Unfortunate situations can happen at the most unexpected of times and places. Some of these are easy to handle, while others can turn out quite a pain in the neck, but one thing is certain: no matter how serious a problem is, complications increase while traveling. We’ve outlined a list of common travel disasters, with advice on how to prevent them.1. Missing documents
Whatever tutorial on travel packing you may stumble upon online, you’ll see that they all agree on a couple of key points, one of which is ‘not forgetting and/or carefully packing your documents”. This, in fact, can be quite a problem, as you’re obligated by the law of almost every country on the planet to have relevant travel ID (passport) by your side at all times.
Should you happen to lose your passport or any other
important travel document, it is essential that you act immediately. Find a police officer, or contact the emergency
services in order to locate the nearest embassy. Once you have applied for and
received an emergency passport, you’ll be okay for a limited amount of time,
meaning that you’re likely going to have to cut your travel short.
Pro tip: it would be wise to always carry everything needed to create an emergency passport inside a small package by your side. These elements include a photo of the appropriate size, a copy of your ID, your birth certificate and your travel itinerary with necessary tickets, along with a copy of your passport.
Some people simply don’t get attached to their personal belongings like clothes, gadgets and other miscellaneous items, while others tend to fall in love with their possessions. Regardless of how sentimental you are, losing the luggage during your travels can truly ruin your trip. To make things worse,this isn’t an unlikely scenario, luggage gets lost on airportsall the time, plus you (or someone responsible for your stuff) can end up forgetting your suitcase in the hotel room, on the bus or on the train.
One way to make sure that you get your luggage back is to always keep your baggage claim ticket with you, preferably in your wallet, up until the very moment you reclaim your suitcase.
Calling the airlines, travel agencies and hotels once you’ve realized your baggage is missing will often help you recover lost items.3. Losing money
Whether we’re talking about losing your wallet, misplacing it with your luggage and ending up with a missing suitcase, or getting mugged, this is one of the most serious problems you can face when travelling. Without money, you won’t be able to get around, and the more time passes by, the more complicated your life will become – without money, you won’t be able to get a room and your phone/device battery/batteries will quickly run out, unnecessarily complicating your life even further.
It is smart to always have a friend who is able to wire you money at all times, as well as an extra credit card (held separately from your other ones) they can wire the money to. This will prevent atonof potential headaches.
Regardless of whether you’re going on a road trip, or using a rented car to get around in a foreign country, vehicles are prone to breaking down (especially in weather conditions neither you or your car are used to). As a rule of thumb, you should visit a mechanic as soon as a problem appears, no matter how insignificant it may seem, and even if you think you’ve fixed it – you do not want to end up with a faulty car in an unfamiliar location, as this can completely wreck your vacation.
If a problem occurs on the road, and you can’t or don’t think you can handle it on your own, it’s always good to have a list of trusted truck towing services for each location you’re visiting jotted down somewhere. Of course, that entails doing some research before you set off.
5. Traffic jams
You can easily get stuck in traffic or encounter another problem that might cause you to miss your plane/bus/train, which is why you should always leave early, even if you end up spending an extra hour or two at the airport (or an appropriate alternative).
Pro tip: if you think you can’t make it, call the airline, so that your ticket doesn’t lose its entire value – even if you don’t end up making it on time, the airline is likely to hold onto your ticket for a while, without allocating it to a random individual on standby.
As you might’ve already gathered, most travel disasters are avoidable through research and preparation, making dedicating an amount of time before your travels to reading up and getting mentally prepared a smart decision. Always have someone at home who can help you out (logistically or financially), have a backup plan for lost documents or luggage, make sure that you always leave early before a scheduled trip and have appropriate service numbers by your side before even setting off.