The idea of breaking up with your partner while on vacation might seem unfathomable. After all, holidays are supposed to be some of the most romantic and memorable times of our lives. Why would anything bad happen?
In reality, however, a lot can go wrong — including flight delays, missing luggage, getting lost and hotels from hell. This adds pressure to even the most perfect relationship, causing stress and arguments.
I experienced a bad breakup while on holiday, and it cost me my home, passport and thousands of dollars. Here is my story and how you can avoid something similar happening to you.
Breaking Up Abroad
Breakups for couples vacationing together are surprisingly common. This is attributed to factors like spending too much time together, higher than expected expenses and alcohol-fueled arguments. For me, the end of my relationship happened while I was on a solo trip and my ex-boyfriend was back home.
We had just moved to Germany together and, as he was busy preparing for grad school, I decided to take a trip by myself. I was backpacking through Portugal when he suddenly broke up with me. Even more shockingly, he quickly became vindictive, telling me that I had to move out of our apartment immediately.
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A Bad Breakup Becomes a Nightmare
I was forced to change my travel plans, arranging last-minute flights out of Portugal to go back to Germany. Only after quickly retrieving the bags (that he had packed), and returning to Spain to stay with friends, did I realize what was missing from them: my birth certificate, health care card and passport copies, and cash.
In the following months, my passport was also suspiciously canceled without my knowledge. It’s worth noting that for Australians, like myself, and Americans, it is possible to cancel a passport online using personal information and reporting it lost or stolen.
I contacted the Australian police who told me it had to be dealt with in Germany. The German police said I needed to log the report at the station — the station that happened to be on the same street my ex-boyfriend was living.
Making an Insurance Claim Following a Vacation Breakup
As I had sustained serious financial damage while traveling, the logical conclusion was to file a travel insurance claim. But, after seven months of correspondence detailing the painful events and providing in-depth documentation, they declined to cover my damages.
The reason given was that my stolen documents were not stored in a car, locked safe or hotel. Also, my specific situation did not qualify as “trip interruption” expenses.
How You Can Avoid Losing Money on Vacation
The best way to avoid unexpected costs while traveling is to be prepared My situation was extreme, of course, but you can learn from it by familiarizing yourself with your travel insurer’s policy and claims process. Carefully follow their instructions around item storage, including any copies of identification. If anything goes missing, contact your insurer and the police immediately.
Further, if you are traveling with a loved one, be aware that arguments — and breakups — can happen. It helps to clearly define spending limits and plans before your trip, and to arrange occasional separate activities or alone time to give yourselves some space.
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Traveling Again and Finding New Love
The breakup that I had on vacation was horrific, but it was a valuable financial and life lesson. It didn’t stop me from traveling or falling in love again. Rather, it helped me to make wiser decisions. I am now in a happy and healthy relationship with a wonderful man who I met while backpacking in Europe. Sometimes the worst life changes lead you to something much better.
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