After all the stress involved in preparing and booking an overseas trip, it can be quite disheartening for something to go wrong while you’re on holidays aboard.

With a bit of planning however, you can be sure that even if you fall victim to one of these travel disasters you’ll be in a good position to continue your trip.

Here are four of the worst travel disasters, and how to avoid them. These travel disasters can easily turn the trip of a lifetime into one that you’d rather forget.

1. Missed flight

The prospect of running through a crowded terminal only to be greeted by a closed door at the gate is one that sinks the heart of even the most nonchalant traveller. And missing a flight can really throw a spanner in the works for your travel plans.

If your plane has taken off without you, it’s recommended that you immediately go to your airline’s desk who can get you on the next flight. Whether or not you will have to pay for this is another matter entirely, and depends on who’s at fault for the missed flight. The best safeguard in this case, is having travel insurance that covers you for missed connections.

2. Lost luggage

There’s few feelings in the world of travel that are worse than the one you get hours after disembarking from your flight, standing at a now-empty baggage carousel, and knowing that two weeks of holiday clothing is anywhere in the world but here.

Make sure you hang onto your baggage ticket and if this ever happens head to counter or office at your airport and fill out a missing baggage form. If your bag has indeed been lost or damaged and the airline is at fault you may be compensated, but it’s another one of those circumstances where it is just best to have travel insurance to make sure you’re prepared.

3. Becoming sick

From cold to migraines to something more serious, there is nothing in the world that ruins your dream trip like becoming sick. If you have fallen ill overseas it’s recommended you seek medical assistance as soon as possible. In some countries you may have to pay for your treatment upfront, and if this is the case then you may have to contact your travel insurance provider (they generally have 24 hour contact centres) to arrange payments.

If you don’t have insurance and are in a situation where you have to pay for treatment upfront you must contact your financial institution or a family member.

4. Lost passport

Opening your daypack only to find your passport missing is every traveller’s worst nightmare. If this has happened to you, it’s important to contact the local police and then the New Zealand embassy, who will be able to provide you with an emergency passport so you can return home. Carry an extra copy of your passport in a separate part of your luggage.

Images: Getty

This article first appeared on Over60.