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What to do if you’re stuck abroad with no money

It’s a potential nightmare situation for every traveler: you’re on a long-awaited trip in a foreign country, and unexpectedly find yourself out of cash, with no way to access more.

All of a sudden, you begin to worry and imagine worst case scenarios: How will you survive without money? How will you buy food? Will you have to beg as a last resort? How will you afford to get back home?

Becoming stuck with no money while abroad can happen for a variety of reasons, ranging from crime, theft and financial scams to simple human error. Whatever the circumstances, it can certainly be stressful. No one wants to be in the position of having to rely on the kindness or generosity of strangers in an unfamiliar destination. In addition, desperate travelers are likely to fall victim to further scams and run into more trouble. The situation can quickly turn your trip into a nightmare, no matter where you are in the world.

Stuck abroad with no money - battleface.com

 

What to do if you lose access to cash and credit cards

Finding yourself without access to money for even a few hours while traveling abroad can cause a panic, but it’s important to stay calm so you can take steps to rectify the situation and find financial assistance as quickly as possible.

If you’ve been the victim of a crime, first contact local police and authorities to report it. If you were robbed, there is still a small chance your stolen items may be recovered. Plus, if you make a claim on your travel insurance policy later on for any losses incurred, you’ll need a police report to document the incident.

Next, you’ll need to notify your bank and credit card company. Let them know your cards have been lost or stolen and ask them to put a freeze on your bank account. Find out how long it will take to get emergency replacements sent to your current location. This can be anything from 24 hours up to several days.

You should also notify your travel insurance provider as they may be able to assist you. Personal Effects coverage with a travel insurance plan from battleface includes losses due to unauthorized use of your credit cards if they are lost or stolen during your covered trip.

Keep in mind that it’s also possible that your credit card company may be able to authorize payments on your behalf on the telephone in absence of your card — for example, for a hotel bill or a flight. Ask the customer service representative what your options are.

Alternatively, if your mobile phone is set up with Apple Pay or Samsung Pay, it’s possible that your card issuer will be able to provide you with a new card number. You can then update your digital wallet with this number and use your phone for contactless payments.

 

How to send money overseas

If getting a replacement for your cards is impossible or will take too long, you may need to ask family or friends for financial assistance or a loan. Sending money overseas using commercial international transfer services offered by companies such as Western Union may be expensive, but when you have few other options, it can be a godsend. If you’re able to get a family member or friend back home to transfer funds, you will need your passport in order to obtain the money. These emergency loans can be paid back once you have returned home and sorted things out.

Your travel insurance company may also be able to provide emergency cash transfer assistance. They won’t actually front you any money, but should be able to help you to contact family and friends to assist with the process.

If none of the above options are possible, then you need to contact the consulate or embassy for assistance. If you’re from the US, the American Citizen Services Unit can assist if you encounter an emergency abroad and help you reach family back home. If funds can’t be transferred via your bank or commercial options, then the consulate can help arrange a transfer from someone back home on your behalf. They can also help you to replace lost or stolen passports and/or provide an emergency travel document if necessary. Most travel insurance policies will reimburse you for any fees incurred for replacement of documents.

If, while you don’t have access to money, you are in need of medical care, you should contact your travel insurance company right away — they may be able to help you figure out your options for care.

 

Tips to avoid being financially stranded

As is always the case, prevention is better than cure. There are a number of things you can do to minimize the risk of having no access to money while you’re traveling. Here are some basic tips:

  • Travel with more than one card. Relying on a single bank card and/or cash can be risky when traveling overseas. If you don’t have a credit card to take with you, consider taking an additional prepaid card.
  • Separate your various methods of payment. Never carry all your bank cards, credit cards, cash, and checks in one place, at the same time. Leave a credit card and some cash in your hotel room safe when you go out sightseeing. When you’re at the airport or in transit, leave one payment method in a secure location in your backpack or carry-on baggage, while carrying the rest on your person. Thieves are unlikely to target both places at once.
  • Don’t let your cash supply dwindle to zero. If your card gets blocked or stolen and you find yourself unable to withdraw money, you’ll certainly be glad to have some cash to cover the basics until you can fix the problem. Aim to always have sufficient cash supply to pay for a couple of days’ basic expenses like food, simple accommodation, and transit, keeping local prices in mind.
  • Notify your credit card company before you travel. This can make it easier to sort out any problems that arise, and it keeps your credit card company on alert for fraudulent use of your cards. It’s also wise to travel with the emergency contact numbers for your bank and credit card companies close to hand so you can find them quickly in an emergency.
  • Use travelers checks. Often thought of as old fashioned, travelers checks are an ideal way to ensure you don’t lose access to all your funds while abroad. As long as you have the receipt or proof of the checks (such as a photo with a serial number) you can call the emergency number and have the misplaced checks canceled and replacement ones provided.

PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITION

Pre-Existing Medical Condition means an illness, disease, or other condition during the 180 day period immediately prior to the date Your coverage is effective :
  1. received or received a recommendation for a test, examination, or medical treatment for a condition which first manifested itself, worsened or became acute, or had symptoms which would have prompted a reasonable person to seek diagnosis, care or treatment; or
  2. took or received a prescription for drugs or medicine. Item (2) of this definition does not apply to a condition which is treated or controlled solely through the taking of prescription drugs or medicine and remains treated or controlled without any adjustment or change in the required prescription throughout the 180 day period before coverage is effective under this policy.
  3. required a change in prescribed medication. Change in prescribed medication means the dosage or frequency of a medication has been reduced, increased, stopped and/or new medications have been prescribed due to the worsening of an underlying condition that is being treated with the medication, unless the change is:
    1. between a brand name and a generic medication with comparable dosage; or
    2. an adjustment to insulin or anti-coagulant dosage.
If you, or someone you are traveling with, has a Pre-Existing Medical Condition, you can still buy a policy from us but there is no cover for any claim arising directly or indirectly from that condition.

PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITION

Any Medical Condition that, within the last 12 months, required any:

  • surgery, inpatient or outpatient treatment, referrals or investigations of any sort. This includes being on any waiting list, taking any prescription medication, tablets or required medical treatment (This will not apply to common colds, flu or contraceptive medication);
  • medical advice or treatment for any respiratory condition relating to the lungs or breathing;
  • medical advice or treatment for any heart, stroke or diabetic condition;

Hypertension or high cholesterol controlled by 1 prescription drug only and where the dosage has not been changed within the last 12 months will not be considered a pre-existing medical condition

Coverages Available:

*not all coverages are available in all states
Travel Protection Benefits Limits
Trip Cancellation 100% of trip cost (up to a maximum of $20,000)
Single Occupancy Up to trip cost
Cancel for Any Reason Up to 75% of trip cost Up to 50% of trip costs in FL(CFAR not available to NY residents)
Trip Interruption 150% of trip cost
Delay Package
Trip Delay
Maximum $200 per day up to $2,500
Missed Connection Maximum of $1,000 per covered trip
Baggage Package – Excess
Baggage and Personal Effects $2,500 $100 Deductible
Baggage Delay $100 per day up to a maximum of $500
Travel Medical Package – Excess AK, CO, ID, ND, NH – Primary
Travel Medical Expense – Adventure sports included $100,000 $50,000 in NH $50 Deductible
Emergency Dental $750
Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation of Remains Up to $500,000
Up to $1,000,000 in NH
Accidental Death & Dismemberment $100,000 or $250,000 or $500,000
Pet Medical Package
Pet Medical Expense Up to $2,000 $100 Deductible
Pet Return Up to $500
Rental Vehicle Damage – Primary Up to $35,000 per rented vehicle- Primary $250 Deductible for loss greater than $2,000
Vacation Rental Damage $1,500 or $3,000 or $5,000

Travel Medical Insurance

Some benefits are subject to an excess (aka, the deductible, or what you have to pay before we pay), as stated in the Policy Schedule, and are per Policy Period.

Benefits Limits
Cancellation and Curtailment 5,000
Emergency Medical Expenses, Evacuation and Repatriation of Mortal Remains 10,000,000 (excess 250 or 50)
Hospital Benefit 25 per day, maximum 100
Personal Accident up to 250,000
Baggage Loss or Delay up to 5,000 (excess 250 or 50)
Personal Money and Passport, limited to 250 in respect of cash 500 (excess 250 or 50)
Personal Liability 500,000
Travel Delay 500
Optional Benefits Limits
Business Extension up to 1,000 (excess 100)
Winter Sports (Ski Equipment) up to 750 (excess 50 or 100)

Travel Medical Insurance

Some benefits are subject to an excess (aka, the deductible, or what you have to pay before we pay), as stated in the Policy Schedule, and are per Policy Period.

Benefits Limits
Trip Interruption 2,000
Emergency Medical Expenses, Evacuation and Repatriation of Mortal Remains 10,000,000 (excess 250)
Hospital Benefit 25 per day, maximum 100
Personal Accident up to 5,000
Baggage Loss or Delay up to 2,000 (excess 250 or 50)
Personal Money and Passport, limited to 250 in respect of cash 500 (excess 250) *** Limited to 250 in respect of cash
Personal Liability 500,000
Optional Benefits Limits
Business Extension up to 1,000 (excess 100)
Winter Sports (Ski Equipment) up to 750 (excess 50 or 100)
Personal Accident up to 250,000
Baggage up to 10,000

Travel Medical Insurance

Some benefits are subject to an excess (aka, the deductible, or what you have to pay before we pay), as stated in the Policy Schedule, and are per Policy Period.

Benefits Limits
Cancellation up to $20,000
Trip Interruption $1,000
Medical and Emergency Expenses $5,000,000 (deductible $250)
Hospital Benefit $25 per day, maximum $100
Personal Accident up to $50,000
Baggage $2,000 (deductible $250)
Personal Money and Passport, limited to $250 in respect of cash $500 (deductible $250)
Personal Liability $500,000
Optional Benefits Limits
Business Extension up to $1,000 (deductible $100)
Winter Sports (Ski Equipment) up to $750 (deductible $50 or $100)

Travel Medical Insurance

Some benefits are subject to an excess (aka, the deductible, or what you have to pay before we pay), as stated in the Policy Schedule, and are per Policy Period.

Benefits Limits
Cancellation and Curtailment 5,000
Emergency Medical Expenses, Evacuation and Repatriation of Mortal Remains 10,000,000 (excess 250 or 50)
Hospital Benefit 25 per day, maximum 100
Personal Accident up to 250,000
Baggage Loss or Delay up to 5,000 (excess 250 or 50)
Personal Money and Passport, limited to 250 in respect of cash 500 (excess 250 or 50)
Personal Liability 500,000
Travel Delay 500
Optional Benefits Limits
Business Extension up to 1,000 (excess 100)
Winter Sports (Ski Equipment) up to 750 (excess 50 or 100)