Follow Our Travel Infographic to Handle Emergencies Like a Pro
The theme of our travel infographic is to stay calm when emergencies and problems happen. Say to yourself, “No matter what . . . I am not letting this problem ruin my vacation.”
Please feel free to use the inforgraphic as long as you include our logo. We would appreciate a link to this article or our site. If you prefer to use our PDF, click here for the Amore Travel Guides’ Infographic PDF – Pocket Survival Guide to Rome, Italy.
Starting Your Italy Trip
There is so much to do before you head out the door to go to the airport at the start of your vacation.
For me it includes a trip to the safe deposit box to store jewelry in a safe place while I am away.
You always should send your itinerary to family and trusted neighbors so they know where you will be in case of an emergency.
Print the name, address, and phone number of your hotels on index cards as well as an estimate of the distance from the train station to your hotel. if you have a pet, verify the reservation for dog care.
Call your credit card companies to let them know you will be travelling abroad, this is more important for some financial institutions than others.
Get your packing done. The list goes on and on and on and on……….
And on the way to the airport you start to worry:
- Can you find parking?
- Did you get enough foreign currency for your trip?
- For me . . . did I bring enough trashy magazines to entertain me on the long plane ride?
So, once you finally get on the plane you should breathe a sigh of relief. That is if you get on the plane.
In my experience the airlines give the long distance flights priority so I have only been delayed more than 30 minutes a few times.
But, if you have an intermediate stop in a foreign country your chances of being delayed go way up.
As you can see from our infographic, notify your hotel of major arrival time delays
If you have a confirmed hotel reservation with a late arrival then you are set as long as you will still be arriving that day.
If you are delayed by more than that then you need to let your hotel know. So you fire up your iPad or other electronic device and contact the hotel.
Let them know what has happened and what you should do. If you have access to a phone, even better to give them a call. Once you have worked that out, you have no other option but to sit back, relax and wait, you will get there eventually.
When you finally land at Fiumicino (also known as Leonardo da Vinci airport) your excitement and your apprehension increases. You are excited to be in Rome and starting your vacation. But you are also tired and worried about getting to your hotel. In fact, at this point in my trip, all I can think about is getting to my hotel and taking a shower and maybe a one hour nap.
Checking your Pocket Survival Guide Infographic – You Will Probably Be Taking a Train Ride
But first you have to navigate a couple of train rides and most likely a taxi or metro ride.
Before you even get off the plane make sure your passport, credit cards and cash are secure. I always put my neck purse under my shirt. It makes me look a little lumpy but now is not the time for me to worry about fashion, it is the time to make it hard for thieves to get at my important documents.
Don’t Advertise You Are a Tourist
People are going to know you are an American the minute you open your mouth but there is no reason to advertise it by wearing a “I love my dog” t-shirt. Refrain from wearing clothes with writing in English.
The easiest and least expensive way to get from Fiumicino to Termini (the main train station in Rome) is to take the train from the airport. The prices vary from year to year but the trains are clean and built to accommodate suitcases. This is also where you may have your first encounter with pick pockets. Rome has very little violent crime but pick pockets are everywhere.
Thieves are going to go after the easiest targets and those are people with wallets in a back pocket, open purses, people juggling a lot of luggage, people who are distracted and not paying attention.
Don’t be afraid to give someone what I refer to as a “New York stare” which is a look that says leave me alone. Don’t fall for the “help me, I am dropping my baby” or any other attempt used by thieves to draw your attention away from protecting your valuables.
At home, I know I will be one of the first people to jump in and help someone in need, but in a foreign country a few minutes after I have arrived, I leave the helping to someone else.
Which explains our next infographic question . . . did gypsies steal your wallet on the train?
If the worst happens and someone takes all your credit cards, cash, and passport (which should never happen since you should have split where you put your valuables) find the information booth at Termini to see if and how you can get a cash advance from your credit card.
No one is going to help catch the thieves, they are a fact of life, but the people at the information booth speak English and should help you. Once you are at your hotel start calling credit card companies or family that can call credit card companies to cancel your cards.
When my sister had her wallet stolen in Rome she called her husband from the train, he cancelled her cards and had new ones issued and in her hands within 48 hours.
He had to give the credit card company the name and address of the hotel where we would be staying. We would no longer be in Rome so I was very skeptical that the cards would arrive when and where they were supposed to but when we got to the hotel there was a Fed Ex package with the new credit card.
In the meantime, until my sister had her new cards, I had the ultimate power. I controlled all her purchases.
If she wanted to buy something to eat, she had to go through me. If she wanted to buy a keepsake, she had to go through me. I have never felt so powerful in my life. The point is, we did not let it ruin our vacation, in fact, the story has become folklore in our family given that my sister speaks fluent Italian and has been to Italy a lot.
Assuming you make it to Termini without anything happening you . . . now you have to grab a taxi to your hotel.
In most big cities the area around the main train stations can be a little sketchy i.e. populated by people looking to make easy money by carrying your luggage. Ignore them all and hang on to your belongings and follow the signs to the taxi stand.
Legitimate taxi’s can only pick you up from a taxi stand.
No matter how long the line is . . . wait in it and get a legitimate taxi. Do not be tempted to take a ride with someone who offers to help you bypass the line and don’t let go of your luggage!
Phew, you are finally in your taxi and ready to enjoy the short drive to your hotel.
Since you looked it up before you left you know it should be around a 15 minute ride and yet here you are 30 minutes later still in the taxi. Traffic does not seem that bad and you haven’t seen any construction so you start to get that sinking feeling that you are literally being taken for a ride. There is not much you can do other than getting the drivers attention and asking him how much longer will it be and why is it taking so long to get there.
Your driver may or may not speak English and he (and yes they are almost all men) may or may not admit it if he does. But you have at least let him know you are aware of how long this trip is taking.
No trip goes exactly as planned. So what, if your taxi driver takes you the long way to your hotel.
You have most likely spent thousands on your trip so what if you have to spend an extra 25 Euro on a taxi ride?
And if you get there and it is raining, buy an umbrella and set out to see the sites in the rain which in its own way can be just as beautiful as seeing them in the sun.
There are some things that can legitimately ruin your trip such as a health emergency, other than that, you control how you deal with the unexpected and how you react to things that don’t go as well as planned.
You are in Rome!!
There are a lot of people who would trade places with you even if you are exhausted and standing in the rain, trying to figure out how to drag your luggage through the small door to the hotel.
Soon you will be sitting in a café enjoying a glass of wine in Rome!