What’s travelling without encountering a few challenges along the way? While it’s true that travelling is an enriching experience, it’s also inevitable that you may face certain problems during your trip.
From cultural differences to delayed flights, there are many obstacles that can arise when travelling. As the saying goes, anything that can go wrong will go wrong and although this is not entirely true, it always pays off to prepare for the unexpected.
Encountering a few bumps along the way is common but fear not! There’s a solution to every problem and with the help of some travel tips, you can navigate through these challenges to make the most of your experience.
Here are 10 common travel problems that you may encounter and how you can overcome them.
1. Lost Luggage
You arrive at your destination but your luggage doesn’t. You hope there’s a minor delay in cargo but it turns out that your luggage has been completely misplaced. What do you do next? Losing your luggage is a nightmare scenario for any traveller.
Nonetheless, this can be avoided if you prepare beforehand.
- Solution: Always pack essentials like documents, toiletries, medicine and some clothes in your carry on bag. By doing this, you’ll still have essentials to get you through the first few days of your trip.
You should also consider getting travel insurance to cover any losses.Be that as it may, the airline company should reimburse you for any damages or loss.
Just remember to provide a detailed description of your missing luggage and always keep calm throughout the process.
2. Delayed or Cancelled Flight
A delayed flight can be a real downer but a cancelled flight is even worse! Both scenarios are dreaded by travellers and this happens more often than not.
Unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather or technical issues can disrupt your flight and although it’s impossible to predict these situations, you can minimise the impact.
- Solution: Sign up for travel alerts and notifications on your flight applications so you’re constantly updated. You should also keep track of weather conditions and other potential disruptions before your trip.
To help you pass the time during a delay, bring a book to read or make sure your devices are fully charged. In the event of any cancellations, contact the airlines immediately and explore other rebooking options.
3. Currency Exchange Rate
When visiting foreign countries, the rate of changing one currency to another can be a real concern. There are constant fluctuations in exchange rates and you could end up losing money if you’re not careful.
- Solution: The global economy is not doing well so it’s advisable to research the current exchange rate and compare it with different exchange options. This should give you an idea of the best time to exchange your money.
You’ll also know what to expect, allowing you to plan your budget accordingly. Look for reputable currency exchange services that offer good rates with low fees and avoid changing money at the airport as they have lower rates.
Consider using credit cards that offer rewards for purchases made abroad. You can then use the points or cashbacks for future travel expenses.
4. Jet Lag
If you’re travelling outside your time zone for the first time, you may get a little surprise in the form of jet lag. Jet lag is a condition that disrupts your body’s internal clock, leaving you fatigued and disoriented.
It’s not something you can avoid entirely but you can minimise its impact.
- Solution: Before your trip, gradually adjust your sleep schedule according to the time zone of your destination. Once you’re on flight, remember to stay hydrated and avoid caffeine and alcohol if possible.
Upon arrival, try to adjust to the local time zone as quickly as possible by exposing yourself to sunlight. Sunlight will signal your body that it’s daytime and help reset your internal clock.
You should also stay active throughout the day and resist the urge to sleep until night time. You’ll be able to sleep better that way as you’ll be tired by the time night comes.
5. Culture Shock and Language Barriers
Some cultures can be so foreign that you may experience culture shock. Not to mention the difference in language and communication styles.
It’s not easy adjusting to new cultures, customs, languages and societal norms but with some understanding and open mindedness, you can navigate through this challenge.
- Solution: Remember to research and learn about the local customs and traditions of the location you are visiting. Familiarise yourself with basic phrases and greetings to help you get around better.
Knowing a phrase or two is also a sign of respect to the locals and remember to be patient and understanding when communicating with them. Above all, always adhere to the local practices and belief systems as you wouldn’t want enemies in a foreign place!
6. Luggage Weight Limits
The weighing scale for your luggage will be a deciding factor whether you have to pay extra fees or repack your belongings. Exceeding the weight limit can be a headache but it can be managed with some travel planning.
- Solution: Meeting the weight limit comes down to nothing more than careful packing and organisation. Only bring the essentials and avoid unnecessary items that can add unnecessary weight.
Choose versatile clothing and shoes that can be mixed and matched or consider packing some clothes in your carry on (at the expense of added weight to your bag). Make sure you weigh your luggage at home using a reliable scale to avoid surprises at the airport.
If you’re at the airport and your luggage is over the limit, remove some items and place them in your carry on bag. If you have family or friends sending you off, consider leaving some stuff with them.
Navigating through foreign transportation systems can be daunting. It’s rather common for travellers to come across transportation issues especially if they don’t know the language. Nonetheless, this once again comes down to proper travel planning.
- Solution: Familiarise yourself with the country’s transportation systems and all its alternatives. Always do this beforehand so you avoid confusion or last minute stress. Going back to point number 5, this can potentially cause culture shock too!
Research about the available transportation options such as buses, trains, taxis and e-hailing rides. Take the opportunity to learn about traditional transportation and see how you can integrate them into your itinerary.
Hopping on trams, tuk-tuk’s or even horses can really enhance your travel experience! Some places are bicycle friendly too so consider renting one as a more convenient, fun and cheaper way to get around.
Unless you’re staying at a five star hotel, you can’t really predict the quality of your accommodation albeit pictures you see online. Nothing’s more disappointing than arriving at an accommodation that doesn’t meet your expectations.
Unclean rooms, noisy neighbours and unexpected issues can really dampen your experience.
- Solution: A wise man once said, “always read the reviews!” and rightfully so. Reviews will tell you everything from the conditions of the room to the quality of service provided.
Read multiple reviews from different sources such as TripAdvisor or Booking.com. Additionally, consider the location of the accommodation and whether it meets your needs in terms of accessibility and proximity to attractions.
When all else fails, promptly inform the hotel staff about the issues you’re experiencing. If your issues are more supernatural than physical, get out of there ASAP!
9. Health and Safety Concerns
Falling sick is the last thing anyone wants to experience during their trip. Catching a cold, stomach bug or injuring yourself can really jeopardise your plans.
Nonetheless, this happens more often than not as a different climate and unfamiliar environment can really affect your health.
- Solution: As with most of the travel tips on this list, always do your research beforehand and read about the health and safety guidelines of that particular location. Learn about the common viruses and illnesses in that area so you know what to expect.
You should also include medication into your travel packing list to ensure you’re prepared for any health related issues. Avoid consuming food or drinks in unsanitary locations and don’t forget to bring a bottle of hand sanitiser along.
To avoid unnecessary injuries, steer clear of locations that are known to be unsafe or have high crime rates.
10. Covid 19 Restrictions
The introduction of covid-19 had a serious impact on the travel industry and it continues to do so till this day. From face masks to vaccine certificates, there were many rules and regulations that were implemented in light of the pandemic.
Navigating through these rules can be challenging as one miss step can result in denied entry or quarantine requirements.
- Solution: Update yourself on the travel advisories and restrictions for your destination. Check official websites to get the latest updates on entry requirements, quarantine rules and testing protocols.
Most countries have loosen their restrictions but it’s best to stay informed to keep yourself in the loop. Don’t forget to download or print your vaccine certificates before flying off and remember to include face masks and sanitisers in your travel packing list.
You should also consider getting travel insurance that covers covid-19 related issues.
We can safely say that nobody wants to encounter travel problems during their trips. Nonetheless, this cannot be avoided at times and the best you can do is mitigate the impact on your journey.
In the face of adversity, being prepared and proactive is the best way to overcome your travel problems. Above all, don’t forget to incorporate these 10 travel tips into their problems and you’ll be well equipped to rise above the occasion. Happy travels!
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