These are a few common concerns that people have about travelling. I have written down a few suggestions that I myself take seriously as even though prevention is the best policy, sometimes there are things that happen which you just can't prevent. Thus, these tips will hopefully make things easier if these mishaps happen.
1. Stolen or Lost Items
If your personal belongings such as your wallet was stolen or if you somehow misplaced it, retrace your steps as soon as you realise it has gone missing. Go back to the places you've been and ask people around, especially those who are working there whether anyone has handed in a lost wallet. Public places often have a lost and found counter so it's worth a try to check on those places.
Tip: I recommend having a secondary wallet, so that you can keep extra cash there. Do not bring all your cash out with you and if you do, split them up! Put them in separate pockets so that if you get mugged, it is more likely you will still have some cash from your other pocket.
If it was your passport that went missing, report it to the police immediately and be sure to get a copy of the crime report. Get hold of your embassy and let them know of your situation, often you will be able to get an emergency passport.
Tip: Be sure to take a photo of your passport before your trip or bring a different form of identity such as driving license. This is essential to prove your identity to the embassy. Alternatively, make a copy of your passport and email this to yourself so that you'll always have this in case of anything.
2. Missing Luggage / Overweight Luggage
It is a real nightmare to find out that your luggage is on its way to somewhere else or worse still, nobody knows where it is! So what do you do without any of your belongings or clothes then!? At the arrival airport, contact the airline via the counters available and explain your situation. They will be able to trace your missing luggage and if your bag was misdirected, they will courier it to your hotel within the next few days. Depending on airline policy, but they usually have to reimburse you with any purchase you made to cover these loses whilst waiting for your bag.
Tip: Always have a pair of clothes in your hand-carry luggage or if you do not have any hand-carry luggage, at least bring a jacket or cardigan with you. This not only gives you an extra day to look for clothes, it also helps you get through the cold you might feel on the plane.
Another possibility that might happen is that after such a great trip, chances are you got carried away with the shopping and found yourself having an overweight luggage.
Tip: I recommend having a portable luggage scale as this comes in handy at times like this. Weigh your luggage before the airport and if it is indeed overweight, split up your items into different bags and hand carry one of them. It is often cheaper to buy a cheap bag to put these items in than to pay for the overweight charge in the airport.
3. Missed Flight / Delayed or Cancelled Flights
If you miss your flight, look for the next alternative and speak to the airline. Hear out the alternatives they are offering and weigh your options. You are most likely to pay a fee for it but paying for a missed departure fee is often cheaper than buying a new ticket. You can read more about what to do if you missed your flight here where I explain the options further.
Tip: Double-check your flight time and ensure you have set aside enough time to get to the airport. Set more than one alarm for morning flights and if you're a heavy sleeper, get reception to give you a morning call.
As for delayed or cancelled flights, there is not much you can do as this depends on the airline itself. Usually you can either claim a refund or change your flight timing for flights delayed for more than 2 hours.
Tip: Be sure to check your e-mail daily as if there are any advance planned change in flight times, you will be notified via e-mail prior to departure.
4. Complication at Customs
Prior to your trip, be sure to check if you need a visa to enter the country. There can sometimes be other requirements such as a return ticket or proof of hotel stay. Find out about the value of items or amount of cash you're allowed to bring into the country as there are limitations. I would also suggest that you keep all your receipts for the trip especially for any large spending so that you can show to customs officials if asked.
Tip: If you need a visa to visit a country, bring copies of important documents such as proof of address, work letters etc. This is to prove that you do live in the country you stated and that you have a life there. This is what most customs are conscious of, that you may be an immigrant. Don't give them a reason to doubt you. If they bring you in for questioning, you're more likely to pass through with these proofs.
5. Unexpected Mishaps
This varies from bad weather to you falling sick. Always find out the expected weather conditions to where you're travelling to. They may not be 100% accurate, but at least you know what to expect and you can plan your trip around it. You can often be dehydrated whilst travelling and having a full-on itinerary can sometimes have too much weight on you, so be sure to drink enough water and get enough rest.
Tip: Always bring an extra pair of clothes that will cater for the rain or drop in temperature.
What are some of the travel concerns you have and how do you approach them? Leave a comment below and let me know.
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