How to Deal with Unexpected Events when Travelling
As someone that often worries and stresses about situations, I like to make sure that I have everything planned and organised. This is especially the case when travelling. I like to make sure I know what is happening and when and that I have all of the documents I need ready. I used to believe that if I was organised and had lists for everything imaginable (I mean everything! From things to do, packing lists and documents to have) that nothing could go wrong.
Well this belief was very naive.
Life is not always simple and sometimes unexpected events happen and that's okay! Especially when travelling there are lots of things that could go wrong from missed flights and lost luggage to losing a bank card or even bad accommodation. Even when you think you’re always careful and aware of your surroundings, sometimes mistakes happen.
I’m here to tell you from personal experience that these events come with a part of travelling. Don’t worry though, travelling isn’t all bad. In fact, the majority of your travels will be better than the rare mishaps that do happen. In fact, you will likely have a lot more successful trips than bad and even if something does go wrong, it won't affect the whole trip!
Therefore the mishaps do not define your trip, it is what you make of them and how you handle them that affect the trip. Would you rather find a solution quickly and move on to enjoy the rest of your trip? Or would you rather let it bother you and ruin your trip as you feel like you're missing out on your original plans? Exactly, they are all part of the travelling experience and this is why I have used my experiences to compile a go-to guide on how to deal with the event and your emotions in these situations. Just know that you are not alone if something goes wrong and there are so many people that can help out, from locals, other travellers and even online support.
So sit tight and take in the advice to make your next trip great even if something goes wrong!
1. Step Back and Breathe
The first thing to do in these situations is to take a step back and breathe. When something goes wrong, our first instinct is to panic. This often makes the situation worse and you will not have a clear head to work out what to do. No matter the problem, take a minute to step away from it and breathe. Remind yourself that it is not the end of the world and there will be a solution. This will help you to relax and have a clearer head to decide what to do next rather than panicking.
2. Find Somewhere to Sit
Once you have calmed down a bit, work out if you need to speak to someone to arrange any changes. For example, do you need to speak to someone in the airport to rearrange a missed flight or to arrange some overnight accommodation? Once you have done this, you can take yourself off somewhere indoors like a cafe or a fast food restaurant. This is so that you can have some food and a drink to keep yourself fuelled and it is much better than being stood outside in the elements!
3. Research Your Options
Lots of cafes and restaurants now also have free wifi so you can easily connect to people at home and look up all of the solutions available to you. This will help you feel more relaxed and in a better mindset as you have a place to stay for a little while and you can be connected to the internet without having to use up your phone data. The next step is to work out what you need to find a solution to. Once you know what you need, you can begin researching what to do and finding accommodation if needed.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help!
Not only will you feel more comfortable in a cafe but you will also feel safer with other people around. You can even ask these people for help if needed (don't be afraid to approach the staff if you feel unsafe or need some help!). Even if you do not feel comfortable asking anyone in person, there is lots of support available online. You can reach out to a family member or friend for some help and look into blog posts which offer advice on your issue. There are also many support groups on Facebook for travellers which you can join and ask for help. These groups also have a search function where you can search the group for posts similar to yours to see advice and help too. An example is Girls Love Travel on Facebook which is a group full of women who love travelling and it is filled with posts asking for advice, itinerary ideas and travel inspiration.
5. Move On and Enjoy Your Trip
Hopefully, it won't take you too long to work out a solution and put that into action. Once you've done that, you can relax! Take a moment to breathe and realise that the worst part is over and you got through it. You can now move on and forget about what happened so that you can enjoy the rest of your trip. So go out there and have FUN!
6. Laugh About It Later
Mistakes can happen to anyone, especially when travelling. Sometimes unexpected events happen and you just have to deal with them which can be hard in the moment. You just have to remind yourself that everything will work out in the end and it is all part of the travel experience. Except now you have an interesting story to tell people and laugh about!
There it is, a simple guide to follow when unexpected events occur when travelling. I know it can be difficult when things don't go as planned but remember to take some deep breaths, relax and don't let it phase you. Most of all, have FUN!
Have you ever had something unexpected happen to you during your travels? How did you deal with it?