Oh travel nightmares, if you’re a frequenter of the open road, skies, seas or…galaxy, I’m sure you’ve experienced at least one missed flight, luggage mix-up or forgotten passport moment. We’ve all been there, that’s why this post is a “must do” for any self-proclaimed travel writer.
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m a textbook Type A personality. I, unfortunately, have the bad habit of micro-managing my life, along with everyone else’s. This, however, is not the case when I travel. Some mystical force comes over me when I’m off adventuring that basically allows me to go with the flow, not direct the flow.
That being said, there are some travel nightmares that even my chilled out travel vibes can’t take care of. So, here are some tips on how to hold it all together when the unexpected happens in a country far away.
Repeat After Me: Travel Insurance Is My Best Friend
I promise, this is not me trying to be preachy, but travel insurance really is something to heavily consider. The last thing we want to think about when planning the trip of a lifetime is the possibility of getting into an accident or falling ill abroad, however, it’s something you need to at least think about. Life happens a lot more often than you’d think and part of life involves unexpected problems while travelling.
Personal story time: Last year while living in Sweden, I came down with an absolutely brutal cold that would not go away, no matter what I tired. As it turned out, I had developed a sinus infection that needed to be treated with antibiotics, which meant a trip to the doctor. Had I been without insurance, I would have paid over $400 for a 10-minute chat with the doctor and two weeks worth of medication.
Travel insurance is generally a cheap addition to your travel budget and can save hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
Practise Yoga Breathing
Ok, maybe don’t bust out Warrior Pose in the middle of the airport, but try to remain calm. This one is less relevant for when you’re about to miss your flight, in which case – RUN! However, if you miss the day trip you’ve been looking forward to, you go on vacation and it rains all week or your accommodations turn out to be not so perfect, this tip is for you. Something’s can’t be helped, so take a deep breath, deal with it and move on. There are always other activities to do, things to see and the best to make of a less than great situation.
Don’t Turn into the Hulk
This is for all of us who maybe can’t just “deal and move on”; see how I said “us”? Sometimes you just can’t let a situation go, put please, don’t turn into a big green giant. This is especially true when travelling with friends or family. During travel disasters, we often have little patients and are super high-strung, which can lead to tension and the occasional crappy friend moment. Trust, I’ve been that crappy friend a time or two. But, this is not the time for placing blame on a friend who you think made you late or who isn’t visibly as stressed as you are. Travel nightmares are taxing enough as it is, you don’t need to get into a petty argument to top it off.
Be a Fully Functioning Adult
At my day job, we tend to book a lot of travel for people and one of the top questions we jokingly ask is, “are you a fully functioning adult?” We’re teasing of course, but it basically means – “If shit hits the fan while you’re away, do you have enough space on your credit card to book a hotel or buy a meal?” That’s pretty much it; always make sure you have an “Oh shit” fund in the off chance that you actually have to use it.
Be Prepared For It ALL Travel nightmares
This tip is courtesy of my mom who always reminds me to bring a photocopy of my passport with me on every trip. I know the natural reaction to parental advice is to do the opposite, but you should just take my mom’s word for it. Always be prepared with copies of important documents, money, socks, underwear, puppies, joy…you get the picture!
And there you have it, folks, my sure-fire way to avoiding mental breakdowns in foreign airports. You’re welcome!