5 Travel Hassles
#1 You miss your flight
It is understandable that sometimes you got confused with the timing of the flight and the ‘Gate Open’ or ‘Last Call’ announcement blinking on the monitor and sometimes you just do not pay attention to the lady blabbering things through the airport speakers. It is also understandable to being optimist all the time that you just want to have that “chill, no rush” vibe but you are actually very late.
Well, whatever you do, though you are late, just stay calm and do not panic. Find the nearest reception and be the best version of yourself to be polite, apologetic and tell them that you are delayed due to factors outside of your control. Be patient to wait for the next available flight. You might be charged to change your flight (or sometimes not, that depends on the airlines and also whether if you are a frequent flier), but most of staff have the power to waive payment. It is best if you go directly to the airline’s office and speak to the staff about your situation of missing the flight and the possibility of changing to the next available one. Some airlines may be able to refund your passenger bound taxes if you need to book a different flight.
Ask the airline employee about the two-hour rule. The two-hour rule states that if a passenger arrives within two hours of their missed flight, the airline staff can put you on the next flight with the same airline on standby at no charge. If you miss the last flight of the day, you will be standby on the first flight the following day.
Quick tips: Always leave home early, at least an hour and a half or two hours of buffer time before the flight time – you never know what holds up will be on your way there, could be the traffics or bad weather. Allow yourself to have a hassle-free, rush-less trip by managing and planning your time and also buffer time, conscientiously.
#2 Your wallet/purse is stolen
The worst part of traveling is to have your most essential item got stolen. Your wallet/purse; it contains your bank card (either ATM or debit/credit card), some cash, your ID card, local/international driving license and it is as annoying as making reports and make phone calls to the bank and at the police station.
The first thing you need to do is to contact the local police and get a copy of the report with the statements you have made earlier. Give out all the details, what happened, how it happened, where it exactly happened and what are missing in the wallet. Call and report missing cards to your bank as soon as possible. It is best to have an international bank account as your travel companion rather than the local ones, as they have offices in other countries too, for you to be able to make reports directly to the staff and they may be able to accord you a replacement card or give an emergency cash advance (this depends on bank). It is vital that you file a report immediately with your travel insurance company as they have strict time regulations of the crime report, so be sure not to detain or else you could lose the compensation fee.
Quick tips: The trick to have a smooth trip though you are mugged, is to keep your cash and other important cards or passport or documents in different locations, rather than carrying everything together in your wallet or your bag. Instead, carry a small pouch or secret bag that is not visible to potential muggers. For example, to carry a small pouch inside your shirt or jacket than carrying it outside where it is an easy target for muggers to mug you. In case you are mugged, you can always ask someone from home to online transfer some cash and lend it to you first for you to enjoy the rest of your vacation.
#3 You lose your luggage
It may take awhile for your baggage to show up on the conveyor belt, but if your bag(s) hasn’t shown up after everybody has collected theirs, it could be that yours has been misplaced or missing. Do not panic, be patient and go to the airport luggage reception to file a report. They may offer you a bag of toiletries and take your contact details while you have to wait for your bags to be returned back to you. The process may take much longer than you expected, hence, you should give out your details to the person-in-charge of your hotel/hostel for them to do the returning process of your missing luggage. Be aware that the longer your luggage is lost, the more compensation the airport/airline will provide to you. You should check the policy in your travel insurance policy if they should cover lost baggage too. You should know that if your bag is lost after you have left the baggage claim area, you need to contact the police instead of the airport.
Quick tips: To avoid from your bag to be taken by somebody by mistake, label your bag by putting something significant for you to be able to recognize it from afar. For example, tie a colourful ribbon or put a bright-coloured, huge sticker on each side of the bag or maybe you should get a colourful bag instead of that plain, boring black coloured ones. Take a photo of your luggage in case you need to show it to the airport/airline (if you ever missed your belongings, you never know). Last but not least, keep your valuable items such as travel documents, medication, glasses, etc. in your hand luggage bag. Pack a change of clothes in it too. Make sure that the baggage tag attaches to your hand luggage has the same destination/airline tag as your check-in bags’.
#4 You lose your passport
First thing first, you should make a report to the local police, get the reference number of the report and book an emergency appointment with your country’s embassy/consulate in the city you are visiting. You will need to fill in a lost or stolen notification form before you are issued a replacement passport. It is very much helpful if you have another form of identification with you, for example, your national ID card or your driving license. Next, contact your travel insurance company (if you have any) as they might help you cover the cost of your lost passport.
Quick tips: Always make a copy of your passport or any other important documents in your suitcase, on email and also in your phone. Save some passport photos with you as well as it might help you to save time to get a new/temporary passport without having to take a new one.
#5 Your luggage is way too heavy on the way back
It is normal for everybody to have heavier bags at the end of the trip. More items as you go along the trip by buying stuff that sometimes you may or may not need. It is also normal for everyone to have one or two extra bags when someone picks you up from the airport and say, “I thought you only have one bag when I sent you away last week”. Normal stuff.
All you need to do is to stay calm and do not argue with your travel partner(s) or panic if your bag is too heavy or you have some items that could not fit into your bag. Take out some of the heavier items and put them in another bag. Which, for this case, you need to have an emergency cash prepared beforehand to buy a new luggage. It may seem like a trouble but it may save you the per kilo fee. Be prepared to wear or carry the heaviest coats or clothes or that heavy pair of shoes in your suitcase. Put the lighter items in your bags as you can save more weight for the bag.
Quick tips: You should pack one empty backpack in your suitcase when you are leaving for your trip as you might need to use it when you leave for home. Traveling light means a stress-free flight. If you really pack a lot – bring a portable luggage scales with you so you could keep track the weight of your bag as it would not be a shock at the end of your trip.
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