Vacations are supposed to be all about fun and relaxation, but what do you do when your dream vacation turns into more of a nightmare? With all the stress of planning and being away from home, the last thing you need to worry about is something going wrong. Don't worry! We've got your covered by solving five of the most common vacation problems or helping you avoid them altogether.
Avoid These 5 Common Vacation Problems
1. Lost or damaged luggage
Uh oh. You've made it to your destination in once piece, but you can't say the same about your luggage. Now, all you have with you are the clothes on your back. There are a few things you can do to prevent this from happening. First, check the condition of your luggage before you leave. If the handle is loose or the zippers aren't working properly, you might want to invest in something new. Make sure your new bags are lightweight yet durable. Also, check your airline's regulations about luggage locks. Since all luggage can be searched, the airline may cut the lock and damage your bag in the process. Remove all your old claim checks, make sure your contact information is marked clearly inside and out, and get to the airport early to ensure your bags make it on the plane. If all else fails, report your lost luggage to the airline immediately and have your hotel information ready so they know where to forward your bags. As a backup plan, it's always a good idea to carry your necessities for a day or two in your carry-on.
2. Delayed, canceled, or overbooked flight
There's not much you can do if your flight is cancelled, but you can check with your airline in advance to make sure there haven't been any changes. Most airlines offer notification services that will call, text, or email you updates about your flight. To avoid losing your seat on an overbooked flight, check in as soon as possible, usually 24 hours before your departure time. Also request a seat assignment when you book if the option is available and book well in advance for holiday travel.
3. Lost or stolen money
Traveler's checks are still the safest way to deal with your money. Lost or stolen checks can usually be replaced within 24 hours. Just be sure to record the serial numbers, denominations, and date and location of the issuing agency. It's also a good idea to keep cash and credit cards in a few separate places like in your luggage, carry on, and handbag so you always have a backup. Keep an eye, or better yet a hand on your purse or bag whenever you're in a crowded area or carry valuables in a hidden security necklace. Even though backpacks are convenient, they're very easy targets. Finally, write down your credit card company's telephone number so you can call if your card is lost or stolen.
4. Getting sick
There are a variety of reasons you could get sick on vacation, so just be prepared. If you get motion sick easily, carry some over the counter medicine with you. Take it the night before your planned activity and then an hour or so before for the most effective prevention. Also try sitting by the window and by the wing of the plane or in the front seat of the car while avoiding reading or looking down. To treat a cold or flu, bring pain killers and decongestant with you. In some countries, you run into the risk of getting sick from contaminated water or contracting other serious diseases. Always drink bottled water and even avoid getting ice. Also, see your doctor well before your trip to get the necessary immunizations. Call your health insurance before you leave to make sure you're covered at your destination, and carry your insurance card and general practitioner's phone number with you at all times.
5. Passport or customs complications
Always carry your passport with you when you're traveling outside of the United States. Make sure your passport is valid and current months before your vacation to give you plenty of time to renew it if necessary. Some countries also require that your passport is valid for a certain amount of time after your departure. It's best to check with your destination's embassy if your passport is expiring within six months of your vacation. Carry a photocopy of your passport in case yours is lost or stolen. This can be a picture on your phone or even an attachment in your email so you can access it anywhere.
This article was written by Lauren Gaw.