Though traveling is certainly a non-stop ticket to getting away from it all, some holidays suffer from unfortunate circumstances. Found yourself in a travel jam? Here are four common situations and the strategies for solving them.
1. You missed your flight.
First, don’t panic. This situation has happened to nearly every frequent flier at least once, and while it’s certainly inconvenient, it’s not the end of the world. Once you reach the airport, head immediately for your airline’s ticket desk to inquire about the options. Depending on the carrier and circumstances, you could be booked on the next available flight with no additional charge. Be prepared: Some airlines no longer rebook without charging a fee or the full price of a new ticket. If this happens, try to chalk it up as a lesson learned, and move forward.
2. Your luggage didn’t make it.
You’ve been standing at the baggage carousel for an hour, and there’s still no sign of your suitcase. If you suspect your luggage didn’t make it on the flight — or took a trip of its own to another destination — head to the nearest kiosk to report the missing pieces. More often than not, your bags will make their way to you within the next few days, and most airlines deliver straight to your door any time of day or night. Make sure you know your carrier’s reimbursement policies; if your things never resurface, you could be entitled to compensation.
3. Your hotel is overbooked or you can’t locate your reservation.
This one’s especially tricky; if every room is occupied, there’s not much you can do to secure a space. You can, however, take a few steps to get your money back or decrease the likelihood of the situation occurring at all. First, never travel without a printed copy of your confirmation. This will be invaluable to you if the reservation goes missing. Then, make sure you have the information for any online travel agency you used to book the rooms. If the hotel was overbooked due to the agency’s system, you’ll need to reach out to them for reimbursement. Lastly — and perhaps most importantly — always call 24 hours in advance of your departure date to confirm your reservations. This is the single best way to know before you go.
4. You’ve been pick-pocketed.
Losing valuable items on the road is a traveler’s worst nightmare, but it’s happened to tourists in nearly every destination. If your passport, money or credit card has been stolen, notify the local authorities immediately. Though you might not have your things returned, filling out a report is an important first step. Then, head to your consulate or embassy immediately to begin the paperwork necessary to get a new passport, and call your credit card company to get your card cancelled.