While travelling is an incredible experience it’s inevitable that, as with all things in life, there will be times where your best-laid plans fall through and everything seems to go badly wrong. But fear not, I’m here with a few common scenarios of when travel doesn’t go to plan and how to deal with them.
Travelling with the wrong people
Whether it’s a short break in the sun or long term travel, your dream holiday can quickly turn into a nightmare if you and your companions want very different things. The best way to handle this is before you leave the country: sit down together and discuss the main things that each of you want to see. Perhaps you can compromise so that you can all spend one day sightseeing followed by one on the beach. If your trip is long term and you don’t want to make any sacrifices, splitting up could be the best option – even if it’s just for a short time. After all, there’s no point in flying to Australia if your dream is to visit Perth and the rest of your group only want to travel the East Coast.
This is a situation that I’ve dealt with once before and never hope to again. In this situation, the quicker you take action the better. Call the airline as soon as you find out. If you’re travelling to or from an European airport, the airline must offer you a full refund or rebook your flight. If the flight isn’t until the following day – or even a few days later in my case – the airline are also obliged to help you out with accommodation and even food / transfer costs. Being left stranded in Amsterdam with no money for an extra two days was far from ideal but the airline put us up in a hotel with breakfast and dinner included, making the whole thing a lot less stressful. Know what you’re entitled to and keep all receipts is my best advice!
Breaking up on holiday
My first trip of 2015 was supposed to be an idyllic week in Mexico but the nerves in my stomach on the morning of our departure should have warned me that it might not go entirely to plan. Sure enough, there were tears (on my part) and deafening silence (on his) on both our first day and the last as I struggled to come to terms with the fact that our five year relationship had changed irrevocably, damaged beyond repair. It’s possible to still enjoy your holiday if this happens to you – we didn’t actually make our split official until we got home so things were relatively amicable, although far from ideal – but it entirely depends on your situation. If this does happen to you, I feel for you completely. Spend time separately seeing the sights, try not to argue furiously if you can help it and keep busy above everything else.
You get sick
Spending your much-anticipated break throwing up into a toilet is a surefire way to ruin your plans but sometimes no amount of planning can stop you from getting sick. Pack a travel kit of essentials, from painkillers and plasters to travel sickness and anti-diarrhoea medication, and free WIFI areas can be a godsend to help you find the nearest pharmacy. If you’re an EU citizen, make sure you sign up for a free EHIC card: this enables you to access state-provided healthcare in European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Switzerland at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free, until you return home. If you’re travelling off the beaten track, make sure you get the recommended vaccinations and most importantly for any traveller, buy good travel insurance.
How do you prepare for travel going wrong?