What to Do if a Loved One Dies on Vacation

Vacation is a time usually filled with having fun, sharing togetherness, and making memories with loved ones. When a loved one dies on vacation, the family is suddenly faced with making urgent decisions and handling unexpected expenses. Some family members may struggle to cope with the stress of the event and the resultant grief. At Cypress Lawn Family of Funeral Homes, our caring staff members help families in San Francisco and the Bay Area navigate challenging life events such as the death of a loved one out of state or abroad. There’s no need to forego a vacation out of fear, but having helpful information at hand can leave you feeling more informed and better prepared to face life’s unforeseen occurrences.

Here are the key steps to take after a loved one dies on vacation:

Coordinate the transfer of your loved one home.

No matter where your loved one dies, whether it’s a neighboring state or a country halfway around the world, your family has options when it comes to seeing your loved one return home. Coordinating this type of transfer usually requires working with two funeral homes—one in the location of the death and one where the service will be held at home. Our funeral home is skilled at coordinating a return between funeral homes in all 50 states and most foreign countries.

Arrange to ship your loved one’s remains home.

When a loved one dies away from home, it’s necessary to arrange for their swift return home. Funeral homes like ours handle all the necessary paperwork, travel bookings, customs and immigration details, preparation of the casket for travel, and the transport of your loved one to and from airports. Be sure you’re trusting an experienced staff with these important tasks to ensure your loved one’s return is made as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Consider holding a funeral or memorial service for your loved one.

Before your loved one’s cremation or burial, your family may wish to hold a private viewing, a visitation, or a funeral service to commemorate their life. Planning such a service while grieving can be hard, but it can be a healing opportunity for everyone involved. After your loved one’s return, you may decide to hold a graveside service in the case of a burial or a scattering ceremony if they chose cremation.

If you have recently lost a loved one, we extend our heartfelt condolences. Contact our funeral home for help planning a meaningful memorial.