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10 Common Travel Mishaps and How to Avoid A Bad Trip

10 Common Travel Mishaps and How to Avoid A Bad Trip

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The countdown has finally ended and you made it to that much-anticipated vacation. Nothing can stop you from having a good time… until the unexpected happens. Bad weather, a lost reservation, a pickpocket — there are ways to plan ahead so it doesn’t become a bad trip. Here are 10 common travel mishaps and how to avoid them.

Sources: AirfareWatchDog.com, SmarterTravel.com, USAToday.com, MatadorNetwork.com, HuffingtonPost.com, Travel.AARP.org, LonelyPlanet.com, BudgetTravel.com

huffingtonpost.com
huffingtonpost.com

1. Pickpockets and Robberies

We all want to trust people; it’s human nature. But the smiling passer-by can easily turn into the guy or girl who stole your wallet. Never keep all your money in one place, and consider keeping your wallet and valuables in inaccessible places such as zippered or hidden pockets. Think about investing in theft-proof products, and avoid sketchy areas. Avoid being over friendly in vulnerable situations such as buses or crowded squares. You don’t want your vacation to end up in someone else’s pocke.

examiner.com
examiner.com

2. Dehydration, Intoxication and Illness

First rule. Always drink plenty of water while on vacation. Dehydration can cause severe illness, and if you’re unprepared, you could be on a bad trip to the local hospital. If you are prone to allergies or regular sickness, make sure you have everything you need for a quick recovery. Never accept alcohol from strangers, and keep an eye on your drink. Monitor your alcohol consumption as well, because over-intoxication can lead to bad judgment – and unexpected robberies. Consider getting medical travel insurance. Overall, be prepared for the worst and hope for the best!

examiner.com
examiner.com

3. The Weather

You can’t predict the weather, but you can try. Chances are, if you see your dream cruise at an unbelievably low price, it’s probably because it’s during the off season. Check the areas you are traveling to and what the weather is like at that time of year. Be sure to read between the lines, and notice the refund policies. Do they offer trip insurance? Is the hotel reservation non-refundable? Finally, make sure you pack for any event, and avoid getting caught in a monsoon with nothing but tank tops and miniskirts.

smartertravel.com
smartertravel.com

4. Lose Yourself, but Don’t Get Lost

Always carry maps on you, as well as GPS if you have a smartphone. If an area seems unfamiliar, regain your bearings and find the closest place that will have information to find your way around. Taxis can seemingly always help you find your destination, so make sure you know how to find one. Do some research on the area before heading out the door hoping to find adventure. Vacations are about exploring, but blindly heading out into unfamiliar areas can take you on a journey you may end up regretting.

usatoday.com
usatoday.com

5. Lost Luggage

Losing your luggage can mean losing your fun. Avoid this by making sure you have modern luggage tags, and even consider getting microchips in them. Also, check in early for your flight. The longer the airport has to process handling your luggage, the more likely it will end up on your plane. Carry on as much as possible, and make sure those bags have something unique about them so that someone else doesn’t pick up your bags. Put your itinerary in each piece of luggage. Finally, take photos of your luggage so the baggage claim can easily recognize that it is indeed your bag.

dailymail.co.uk
dailymail.co.uk

6. Losing Your Passport or ID

Always keep these items in the safest place possible, and have several forms of them stowed in different places. Having a copy of your passport will make the re-issuing process much faster, and if it is lost, contact the U.S. Embassy to obtain a new one or get something temporary. Furthermore, extra cash can go a long way, so keep some separate from your wallet and/or passport for use in a tough situation.

huffingtonpost.com
huffingtonpost.com

7. Hotel Lost Your Reservations

As soon as that trip is booked, print and make copies of your reservations. Hotels can’t deny your documentation. Keep a copy of reservations on you in case your luggage is not close by, and if nothing else, make sure your email inbox has confirmation of every reservation. Before you depart, call and confirm that your reservation is still intact. No one wants to pay for their trip twice!

examiner.com
examiner.com

8. Public Transportation Issues

Local transportation can be a gift or a curse. Avoid the latter by researching all forms of transport before leaving for your destination. Do you want to take buses, trains, taxis, or ferries? Then make sure you know where they pick up, how often, and how late. Be safe by choosing wisely. Try to plan these ahead if possible. Spontaneity’s great until you end up miles from your hotel with no one to take you there except the creepy motorist eyeing you from across the way.

theguardian.com
theguardian.com

9. Driving Safely

Ah, the road trip. The wind in your hair, the open road, and not a single gas station or mechanic for hundreds of miles. That’s not your stomach rumbling! Avoid breaking down in the middle of nowhere by mapping out mechanics, gas stations, and rest stops. Always keep a backup tank of fuel, and have your car checked before leaving. If renting a car, be sure of the insurance and what it covers. If all else fails, have your phone charged – along with a physical map – and a way for others to track you. The open road can turn into SOL with the blink-er of an eye.

telegraph.co.uk
telegraph.co.uk

10. Flight Cancellations

They happen. Often there is nothing to avoid them, but you can try. Fly during good weather if possible, and prepare for the cancellation. You will get to your destination sooner or later. When a cancellation does happen, find customer service. Try calling the airline to avoid long lines. Insist on same-day standby flights, and travel on fuller nonstop flights if possible. Download an app like FlightView for updates and forecasts. But most of all, be patient and know that sometimes life is out of your control. Make the most of it!