When Vacations Go Wrong: How to Survive Setbacks While Traveling

Image by Efe Kurnaz, unsplash.com

There’s nothing more enjoyable than having the vacation of your dreams planned and added to your calendar. Especially if the trip has been well thought-out, fully paid for in advance, and is coming up in the next few weeks. But sometimes, even with the most well thought-out plans, there still may be a hiccup that absolutely ruins your otherwise perfect trip. This is even more horrifying when something unexpected takes place when traveling internationally. If you have an upcoming vacation planned, the information below may be helpful to you.

Your Credit and ATM Cards Stop Working

Usually, credit cards and ATM cards don’t work for a couple of reasons.

  1. You may have exceeded your daily spending limit.
  2. Your bank or credit card company does not recognize where the charges are being made and consequently may consider it fraudulent activity.

You can overcome this type of setback by simply informing your bank and credit card company when you will be traveling, and request that your daily limit is increased. If your card stops for any other reason, be sure to have a reserve of cash on hand to handle these setbacks.

A Lost or Stolen Card or Wallet

If your wallet becomes lost or stolen, there are two things you can do in advance to overcome this obstacle during your vacation.

  1. Do not keep all your money in one place, so you’ll have some cash readily available should your card or wallet become lost or stolen.
  2. Contact your bank and credit card companies ahead of time and be sure to get travelers insurance that covers lost or stolen cards and wallets.

You Become Ill During Your Vacation

If you become ill while in another state (or another country), obtaining travelers insurance ahead of time will allow you to get the health coverage you need for any unexpected medical issues.

Political or Civil Unrest

If you experience political or civil unrest while traveling abroad, it’s important to contact your state’s US Travel Department should an evacuation need to take place. For the best results, register with your state’s travel department prior to your departure to allow time to contact your local authorities at the time you are faced with any unforeseen political or civil unrest.

Missing Your Schedule

Your itinerary will most likely be filled out before you leave and you probably have a few scheduled stops, tours, or trains to catch. If you miss one, it can seem like the end of the world. If this does happen, the first rule is to not panic. Take a deep breath and remember that you can get refunded, re-scheduled, or re-routed in most instances. If you miss a train, calling a cab, or renting a car might be a better option and could get you where you need to be faster.

Language Barriers

Language barriers can lead to miscommunications that can sometimes result in uncomfortable and even dangerous situations. The best way to overcome this setback is to merely turn to your nearest electronic device and Google what it is you’re trying to say or understand, then have it translated. Carry a dictionary with you and be sure to study the language at least a little before going.

Generally speaking, the best way to survive setbacks while traveling is to plan for them in advance. You can do this by performing the necessary research and positioning yourself for setbacks before they occur.

This article was contributed by guest author Eileen O’Shanassy.