Traveling means freedom, excitement, and tons of new experiences. Unfortunately, not all those experiences are positive. It’s inevitable that you’ll come across at least a couple problems, less than savory situations in your traveling adventures. But have no fear! Listed below are the 5 most common traveling problems and how to deal with them.
1. Travel Delays
There’s nothing worse than setting off on a trip you’ve been looking forward to since your last one and having setbacks from the get-go. Flight delays are a huge issue when it comes to getting started on your travels and there’s not a whole lot you can do if it happens. Your best bet for beating the blues in this situation is preparing for it beforehand.
When you plan your flights, make sure that any layovers are long enough for delays that may happen. A 45 minute layover is tight enough as it is; with a delay on your first flight, there’s a good chance you’ll miss your next one. Try to aim for connecting flights that give you at least 2 hours to catch. Sure, you may end up bored in the airport for a while if your flight is on time, but a beer in the bar beats dealing with waiting for another flight that may not happen until the next day!
If you do find yourself in a tight spot, let your flight attendants know your situation. They will most likely be able to help you out by letting you off the plane first, telling you where your next gate will be, or calling ahead to let the other flight know you’re on your way.
2. Lost or Stolen Items
Petty crime like pick-pocketing is all too common among tourist areas around the world. Every year, thousands of travelers have to figure out how to replace stolen items while abroad.
When out and about in heavily touristy or populated areas like subways or shopping centers, make sure you know where all of your important items are and ensure that they are hard to get to. Ladies, if you carry a bag, make sure it’s a cross-body purse and carry it in front of you. Wherever you keep your money, don’t keep touching it. This will let pickpockets know exactly where those items are kept. Instead, keep cash or cards in a money belt or even a bra, where you’ll ABSOLUTELY know if someone grabs for it.
If you do find that you’ve lost your wallet, call your bank and credit card company immediately to let them know and have the cards canceled. If you lose your passport, you should have a photocopy in a separate location that will make getting an emergency replacement easier. You will most likely have to make an appointment with the nearest embassy of your country for assistance.
Before your trip you should (of course) have insurance that covers not only you, but your property as well. Take photos of your passport information page alongside each high-value item you will take traveling (computer, camera, etc.). This will make it easier to claim back with your insurance.
3. Getting Sick
Getting ill on a vacation can really ruin things for you. Make it a little easier on yourself by investing in travel insurance before you leave. A good insurance will cover any medical expenses incurred while on your trip and even cover the cost of missed flights, tours, or other transportation.
While insurance won’t make your vacation any better if you are sick, you’ll at least feel more confident in not losing a ton of money on medical expenses.
To help with smaller issues that don’t require hospitalization, make sure your first-aid kit is ready to roll. It should have bandages, gauze, antibiotic ointments, and any over-the-counter medications you’ll need, like headache tablets or remedies for an upset stomach.
4. Disappointing Accommodations
It can be more than a little frustrating to book a room in a hotel only to arrive and be disappointed with its cleanliness or amenities. When booking online, be sure to read plenty of reviews about a property. If you’re going through Airbnb or a similar site, make sure to talk directly with the owner and ask for details.
When you check in, ask to see the room before you pay. Check the mattresses for bedbugs and the bathroom for cleanliness. If it is unsatisfactory, it may be possible to cancel the booking without losing much money. If you booked online, a quick call to the website customer service will usually end favorably, depending on the reason for canceling.
5. Bad Weather
While bad weather isn’t the worst thing that could happen on a trip, it certainly could put a damper on your holiday. Prepare for this by doing research on the area you want to travel to during the time of year you will be going. It’s safe to say that avoiding rainy season in tropical places is a good choice.
Again, though, you can prepare for bad weather if you plan properly. A lightweight rain jacket for tropical climates will be helpful, and a weatherproof winter coat will work for colder climates. An umbrella will never go amiss, nor will proper shoes. A good all-weather walking sandal is great for being versatile while rainboots might be too large and bulky to pack.
If you’ve purchased travel insurance, many options will give you protection against inclement weather, even reimbursing you for missed flights or hotel check-ins.
Traveling can be amazing…if all goes well. But even when it doesn’t, it’s not the end of the world, or even the end of your trip. Just remember: prepare for the worst that could happen and you won’t be bothered when it does. Happy travels.