have ended up in some pretty stressful situations. Car crashes, Car breakdowns, injuries, getting lost in the middle of Europe, running out of money – The list goes on. Getting your car written off 2 weeks before you road trip to europe for 5 months is not ideal! That’s what happened in November and it was not fun! Dealing with these problems at home don’t seem to bad but when your 1000’s of miles away it can send you into a bit of a panic! Now if you have done the smart thing and got yourself covered with insurance then in most situations you won’t have to worry. Although your first reaction will be to freak out it is really important that you keep calm so that you know whats going on.
Within europe you are covered for hospital treatment with your EHIC card so make sure you have that up to date and in a safe place that’s easy to find if you need it. If your on a mountain and you need a helicopter ride to the hospital then obviously your insurance company will deal with the cost of that. Make sure that if you are snowboarding that you declare what you are doing, I hear so many stories of insurance companies not wanting to pay out because the person did not declare that they were going off piste or doing freestyle. The same goes with any other sport you take part in, make sure you check with your insurance that they will cover you for it.
Car trouble –
I only have experience of this happening in Austria but i’m pretty sure the same goes in most countries. You can call the police, they will then write out an incident report which you can get a copy of. This will have all the details of the people involved in the crash and your insurance can handle the rest. It’s hard if you are somewhere where you can’t speak the local language, if there is a language barrier then it is best to get the police involved. Luckily for us the guy that crashed into us was honest when the police arrived and admitted fault!
Credit cards – now they are usually not a good option to use as a way of actually funding your trip away. You will find that bank overdrafts are a lot better and charge a lot less to use them if you do need to borrow some money. However if you are in trouble and you need extra money to get you home then it is handy to have a credit card there just in case. Some deals allow you to use the money for 18 months before you start paying interest so look for deals like this and you will have more time to repay it. If you are travelling to America they usually quiz you on how much money you have and how you are going to support yourself (without a visa you can’t work in the states) so be prepared to explain everything to them when you go through passport control (it can make you feel slightly uneasy when there are armed guards at passport control but keep your cool)
Hopefully some of this has been helpful – in fact I hope you don’t end up in any of these situations and have happy safe travels! When bad things have happened I have let it stress me out to the point where my skin breaks out in horrendous spots and I end up being grumpy and snappy so just keep calm and don’t worry yourself, everything will be ok!