Tourism

6 million Aussies experience overseas travel mishaps

Bessie Hassan

In this guest contributed piece, finder.com.au’s Travel Expert Bessie Hassan talks travel mishaps and how to avoid them.

Everyone knows that Aussies love to travel, but do you know just how much misfortune Australians have experienced overseas?

When over 2,000 adults were surveyed by finder.com.au, an enormous 38 per cent of respondents reported that they’d been unlucky abroad, with travel mishaps ranging from illnesses and injuries to car accidents, visa issues and even natural disasters.

When you convert these numbers, it equates 5.9 million Aussies who have experienced an unfortunate event while overseas on holiday.

Now this shouldn’t discourage you from travelling overseas. If anything, it’s the responsibility of travel agents and others within the travel industry to educate Australian holiday-goers on how they can avoid mishaps and protect themselves from potential danger overseas.

But first, it’s important to know the stats.

The most common unfortunate occurrence was significant travel delay, with 16 per cent of travellers experiencing delays of over six hours. A further 12 per cent of Aussies have lost their luggage while travelling and an enormous one in ten (11 per cent) said that they’d had their belongings stolen.

Other issues included natural disasters (six per cent), serious illness or injury (six per cent), car accidents (four per cent) and double-booked accommodation (four per cent).

By demographic, males were slightly more unlucky than females, with two in five men experiencing an overseas mishap.

Those in generation Y are also more likely to have a travel issue (43 per cent) than baby boomers (35 per cent) and Tasmania is the most unlucky state, with 43 per cent of Tasmanians experiencing a problem compared to the luckiest state, South Australia (27 per cent).

Luckily, it’s not all bad news. If these travellers had taken out travel insurance before their trip, they would have most likely been eligible for some form of compensation or reimbursement. However, those without a policy would have been left exposed and would have had to foot the bill themselves.

The resulting costs of these kinds of incidents can be extremely high, especially for any mishaps that require medical attention.

In most cases, a comprehensive travel insurance policy will provide cover for any unexpected issues that may arise during your trip, including travel delay (a delay of six hours or more is typically required for reimbursement), luggage loss, natural disaster and, depending on the level of cover, hospitalisation and medical costs.

However, it’s still important for policyholders to be aware that if official warnings are made regarding any expected issues (natural disasters, flight delays, etc), their travel insurance policy won’t provide cover.

Because of this, it’s important to remind them to regularly check official websites like Smartraveller before their trip.

Knowing what can go wrong when travelling overseas shouldn’t deter Aussie travellers from wanting to take their next trip. However, we can use this knowledge to help educate Australians on how to stay safe abroad.



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