8 Common Problems Travelers Get and How to Solve Them
You can still enjoy your holiday even when unexpected problems arise. However, you should know the best strategies to deal with them or even prevent some of them in the first place.
Here are eight common problems you’re likely to face and how to handle them.
1. Losing Your Wallet
No matter how careful you might be with your valuable wallet, there just might be a crook out there that’s a thousand times smarter. Moreover, with the added hassles in traveling, you can overlook simple safety precautions. And the worst part is once your wallet is gone, you’ll likely never get it back.
Therefore, when traveling, you need two sets of strategies: one set of prevention strategies and another set of solutions if you do lose your wallet.
Preventing the Stolen Wallet Problem
Never place your cash and cards in the same wallet. If you do, once you lose your wallet, you’ll have nothing to fall back on.
It may be hard to prevent theft completely, but you can reduce the extent of the loss. To do this, why not place a few local currencies in a decoy wallet. If you get mugged, give that away. Also, keep receipts of any foreign currencies you buy. This will help you claim compensations from your travel insurance company.
Most of all, always be aware of your surroundings. Some incidences can be easily prevented once you notice something unusual.
Solving the Stolen Wallet Problem
Always note important emergency phone numbers you can call in emergencies. Without these, you’ll be stranded when an unfortunate incident happens.
Immediately you lose your wallet, contact the local police. Get a copy of your statements and the crime report too.
If you lost any cards, report the theft to your bank without delay. Not only would they give you a replacement, but they can also give you an emergency cash advance. That would be a life saver if you totally have no money. Confirm with your bank beforehand, to confirm if they offer such a facility.
If you have travel insurance, which you should, file a report with them too. Do that within the timelines set out in your policy; otherwise, you’ll forfeit your compensation.
2. Jet Lag
After a long flight, you might end up feeling exhausted. This would be a disaster if you only have a short vacation period. It would be even worse if you can’t recover soon enough or experience other physical effects.
Fortunately, you can prevent jet lag beforehand, and even apply effective strategies to deal with it when it occurs…
Preventing Jet Lag
Before going on holiday, find out about the time-zones of your destination. Use this to adjust your eating and sleeping patterns beforehand. Doing this will help you cope with time-zone changes once you arrive.
You’ll need more preparation if you’re traveling west to east. Also, you should plan for a bit of free time when you reach your destination, just to adapt to the new environment, before engaging in physically or mentally challenging activities.
Adjust your diet too, by cutting down on alcohol, fat, salt, and caffeine. Such foods can cause an opposite reaction in your body, contrary to what you intend. Caffeine, for instance, may cause alertness and wakefulness when you should be sleeping. However, make sure to take proper meals – you’ll need the energy, especially if you’ve planned for an activity packed holiday.
Solving the Jet Lag Issue
As strong as the urge might be to fall asleep, try to stay awake if you arrive in daylight. You can prevent sleep by going for a walk or having a shower. Do anything you can, as long as it keeps you from taking a nap.
A useful trick to reset your internal clock is simply going out in the sun. Take it a notch higher by exercising. This will cause endorphins to flow in your body, making you feel energized.
If you’ve ever experienced jet lag before, despite taking all the necessary precautions, try figuring out exactly what works for you. There might be certain aspects that affect you and no one else. Once you know what they are, you can eliminate them.
3. Traffic Delays
The last thing you ever want is to miss a flight simply because of a traffic snarl up. Sometimes, this happens simply because of poor planning, or it may be due to circumstances beyond your control. There may be an accident on the road or even a raging bush fire.
Avoiding traffic delays might be easier than solving them, but you can try…
Preventing Traffic Delays
Obviously, planning ahead is the single most effective way of avoiding traffic delays. However, you can take it a step further by evaluating the routes that often experience traffic delays. In fact, particular airports are notorious for such traffic delays. Finding out which ones would help you plan appropriately or even select a different option.
Make sure to install a Smartphone app to get instant traffic updates. This will help you avoid routes that have just had an unexpected accident.
Above all, leave early for your scheduled flight. This would mean clearing your schedule of all other commitments during the day of your flight. Also, take note of the time your airline requires you to be at the airport. Some airlines require you be at the gate at least one or even two hours in advance.
Solving Traffic Delays
Once you’re stuck in traffic, there’s not much you can do. Surely, you can’t force traffic to start flowing or make all the cars in front of you to magically disappear. The best you can do is seek a better route.
With a traffic-reporting Smartphone app, you can get alternative routes where possible.
If you’re stuck in traffic, and would likely miss your flight, call the airline. They’ll reserve your seat as long as they can for you, and your ticket won’t lose all its value.
4. Mosquito Bites
Mosquitoes can ruin your holiday, especially if you have outdoor events or travel to mosquitoes infested areas. Mosquitoes aren’t the only insects you’ll have to deal with, but they are probably the most irritating.
Fortunately, you can effectively prevent and even contain the mosquito menace…
Preventing Mosquito Bites
Always check whether your holiday will involve outdoor events or activities in mosquito prone areas. Perhaps, you’re going fishing or hiking through nature trails. If so, get clothing that covers both your arms and legs. You might even consider an anti-mosquito hat.
Your traveling gear should contain insect repellent and a first aid kid. For those traveling to malaria zones, your doctor will prescribe certain tablets you should take beforehand.
Dealing with Mosquito Bites
Although you’ll feel like scratching, don’t. Scratching will only make it itch more, and the area will become inflamed.
If you have a first aid kit nearby, you can apply the right treatment to ease your pain. Alternatively, check into the local chemist. Make sure to identify appropriately registered and reputable chemists beforehand.
In some instances, you might be far from chemists or unable to access your first aid kit. Here, you can make use of natural supplements like tea tree oil, ice or calamine lotion. These will reduce swelling. The reason mosquitoes attack you could be because you left the curtains open. Close those curtains, turn the bedroom lights off and your mosquito problem vanishes.
5. Food Poisoning
Savoring new delicacies is one thing every traveler looks forward to. Unfortunately, you can’t do that if you get food poisoning.
The good news is you can easily avoid many distinct causes of food poisoning. If you do get it, a whole range of treatment options will help you.
Avoiding Food Poisoning
The first and most important thing to consider is your drinking water. Only take boiled water. Also, be cautious with ice, since you don’t know whether the water used to make it was boiled or not. Bottled water from reputable brands is the way to go, but first confirm that the seal is intact. A broken seal could mean the bottle was refilled.
Fruits and salads are great and healthy, only if they were washed in clean water. If in doubt, you would rather buy whole fruits.
Perhaps, the best meal is one prepared right before your eyes. This way, you can see exactly how it’s made and avoid reheated foods. On that note, steer clear of foods you see standing around for too long, especially if it’s exposed to flies.
Remember to check for and avoid the obvious foods that you typically react to. Changing time zones doesn’t change your metabolism.
Dealing with Food Poisoning
Hydration is important if you get an upset stomach. You can take rehydration sachets and sip lots of water. Combine this with a diet of bland foods like bananas, plain rice, and bread. In the meantime, avoid fatty fried, sweet or spicy foods. In case you’re vomiting, wait until it subsides before taking any solid foods.
The typical reaction for some people is immediately taking anti-diarrhea medicines. However, it’s best to let the condition take its course. This shouldn’t carry on for more than a day or two. If it does, contact a doctor.
6. Bad Weather
Cold weather is a horrible thing for anyone going on vacation. Unless you’re going skiing.
Since you can’t control the weather, you should make prior arrangements to avoid bad weather. You can still apply other contingency strategies if things do change while on holiday.
Avoiding Bad Weather
Always plan your holiday early. This will give you enough time to check on the weather conditions of your destination. You would then book the right accommodation during a good season.
Always check with other travelers who visited your intended destination. They’ll give you insights on the actual weather conditions, beyond what you’ll find in travel catalogs. You might need particular types of clothing when traveling to places with unpredictable weather patterns.
Inclement weather can derail your initial departure, and you may be stuck in the airport for a while. You would need something to keep you occupied during that long wait, especially if you have kids. Hence, you should carry snacks, movies, and games.
Dealing with Bad Weather
If you’re stuck in the airport due to inclement weather, make sure to call your airline while also checking out other carrier options too. This will increase your chances of getting on the next flight out as soon as possible.
Despite all your best efforts, the weather can change unpredictably during your vacation. This can prevent you from accessing certain tourist attractions. If you’re open to other alternatives, you can instead pick another location to make up for your loss.
7. A Not-So-Good Hotel
Even if you have many outdoor activities, you’ll spend every night in your hotel. Hence, getting one that doesn’t fit your preferences is a major disappointment.
You can avoid this and even get a solution when it does occur…
Avoiding Bad Hotels
Never plan your holiday at the last minute. You’ll only end up making rash accommodation choices that you’ll regret later.
Take your time to review as many hotel options as possible. Also get in touch with past guests from such hotels to get views on their accommodation experiences.
Dealing with Bad Hotels
Perhaps your hotel choice was right, but you simply got a bad room. Communicate your disappointment to the hotel management as soon as possible. In case you’re on a package holiday, get in touch with a travel representative. Always take sufficient videos and/ or photos as evidence of the problematic issues.
Often, when it’s just the room that has a problem, a complaint at the reception will get you a better room. Who knows, you might even get an upgrade.
8. Lost Luggage
You should always prepare for the worst thing that can happen to you while traveling… and what is worse than losing your luggage?
To avoid such a heart-wrenching experience, always take appropriate precautionary measures, and diligently follow up on the issue if it does occur…
Preventing Lost Luggage
You must always label your bag clearly. This will help identification, in case someone tries stealing it. Sometimes, though, someone might take it mistakenly. Put a recognizable marker on it, like a colorful ribbon, to avoid this.
Have you taken a photo of your suitcase? If you lose it, showing a picture of your bag would be much more effective than describing it to airline representatives. Also, when checking in your bag, confirm that it has the correct destination tag attached.
You can cut down your losses by keeping all your valuables in your hand luggage. Apart from a change of clothes, place such useful items as medication in your carry-on case.
Dealing with Lost Luggage
If you don’t see your luggage on the conveyor belt, file a report at the airline’s counter. They’ll take your contact details and may give you a bag of essentials. However, losing your bag after leaving the baggage claim area means you now have to contact the police instead of the airline.
The airline is required to compensate you for your lost luggage. You’ll also be paid for your lost luggage if you have the appropriate travel insurance policy.
Any of these problems can affect you while traveling, but you can effectively deal with most of them. Obviously, you’ll need sufficient preparation to avoid such incidences or reduce the extent of damage incurred. Most of all, remain calm when things go wrong and try figuring a way out.