The prospect of going on a trip out of the country can excite anyone. But the thought of having something go wrong? Not so much. Although traveling to new places is an opportunity that should not be missed, one should never go unprepared. Since bad luck can strike any time, that trip you have been looking forward to all month could turn into a disaster in just an instant. Are you about to go on a trip out of the country? Here are some of the most common hitches travelers tend to encounter and some problem solving tips to overcome them.
Problem Solving at the Airport
Missed your flight.
One of the biggest problems a traveler could encounter is missing his or her flight. Not only is it annoyingly frustrating to miss a flight, but it can also be quite expensive. To avoid missing your flight, always double-check your flight details a day before. Next, try to come at least an hour before your actual flight. Some airlines will start to allow passengers to board at around forty-five minutes before departure. If a missed flight is inevitable, you should contact the airline as soon as possible. Explain what happened, and ask about available options. You may also be allowed to transfer to a different flight with a minimal fee, but this depends on certain circumstances.
Remember, buying a new ticket is not the only solution, rather, it should be your final option when everything else fails.
The flight is delayed or canceled.
Sometimes, airlines forget to contact their clients regarding any changes. However, most times, delays and cancellations are caused by factors such as bad weather. If you get stuck in the airport because of a delayed flight, the best thing to do is to wait. On the other hand, if it is a mechanical or technical delay, you can try asking for other flight options.
If you lose your luggage due to a flight delay, you can just sit tight and wait for it to arrive. However, if it is sent to the wrong airport, retrieving them could take a couple of days. Problem solving includes filing an immediate claim. For lost luggage, make sure to get a written claim for damages. Airlines will usually reimburse any loss that they are responsible for. For missing or delayed luggage, make sure to leave your current address and phone number so they can reach you.
Losing important documents or IDs while in a foreign country can be extremely stressful. If this ever happens to you, problem solving includes immediately contacting your embassy. An easy way to avoid this is to make digital copies of all your important documents and IDs. For example, you can scan or photocopy your documents before you leave. Although you will still have to go through some trouble, having a digital copy will make everything else a little bit easier.
Problem Solving During the Flight
Motion sickness occurs when your inner ear sends signals to your brain that do not match what you are seeing. While some people experience it on specific modes of transportation, others are not so lucky. It is hard to eliminate motion sickness completely. But you can try to minimize its intensity. When you buy your tickets, try to request a window seat above the plane’s wings. If you are willing to spend, choose a seat near the front of the plane. A windows seat will allow you to focus your gaze on the horizon. Meanwhile, seats over the wings and near the front feel the least amount of motion during flight.
Who does not hate an annoying seatmate? Before starting a fight, try to talk to your seatmate politely first. If talking does not work, you can go ahead and ask the flight attendants to deal with the problem. You can also ask to transfer seats, especially if your flight is not that full.
Common Problems Encountered During the Trip
Lodging is not the same as expected.
Pictures are often deceiving. This does not only apply to blind dates, but to others as well. For example, that picture of the gorgeous hotel room you saw months ago might be different from the real one. Entirely different. If this is the case, there is nothing wrong with notifying the front desk immediately. Depending on how well you handle the situation, you may even get a full refund. But that is not always the case. To avoid this problem, make back-up reservations beforehand. Also, it does not hurt to check all the reviews of the place first. Especially if you tend to use hotel booking sites.
Ah, jet lag. The bane of all travelers—seasoned and first-timers alike. Also known as desynchronosis or flight fatigue, it is a temporary disorder that causes insomnia related to a change of time zones. Jet lag happens when the body is unable to adjust to the time in a different zone. Although temporary, the effects of jet lag may cause some inconvenience. To help alleviate jet lag, try avoiding substances that may prevent you from sleeping like caffeine. You may also take some sleeping pills in moderation, to help you fall asleep. Once you arrive at your destination, do your best to adapt to the local time as soon as you can. This is the fastest way to get rid of jet lag.
The establishment does not accept card transactions.
When you travel abroad, it is always a wise option to bring a credit card. Paying with a credit or debit card is not only convenient, but it also saves you the trouble of getting to know the country’s currency. Although most establishments abroad accept credit cards, places like the marketplace and bazaars do not. This is a difficult predicament to get into, so the best way to avoid it is to be prepared for it. Aside from your credit card, always bring some extra cash with you. Most countries do not accept other currencies besides the US dollar. So, it is a good idea to have your money converted to US dollars while you are home. Lastly, do not forget to convert your money before you leave the airport.
Many things can happen during travel. Are you the adventurous type? Would you rather go on a hike then just relax in your hotel room? If yes, then you must be aware of how dangerous the natural world can be. A quiet creek can give you an explosion of hives. Even an unassuming mountain trail can turn deadly with the sudden appearance of venomous snakes. Problem solving for this situation includes being prepared. Before you head on to your adventure, make sure you know everything there is to know about the landscape first. If the land is known to house venomous creatures, bring some anti-venom. If you have a history of allergic reactions, bring some antihistamines. Remember, nothing beats being prepared.
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