Congratulations on subscribing to TravelAid by Pharos Response and thank you. We are delighted to be able to support you on your exciting travels ahead and will always be just a phone call away should you need us. You can now rest a little easier knowing that our experienced team will be there for you at the end of the phone should you need urgent safety or security advice on your travels anywhere in the world. Here’s a little more information so you can get the most out of the service available to you:
You’ve been emailed the emergency telephone number to reach us on. Save this number to your mobile phone and remember to include the prefixes ‘+44’ so it will work from abroad. The 0330 number is a non-geographic number that will cost the same to call as any other UK standard landline number (not accessible via WhatsApp calling).
How can Pharos help when I call?
- That depends on the situation! Often, the practical advice from someone who has ‘been there and done it’ and who is immediately available, is enough to prevent the situation deteriorating.
- If not, our team will advise when and how to escalate the situation and we can talk you through the next steps, such as liaising with emergency services locally or opening a case with your travel insurance.
- If helpful or necessary and with your consent, we can notify your emergency contacts and liaise with your insurers. We will also advise how best to make use of the support from your travel insurance.
- Backpacker+ customers can also access emergency payment support. If we need to arrange urgent safe accommodation or safe onward travel on your behalf and we can’t reach your emergency contact then we will authorise payment of up to £500 on your behalf to make these bookings. Please note that this emergency international payment/transfer is to cover the cost of urgent safe onward travel or accommodation in a life-threatening situation if it is deemed by our security experts that this is necessary for your personal safety. This advance payment is made in good faith that once a case is opened with your travel insurance, we will be refunded for the costs incurred.
Do I still need travel insurance?
- Yes, absolutely! Our advice service does not replace travel insurance and it is essential that you have appropriate insurance cover in place for the entire duration of your trip (beware of the maximum number of travel days on annual policies which should not be exceeded). For further advice on travel insurance, visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/foreign-travel-insurance
- Travel insurance companies won’t provide the sort of safety advice that our team will. TravelAid customers often need to talk to someone before it has any financial implication but yes – you definitely still need it.
Is there a limit on how many times I can call?
- We are here to advise on safety and security issues such as if you find yourself in danger or at risk of being so. Therefore we would not expect to hear from you very often, unless you are particularly unlucky! If you are then we’ll be here for you every time.
I have booked part of my trip through a gap year company. If I need help, should I call them or TravelAid?
- Please note that if you are on a volunteer or work placement organised by a gap year provider at the time of your incident, please contact them in their emergency number in the first instance as they will want to be informed and they are likely to have people local to you to provide assistance.
- TravelAid is there for you once you have finished your time with the gap year provider.
Can I call you from my home country for health, safety and security assistance?
If you have subscribed to Backpacker+ then yes, you can call us for any situations such as at music festivals or even at Uni, wherever you are in the world.
If you have subscribed to Backpacker then we’ll only be able to assist you while you’re travelling abroad.
Can you open emergency travel insurance cases on my behalf?
If you have subscribed to Backpacker+ then yes, we will be able to liaise direct with your travel insurance if you’re not able to. This might be to arrange emergency evacuation for example, paid for by your travel insurance.
If you’ve subscribed to Backpacker then we will be able to advise you or your emergency contacts on how to liaise with your travel insurer to get the support you need.
Can you make bookings/arrangements for me?
We do not provide a concierge service for your travels! However, if you are incapacitated and you’ve subscribed to Backpacker+ then we will make arrangements on your behalf. In fact, also just for Backpacker+ subscribers, if we need to arrange urgent safe accommodation or safe onward travel on your behalf and we can’t reach your emergency contact then we will authorise payment of up to £500 on your behalf to make these bookings. Please note that this emergency international payment/transfer is to cover the cost of urgent safe onward travel or accommodation in a life-threatening situation if it is deemed by our security experts that this is necessary for your personal safety. This advance payment is made in good faith that once a case is opened with your travel insurance, we will be refunded for the costs incurred.
Can my parents/emergency contacts call you instead of me?
Whether you’ve signed up to Backpacker or Backpacker+, your parents/emergency contacts will be able to call us during UK office hours (0900-1700).
If you’ve signed up to Backpacker+ then we will be able to assist them 24/7.
Can you provide some examples of situations that you might assist me with?
Here’s some actual calls we have received and so the sort of thing you may want to call us about, but if you think your safety is at risk, call us, whatever the situation:
- You’re caught up in a violent demonstration and unsure what to do.
- You’re in a club and think your drink may have been spiked.
- You’ve been arrested and have just one call you’re allowed to make.
- You need to go to the hospital but are not sure which one, or if your insurance will pay.
- You’ve had all your bags stolen.
- You’re about to meet someone who you think may be conning you.
- You’ve been in an accident and are being asked to pay before the medics will treat you.
- You’ve lost your passport and are not sure what to do.
Always ensure you know the emergency service numbers in the countries you are travelling in and if your health is at immediate risk, please call them initially. However, hopefully none of the above will happen on your trip! The UK Government’s Travel Aware website has lots of other useful advice that we recommend visiting before you leave https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/
Do you provide any gap year safety training courses?
Yes! We call it TravelSafe – click here for more information.
Have an amazing time, stay safe and please do share the odd amazing travel photo with us on Instagram. We always love to see all the amazing places you get to visit while we’re in the office!