You’ve booked your tickets well in advance. You’ve picked the places you’re going to visit. Everything about your getaway is perfect for the T. But something goes wrong on the D-day. Wait? What! Before you know it, you see all your travel plans going awry.
Don’t be surprised though. Certain unexpected events can change the course of your travel. Of course, most of us are prepared for common mishaps: missed flights, lost or forgotten luggage. Most of the times, there is a typical course of action to be followed in these cases, and most airlines are more than willing to assist you with the same.
Yet, there are a few of these that one would not even think of unless one encounters it. Obviously, the most common reactions to the sudden change of plans are confusion and frustration. I had gone through something similar on my last trip and realized it could happen to anyone. Hence, I’ve put together a short guide to everything that can go wrong with one’s travel plans and some tips on how to deal with them.
Reaching the wrong boarding platform is a traveler’s worst nightmare, especially when you’re the kind of person who leaves everything to the last minute.
Always keep a few hours in the buffer before your boarding time. Check and re-check your boarding details at least one or two days in advance before the actual boarding date. Try to cross-off the to-dos on your list in-line with your daily activities as the d-day approaches. Want to get your fuel tank filled? Do it the day before. Need to shop for groceries? Do it the previous weekend.
Consider traffic jams on the roadways or blocked rail routes before you book a cab or board a train. In case any you encounter any of the above, the extra time on your side can prove to be a blessing as it gives you some room to think of alternatives.
Sadly, sickness and injuries are not rooted to places. In fact, you’re more susceptive to allergies and seasonal illnesses in a new place as compared to your home. Thus, a health-care kit should be the next thing on your list of “things to carry” after your tickets. You can also keep an eye on the nearest local pharmacies and doctors in the vicinity of the places you’ll be visiting and lodgings you’ll be staying at. Further, your health insurance should be up-to-date and you should always carry your health insurance ID with you.
Lastly, if things get a little out of hand, especially in a faraway foreign land, you can always reach out to the local embassy for emergency assistance.
A smartphone with an internet connection is THE travel accessory for a modern day traveler. Gone are the days when you’d have to juggle with managing a compass, a map, several tickets, and a bunch of hotel cards. Nowadays, you can just walk out with some cash on you (or money in your bank account) and an internet connection on your phone and voila! You could make it anywhere your heart wishes to carry you. It’s almost as if you could travel on your whim!
That being said, it would be prudent to stay conscious of your surroundings, in case your phone tanks. All it takes is a bit of caution and tick off some prerequisites before venturing out.
Firstly, my advice would be to keep snapshots and pictures of all critical documents in your cell phone’s local drive. I’m talking airline, bus, and railway tickets, identity proofs, passport, essential contacts, and maps of some well-known places such as railway stations and of course, your lodging place. Secondly, ensure that your phone is in a perfect working condition before you set out. If you feel it is showing signs of a breakdown, have it checked or keep a spare phone on yourself. Lastly, inquire about the cellular reception quality of your provider at your destination and carry a spare SIM (that works in the said place) in handy.
Perhaps one of the most urgent events that can change the course of your travels is a family emergency. There is an endless number of possibilities of uncalled personal crises to cut your trip short. The best thing to do in such a situation would be to calm down and avoid taking swift actions. Stay connected to a few friends and close family members who can help you plan the next best course of action, depending on the severity of the situation.
In case it does come down to taking the next flight back, look out for the best flight deals and head back as soon as possible. You don’t need to disappoint yourself over this. There will always be a next time.
Adventure strikes in the most unexpected situations to the most experienced and frequent travelers out there. Rather than fretting, take those instances as a learning curve and move on. A true-blue traveler is someone who masters the art of dealing with all sorts of situations, on-the-go in a faraway place.