You know what they say about travelling? Oh, you don’t? Okay, well then, let me fill you in!
Travelling is an amazing way to experience new cultures and broaden a person’s horizons. No matter how many documentaries you watch online, it is possible to get the full scope of a country or a civilisation without visiting. Oh, and there is the social aspect. Meeting new people is always nice, especially if it’s a smoking hot guy with rock hard abs and a great sense of humour! Partying all night and day isn’t bad either, as long as you can handle your liquor.
On the face of it, travelling is a haven of opportunities. Sadly, visiting new countries and having experiences don’t always go to plan. For every feel-good tale, there is a horror story which is twice as bad. As the saying goes, excrement happens and you have to learn how to roll with the punches.
So, to help, this post will list the worst hazards and how to tackle them head-on.
The flights are booked and you are uber-excited about boarding a plane and starting your journey. Then, out of the blue, the airline calls and says the flights are cancelled. Even worse, you may get there and the company will have no record of your booking. Oh no – what a start! The key is not to panic and meltdown in front of an airport full of people. Not only does it not help, but it is very uncouth. Should the airline cancel the flights, there isn’t much you can do but contact your insurance company. Hopefully, they will cover the costs of the flights and any accommodation. Also, make sure the company provides details about additional travel. When they have no record, just show them a confirmation email and give a reference number. At least they know you are legitimate and need accommodating as soon as possible.
Uh oh! “What am I going to do? How am I going to get home?!” A lost passport seems like the end of the world but it isn’t as bad as it appears. Firstly, some companies and countries let passengers travel with a photographic ID. So, a driving licence may be okay depending on your nationality and the destination. Otherwise, you need an emergency or replacement. The first step is to apply for an expedited passport to speed up the process. That way, it may show up within a couple of days and limit the damage. Next, ask for an emergency document which allows you to fly. Most people stay in one place but it’s nice to have a contingency just in case. Finally, provide an address which is safe and suitable so that the consulate can deliver the passport. Alternatively, see if it is possible to transport it to the nearest Western Union or local post office.
Stolen Credit Card(s)
Just because you have landed doesn’t mean the trouble is over. In a lot of ways, it’s only just beginning. Credit card fraud happens everywhere, and thieves are as industrious abroad as home. The methods may differ, yet it doesn’t make them any less dangerous. Pickpockets are a huge problem in foreign countries, as are robberies. One thing worth remembering is that you shouldn’t be a hero. Should anyone threaten your safety, give them what they want and tell the police. Make sure you get a copy of the report and a reference number, too. When a pickpocket steals a card, you should cancel it ASAP. Hopefully, they won’t have enough time to run up a balance. Again, get in touch with the card and insurance companies if money does disappear from your account.
Delhi belly isn’t unique to India. Travellers who venture into South America or Europe tend to get stomach issues from time to time. The problem is a constant change in diet which causes the body to adapt. Usually, the problem will go away in a couple of weeks. So, all you have to do is persist. Should the issue get worse, head to the nearest doctor and ask for treatment. Your health insurance policy should cover the costs, so there’s no need to worry about money. Self-medicating is an option yet you are not a medical professional. The trick is to avoid contracting diarrhoea by drinking bottled water. Dirty water contains millions of bacteria and can lead to severe diseases and illnesses. Never trust tap water and always buy bottles.
There you are, minding your business when an accident turns your life upside down. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell the future, so you have no way of knowing what will happen. Still, it is possible to decrease the chances of an accident by taking precautions. Being safe doesn’t sound cool when travelling, but it could be the difference between life and death. Therefore, don’t be stupid and walk down a dark alley in the middle of the night to cut five minutes from your journey. Also, stick to the speed limit when behind the wheel and wear a seatbelt. Finally, don’t get too intoxicated and lose your inhibitions. Partying is great, but not at the expense of your health.
Travellers will tell you that travelling alone is terrific, and they are right. Alone, you get to decide the route, the sights you want to see and take your time. In a group, there is a lot less flexibility because you feel as if you have to stay together. The problem with travelling alone is loneliness. At times, it feels as if you are the only person in the world. Sure, it’s nice to be in control, but human contact is essential too. Going around the world is about experiencing new experiences and meeting new people. So, take the plunge and introduce yourself to a group. “Proper” travellers will accept you into the fold, no problem.
If you don’t panic and keep a positive outlook, none of the above will ruin the journey.