When you spend a great portion of your time traveling as I do, you’re destined to be exposed to all kinds of experiences. There are awe-inspiring moments you’ll always remember and those you rather not relive again. Since traveling can be one for the most exhilarating times in your life–the lessons you learn invaluable–knowing how to handle the mishaps you encounter can make or break your trip. There are little issues like a dead cell phone that simply require you always having a charger in tow and bigger problems that need more attention.
These quick tips will help you manage those bigger hiccups with ease.
Mishap 1: Lost Luggage
With over 1 million bags missing or damaged a year in the US, this is a real concern for too many travelers. So you’re not left stranded without essentials, be prepared by packing two changes of clothes and one pair of comfortable shoes with you in your carry on. That way after you’ve reported your missing bag, you’ll have a few days covered while the airline recovers your luggage.
Mishap 2: Stolen Items
Your camera, phone, credit cards…it’s devastating when any of these are stolen. First, you should tell the local authorities and then try these other techniques. Make sure to ALWAYS keep your bags in sight and purses towards the front of your body. If your phone goes missing, tools like Find My Phone can give you an idea of it’s location and is helpful information for the police. If it’s gone and there is no hope of finding, be it cards or phone, remember to immediately cancel service to both. Giving your credit card numbers to someone back home will help you when you need to call and cancel them. If the material items aren’t sad losses but photos of your adventures are, make sure to back up your content along your journey. Use the Cloud to your benefit or switch memory cards throughout so if some go amiss you still have others by your side.
Mishap 3: Missed Flight/Delayed Flight
The best thing you can do when planning your trip is to space layovers out a few hours. This prevents you missing a connection if your first flight is delayed. Then use travel apps to know the status of your flights once booked. If you land and need to be moved to a different flight or require a new one all together and the counter is crowded with other inconvenienced travelers, save yourself the headache and call the airline from a terminal while you wait. With more customer service reps available by phone, you’ll receive service faster and be well on your way to your destination.
Mishap 4: Illness Abroad
First things first, protect yourself when abroad by registering for travel health insurance. Companies like Insure My Trip or World Nomads (they also insure possessions) provide coverage that fits anyone’s needs. If you do require a hospital and aren’t sure of one’s location, apps like TravelSmart will steer you in the right direction. Since many countries carry different medications and potencies than you may be used to–what works for you at home may not even be available abroad–don’t risk it, bring your must haves with you. Excedrine, Claritin, Pepto-Bismol, inhalers…pack it all so you’re not left high and dry on the road.
Mishap 5: Reservations Not Found
No matter if you reserve a room directly with the hotel or use a deals website for booking, it’s best to make backups of this information. Print a hard copy, save the original confirmation email and save one in a program like Evernote for easy retrieval and verification that you in fact do have a room booked. You can even call and confirm your reservation a week in advance so you won’t be stranded. If you do find that your reservation is nowhere in the hotel records, your immediate fall back can be a hostel or website like Last Minute or Hotels Tonight. Because last minute booking at a new place can be expensive, these sites give you discounted rates immediately.
Mishap 6: Ending Up in a Bad Part of Town
While you’re out exploring it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and not notice that your surroundings have changed. You might find yourself in an area unknown that isn’t the safest. To prevent this from happening it’s best to research different neighborhoods wherever you’re going to know what roads to stay away from. It’s also wise to remember to be present. Don’t go anywhere by yourself after hours if you can prevent it and tell people back home where you are if it’s necessary that you venture out. If you do find yourself in a questionable region, simply survey your surroundings and either turn around or try to get a cab asap.
Do you have any tips on how to correct one of these mishaps?
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