Hello Wanderlusters! Jennii Lyn here. About a year ago, the hubs and I took a trip to Yosemite National Park, and...it rained. ALL weekend. The half dome trail was closed and we got SNOWED out of rock climbing. We’d been planning the trip for months - checking the weather, planning out our visit, researching the best trails and climbing routes - but we were SO not expecting SNOW to close down some of the roads. Such a bummer.
So, what do you do when things don’t go as planned? Some of the most common traveler problems include:
• Weather Problems
• Lost Luggage
• Flight Delays/Cancellations
• Lost Documents/Passports
• Health Issues
The best way to avoid problems, is to plan ahead. Taking a little bit of time to plan your travels can result in smooth sailing throughout the trip.
Research the weather and any environmental toxins you may be exposed to. This will help you know if you should bring a water filter, extra sets of warm clothing, sunscreen, or bug spray. We always take a 72 hour kit when traveling close to home, or a basic first aid kit if we don’t have as much room for luggage.
Take Care of Yourself
Health issues are some of the most common problems for travelers. Simple things like sleeping enough, exercising, and eating quality foods will help you avoid exhaustion related problems. It’s always important to see a doc before leaving and look into what kind of water or environmental toxins you may be exposed to.
Back Up Documents Online
If you lose a passport, you’ll have to check in with your embassy. Having a record of the documents handy can help speed up the process. Storing documents in an unsecure site like your email can be it’s own liability, so it’s important to research secure ways to store your info.
Inform Your Bank
You to have access to your cash, so let your bank know where you’ll be traveling to in order to avoid a freeze on your account.
There are many companies that sell health and traveller’s insurance. This will cover you for any lost luggage or missed flights. Some insurances will cover the cost of a flight and hotel room if your flight is delayed, cancelled, or missed. Research your company well, so you’re not spending money for poor coverage.
If Problems Arise
Even after taking every precaution possible, we can’t always avoid problems. If you find yourself in a bind, here are three quick tips to help you move forward as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Whether you need to file a claim with your insurance or visit the embassy, it’s important to act as quickly as possible. By acting quickly, you may be able to avoid months of haggling with your insurance provider or adding unnecessary days to your trip. Take pictures and document everything to make it easier to file a claim with your insurance.
People are much more motivated to help solve your problems, if you are calm and polite. You may be in a bind, but losing your cool can create additional problems. Getting out of a jam quickly means being sensitive to those who are in the position to help. You can be firm and efficient without being rude.
Roll With It
Sometimes the best adventures are the ones that aren’t planned. The last day of our Yosemite trip turned into a particularly awe inspiring moment. Yosemite falls doesn’t flow all year round, and it hadn’t been flowing for a few months prior to our visit. After the rainfall and snow, we woke up to the sight of a fully flowing waterfall, and we were able to experience the highest waterfall in North America! As disappointing as the trip was at first, I'm SO grateful things don't always turn out the way we plan. Keep your head up and enjoy the journey - no matter where it takes you.