We’ve all been there – getting all excited for a vacation trip, or getting all nervous for an important business trip – only to end up frustrated and disappointed and just plain old stressed because of travel snags that seem to crop up when you least expect them. Did you find out you need a passport renewal? Was your flight delayed? Was your hotel overbooked?
Although the travel industry and all that comes along with it has come a long way in the past few years, thanks to technology, there are still some problems here and there that technology cannot address. And although it is true that prevention is better than cure, there are some things that still go wrong no matter how much you try to prevent them.
The smart way to go about this is to be prepared and to always have a backup plan. Don’t let these little travel problems ruin your trip.
Let’s take a look at the top 5 snags that travelers encounter, and the solutions to these problems.
You Lost Luggage
One of the worst travel snags that could ever happen to you is losing your luggage. In trying to prevent this, your bags should have your information visible on the outside, and in the inside as well, to make it easier to find if ever it does get lost. If you lose your luggage at the airport, alert the airline immediately. Usually, lost luggage is found and returned to you in a couple of days.
But how will you survive those couple of days without your things?
Answer: Pack a few of your basic necessities in a small carry-on bag. This would depend on where you are going, but it should basically include one or two sets of clothes and undergarments. This way, even without your luggage for a couple of days, you can still carry on with your plans for your trip.
Your Flight Was Delayed Or Canceled
Delayed and cancelled flights are one of those things that are entirely out of your control. There may have been a technical issue at the airport, or the weather might not be agreeing with you, or any number of reasons that just happened to delay or cancel your flight. A delayed or cancelled flight affects your whole trip because you already have a hotel booked, and an itinerary planned out – all of which is based on a schedule. If your flight schedule gets messed up, then everything else follows.
So what can you do?
Call the airline a week before your flight to check if there are any flight schedule changes. Then call them again a day before your flight. Doing this will allow you some time to book another flight or at least be aware of the delay. Call them again a few hours before your flight, to see if there are any last minute changes. Have another airline’s number and a travel agency’s number ready as your back up plan in case there are last minute changes to your flight schedule.
Your Flight/ Hotel Was Overbooked
Airlines and hotels usually overbook because they are working on the assumption that some people will cancel or not show up. Because of this, when not enough people cancel, it becomes a ‘first come, first served’ situation. If you end up as one of the unlucky ones, you’ll be left with the stress and hassle of looking for another flight or another hotel. If your trip is scheduled on a busy time of the year, you’re going to have a hard time finding a replacement.
How do you avoid this?
Answer: Because the airlines and hotels won’t tell you that they’re overbooked until you actually arrive, the best way to avoid this is to arrive early. For hotels, if you are going to be delayed for any reason, call them as soon as you can to confirm that you are going to arrive but will just be a bit late. You should also have back up hotels and flight schedules ready for worst case scenarios.
Your Wallet Was Lost Or Stolen
The best way to avoid this is to simply keep your wallet with you at all times, preferably somewhere near your chest. Your pockets or your bag aren’t going to cut it. You can wear a jacket with an inner chest pocket for your money and cards, or wear a hidden belt with a wallet holder. It’s best to keep your money hidden and as close to you as possible.
Answer: Don’t keep all your cash and cards in just one wallet. Have at least two – one with you at all times, one left in the safety box at your hotel. This way, even if you lose one wallet, you’ll have a spare. If you have credit cards in your wallet, make sure you have your bank’s number ready so you can report the cards lost or stolen as soon as possible.
You Need A Rush Passport
There’s nothing more frustrating than planning a trip, only to find out a few days before your flight that a passport is needed – and yours isn’t ready. You may not have a passport yet, or it may already be expired. Whatever the reason, the fact is you need a rush passport. Passport processing takes time, and that’s time you don’t have. Without your passport, you’ll have to cancel or postpone your trip, and of course you don’t want to do that.
So what can you do in a short amount of time?
Answer: Expedite your passport. You can get your passport processed and finished in within hours. Check with your airline or with the U.S. Department of State to find out if you need a passport. If they say that you do and you don’t have enough time to process it, contact Fastport Passport and get your expedited passport in as fast 24 hours.
These travel issues are very common and are really stressful when it happens to you. Follow our advice and be prepared, have a Plan B ready, and don’t let your trip be ruined by travel problems.
Have you encountered any other travel problems? Share your travel horror stories in the comments below.