Planning an overseas trip can be exciting, just think of all the places you get to visit and the fun activities you can do.

But what tends to be put on the back burner would be the more serious aspects of planning a trip, like purchasing travel insurance.

After all, it’s more fun to check out potential accommodation options rather than figuring out the best coverage to buy.

Furthermore, what’s the worst that could happen right?

Well, Lemon8 user Ying must be grateful that she chose to purchase a travel insurance plan, among other precautionary steps that she took, for her trip to Prague last December.

From having her luggage left behind to dealing with delayed flights due to frozen runways, it was an unpredictable and frantic experience.

On Wednesday (May 10), she shared more of the trip and sprinkled in some tips for others looking to travel, in a post captioned: “Please just buy travel insurance and Apple AirTag.”

Where’s my bag again?

“During my trip to Prague, I had [a] layover in Munich for six hours,” Ying wrote, referring to her flight from Munich to Prague on Dec 14. 

However, the abject weather froze the airport’s runways, and six hours turned into an additional night in Munich.

The airline, Lufthansa, offered her 150 euros (S$217) per night for a hotel stay, and she managed to find accommodations for the night.

Though it wasn’t a straightforward flight to Prague the following day either.

Ying’s rescheduled flight was headed to Dusseldorf instead and then she had to get on a connecting flight to the Czech capital.

“Well, we never made the flight to Prague,” she said, as her flight to Dusseldorf was delayed by more than an hour. The connecting flight from Dusseldorf to Prague didn’t wait for her. 

The killer blow came when she checked her Apple AirTag.

Ying had already missed her flight to Prague, but now she was in Dusseldorf while her luggage was stranded in Munich – some 600km away.

With airport staff attempting to find her a route to Prague via other German cities, Ying “took the plunge” and simply booked the next flight out to Prague via Eurowings, a German low-cost carrier.

When she did eventually reach Prague though, she had “no luggage throughout the entire trip”. 

So it was 21 days in a foreign city with just carry-on luggage that was “mostly empty with no clothes”.

Ying only received her luggage the following month, on Jan 8.

“I managed to file an insurance claim and got back $800 which was the maximum for my policy,” she said.

Get snapping and pack smart

As a traveller, you’re already likely to be taking photos. So continue doing so even in times of adversity overseas.

Ying’s advice is to always take photos of your flight and baggage tickets before flying off.

“It’ll help when filing insurance and in case you lose [any] information,” she explained.

Another smart tip is to create a photo album of all the receipts of claimable items you purchased. Think shoes, clothes, makeup or toiletries.

To add to this, Ying suggested that it might be best to pack a set of clothes (especially underwear) in your carry-on luggage.

A useful item that came to her rescue was the Apple AirTag. Ying appreciated how it gave her “peace of mind”.

How it works is simple enough. Simply attach an AirTag to your luggage and you’re good to go, as it’s now on your radar in your iPhone’s Find My app. 

Do note though that having said peace of mind comes at a cost, as an AirTag starts from $45.40.

Non-Apple users could go for alternative Bluetooth trackers such as the Samsung Galaxy SmartTag, Tile Pro and Chipolo One.

Note that most Bluetooth trackers carry around the same price point as the Apple AirTag. 

Picking the right insurance

When it comes to picking a travel insurance plan, keep an eye out for how comprehensive it is and whether it covers you for a whole series of situations.

Then, find out how much you are reimbursed for travel glitches such as delayed flights, overseas medical coverage and lost luggage.

Compare different options and pick the travel insurance that provides you with the best value for money.

ALSO READ: Is annual travel insurance right for you?

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