The recent COVID-19 pandemic has shown us the crucial role that travel plays in our lives. Traveling to other countries, cities, and towns allows us to escape from our daily routine and experience life in different ways. It has been proven to reduce stress, depression, and anxiety. In March 2019 alone, approximately 8 million Americans left the United States and traveled abroad.
The number of people traveling to other countries each day was over 6 million prior to the onset of the pandemic. However, a common problem among travelers is getting stranded due to several different reasons. In this article, we’ll discuss different ways to get help getting home when stranded. Read the article below to learn more.
What Is Travelers Aid International?
Formed in 1851, Travelers Aid International is considered America’s oldest social welfare movement dedicated towards providing travel assistance and protection to women and young girls who traveled alone. By the early 20th century, the movement gave rise to Travelers Societies which spurred the growth of the organization.
At present, Travelers Aid International now offers travel assistance and protection to all people, regardless of gender, age, race, class, or religion. Travelers Aid International currently has 26 social service agencies in its network and now operates in numerous locations, including 17 airports and 7 train stations across the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Australia.
Definition Of Stranded
Stranded is commonly defined as being unable to leave a foreign location due to unforeseen circumstances, such as having no means of transportation or money. Being stranded also involves getting stuck somewhere remote, dangerous, or inconvenient.
Causes Of Being Stranded
Getting stranded in a foreign place is a significantly unpleasant experience, especially for first-time travelers. Being stranded can happen for a number of reasons, including:
Every part of the world is susceptible to weather emergencies at any time. Weather emergencies can occur as a result of hazardous conditions caused by severe weather, including thunderstorms, tornadoes, blizzards, hail, and typhoons. Such events can ground trains, airplanes, and passenger ships.
A natural disaster is defined as an abnormally strong natural occurrence, such as a flood, avalanche, drought, earthquake, mudslide, or volcanic eruption, which results in disruption of services and significant loss of life and property damages. Large-scale natural disasters can severely damage transportation infrastructure, leaving thousands stranded.
In addition to weather emergencies and natural disasters, one of the most common reasons passengers get stranded is sudden accidents. Just like any other machine, cars, ships, and planes can also experience engine breakdowns and system malfunctions.
Types Of Help Available For Stranded People
If you get stranded in a foreign city, you may be able to receive help from several state agencies, non-profit organizations, and charitable institutions. Stranded people may obtain the following types of assistance:
Assistance From Social Workers And Financial Services Agencies
Social workers assist individuals, families, and groups in preventing and resolving difficulties in their lives. In times of calamities and severe weather emergencies, social workers may provide stress management, mental health support, and vocational assessments to stranded passengers. Additionally, they also provide assistance to stranded individuals with complex needs relating to their travel documents, such as IDs and birth certificates.
Stranded people may also acquire financial assistance from private lending institutions and financial service agencies. Generally, they provide qualified individuals with free cash to cover any expenses they incur as a result of being stranded.
Commercial Flights, Bus Tickets, And Train Stations
Certain nonprofit organizations provide free rebooking services and affordable tickets for bus rides, trains, and commercial flights to stranded passengers. In certain circumstances, travelers who become stranded may also be eligible for a return trip with no additional costs.
Stable Housing Options
During weather emergencies and natural disasters, charitable organizations rescue stranded travelers and provide them with free bedding and temporary shelter. Individuals who are struggling with obtaining standard identification documents are also offered stable housing options.
Money For Food, Warm Drinks, And Other Necessities
Stranded travelers are provided with sufficient cash to purchase basic needs, including warm meals and drinks. Recipients may also use the money to buy necessary hygiene items and fresh clothing while awaiting their return trips.
Who Can Help With Getting Home?
There are several organizations that can help stranded individuals with getting home. These organizations also provide free meals, shelter, and transportation assistance to eligible travelers who were left stranded.
Travelers Aid International
Travelers Aid International (TAI) links stranded travelers with various assistance programs, train stations, airports, and government agencies. TAI has a broad group of employees and volunteers that are dedicated to giving financial aid and transportation assistance to stranded families, elderly individuals, and people with disabilities.
The Salvation Army offers numerous assistance programs to assist stranded tourists with getting home. Through the Salvation Army’s Stranded Travelers Program, the organization provides financial assistance that can help cover travel expenses, lodging, food, clothing, and social services.
The Society Of Saint Vincent De Paul
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SSVP) offers travel assistance to non-residents of Phoenix who are left stranded within the city. Their volunteers and staff ensure that stranded travelers have access to decent housing, hot meals, and fresh clothing during their extended stay.
Homeward Bound Program
With the Homeward Bound Program, homeless people residing in San Francisco are reunited with their loved ones who are able to provide monetary assistance for any travel-related expenses. As part of this program, eligible recipients are also entitled to a free bus ticket home provided by the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing.
Tips On How To Get Home When Stranded
If you are left stranded due to weather emergencies, natural disasters, or sudden engine malfunctions, here are some tips that can help you get home safely and immediately.
- Always remain calm
- Register in your country’s Crisis Prevention List
- Consistently communicate with your travel agent
- Regularly update your family and loved ones on your status
- Seek local assistance
- Stay safe
- Strictly follow on-site instructions and return trip procedures
Getting stranded is something that can happen to any traveler at any time. As such, it is best to prepare for such events in order to minimize the difficulties associated with being stranded, especially in a foreign area. There are several ways to obtain help getting home when stranded.
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