Thanks to Mr. Murphy and his terrible law, you can count on having things go awry seemingly at the worst times, like when you travel. Delays, lost luggage, overbooked hotels, and lost reservations all await business travelers and vacationers alike.
It may not be possible to avoid every problem, but it’s possible to reduce the risks, and we’ll discuss that in a minute.
The most important thing is that when something does go wrong, laugh about it. Delays are almost guaranteed, losing your mind isn’t. Keeping a positive attitude can make all the difference to what happens to you, so just remind yourself that most things are out of your control and go with the flow. Don’t take everything personally.
The ticket agent isn’t out to get you. The passenger in front of you didn’t deliberately misplace their boarding pass just to hold up the line. Things happen; staying positive will make inconveniences a bit easier to deal with. While it won’t keep you from losing your luggage, it just might keep you from losing your mind.
(Another tip: Having a positive, friendly attitude when dealing with a ticket agent who just got yelled at will more likely result in you getting something better than you had originally expected. And certainly something better than the other person got.)
Remember the adage “plan your work and work your plan?” That works with traveling, too. Plan for some inconveniences, and have some backup plans and workarounds, like carrying a paper map in case your map app doesn’t work on your phone. Research local customs and currency, so you know how to interact with locals and carry a small translation dictionary. Be as familiar as possible with things like road signs so you can find your way around.
You insure your home, your car, and probably your life, so why not insure your trip against sickness, flight delays, and cancellations? Ensure your sanity by storing valuables safely. Does your hotel offer a safe? Locking up passports, credit cards, cash, jewelry, etc. can keep everything safe and you don’t have to worry about things getting stolen from your room.
While you may think your technology is invaluable, it is replaceable, but it needs to be charged. Figure out where you can power up your devices. Consider bringing your own additional power supply in case you can’t find a place to plug in while you’re out of the hotel.
Be prepared. Before you leave home, download and update apps. Updating at home with your high-speed wifi will prove invaluable so you don’t find yourself in a hotel with low-speed wifi or, heaven forbid, none at all.
Back stuff up. Do you really need to take all those stored photos with you? You know, the ones that take up a gazillion gigabytes? Probably not, so leave them “home” so you have plenty of space for those captured moments from sightseeing selfies, videos of things you’d never do at home, and whatever else you want to memorialize. Upload your photos to Dropbox or Google Drive and delete them from your phone.
Make sure you’re covered. Contact your wireless carrier and ask how your mobile phone handles connectivity during international travel. If it requires advanced planning, you’ll know and have time to handle it. If not, you could find yourself in a costly mess. Consider either getting an international sim card or getting a pay-as-you-go phone at your destination.
Photo credit: Rawpixel (Pixabay, Creative Commons 0)