A travel blog with a splash of lifestyle

Thursday, 20 October 2016

WHEN TRAVELLING IS NOT PERFECT - PREPARATION AND EXPECTATIONS


Scrolling through social media and coming across various people's travel experiences, we sit back often in awe at how wonderful they look. The beautiful pictures, the relaxing and all of the adventure - it's very easy to get jealous and catch feelings of wanderlust! Although I'm guilty myself,  I pride myself in knowing I create many wonderful travel experiences for myself and I'm aware that a few people like what I do. But, it's certainly not plain sailing. So let's have some honesty, travelling isn't something that is always easy, smooth and pleasant. Things can and will go wrong...

When travelling I always prepare myself for 'hiccups'. Just because you're travelling it does not mean you're suddenly immune to the problems that occur daily. Flights get cancelled, luggage gets lost, things go wrong when you reach your destination - that's life and I've experienced all of those aforementioned issues a handful of times. Sometimes even natural disasters and terrorism have stopped me in my tracks! But by equipping yourself with some good knowledge, the severity of those situations can be greatly reduced <3

WHAT TO DO WHEN FLIGHTS GO WRONG
Usually, a good airline will quickly re-route you onto the next flight for you which should be within a few hours. But often airlines are not so great and flights to certain destinations aren't too frequent. Meaning...they like to keep you at the initial airport overnight and fly you out the next day. But in essence you will get to your destination on time - so don't flap! But a day late isn't acceptable in my opinion so:
Hold your ground - Go to the customer service desk of the airline and push for an earlier flight. Most airlines are part of partnerships, meaning they should be able to put you on another airline if they themselves can't fly you out. From a 20 hour journey on outdated Alitalia, I got a 15 hour journey with gorgeous Korean Air. Flying on Korean Air via Seoul was the best flying experience of my life - and I've flown quite a lot in my lifetime. So it turned out for the better <3 But, you need to know your stuff.
Know your airlines and their partnerships. - Keep screenshots on your phone of the various partnership teams so you know who works with who. Soooo... just look up the partnership team you are flying under, then google flight times with the other airlines under the same partnership. Now just show the staff the flights you wish to be re-routed onto with the flight number and boom. You've basically done some of the work of the airline ground staff for them - re-routing you should be easy now.

LOST LUGGAGE?
So for this situation you need to prevent and prepare...
Try not to book flights with tight connections. If you have to run to catch your next flight, think about it, your luggage too is going to struggle to make it to the plane as well. 2 hours is the minimum for me.
Double check with the ground staff that your luggage is being checked through. Not entirely necessary as I rarely do this and luggage doesn't always get lost, but if you happen to be able to reach the appropriate ground staff with ease, double checking could save you luggage! Try to check at the gate as well if possible.
Pack 1/2 days worth of essentials in a carry-on. Arriving in your destination without your luggage = no clothes other than the ones you are wearing, no fresh underwear, no bikini, no toiletries, no electronic chargers...you get the picture. Make sure you are prepared for this situation if it comes.
Always leave your details and itinerary in your suitcase. A few printouts on the top of your items displaying your name, contact details, home address and where you are staying and going could speed up the process of identifying your luggage if it does get left behind.

COPING WITH THEFT OR LOSS OF VALUABLE ITEMS
Have photocopies of all relevant travel documents. Keep a photocopy of your passport, itinerary, travel insurance, tickets for travel and of course keep it in a different place to the originals. Take pictures of these documents on your phone too, just in case you lose the photocopies and so you have it easily accessible.
Backup everything. Relating to my last point, back up all of those photos I told you to take onto cloud storage. Your phone could easily run out of battery when you need it, or it could break, so being able to access the information anywhere would be extremely handy. Plus it is also a good idea to back up any data you have on your valuable electronics as you never know you could lose it or have it stolen. We're all more careless whilst travelling...
Keep your money safe and have multiple ways to access some. Basically, ensure that you bring cash with you and a few cards. Pickpockets can be commonly found in many destinations so please whatever you do, do not bring all of your money with you everywhere. Leave some money and one or half of your bank cards inside your room's safe or your hotel's safety deposit box.

WHAT IF I GET LOST?
Who knows if this will happen to you, but I know it's a big fear of some new to travelling. I'm not going to lie, it could happen. It happened to me on my first trip to Japan, but to deal with this:
Have a map of where you are. Yes, google maps would be the best option since with internet it works just like a sat nav. However, make sure you also have a paper map and know how to read it. As aforementioned, anything could happen to your phone and internet isn't everywhere...
Have a phrase book in the language of the country you are visiting. Get yourself out of this situation the old fashioned way, ask for directions. We're not all going to be fluent in all the languages of all the countries we visit, but a small pocket phrase book could allow you to make conversation and find your way back :)


I hope some of this advice finds you well, by following this any hiccups I come across are quickly solved without too much pain. But the best advice I want to give to you is about expectations. Of course, you can get super excited for your trip and have expectations about how wonderful it is going to be. However, just make sure your expectations are balanced. Know in the back of your mind that issues may arise and things may go wrong. Just because it's your time to jet off somewhere, it does not mean you're immune to the bad things in life. Most of the time everything will go as planned, but if you prepare for and half-expect things to go wrong, and they do, you'll be in a better position physically and mentally <3
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24 comments

  1. Ohhh love this post!! I'm going to America next year so this is perfect!!! xox

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    1. Oh please enjoy! I bet that will be a lovely adventure!

      Thanks for commenting :) xx

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  2. Omg I'm the same - super prepared with photocopies of everything and stuff *just in case*! But I always rely on my phone and think it's a good idea to carry around a phrase book. I don't know what I would do if my luggage got lost (maybe look back at this post ;) ) thanks for these tips! :)

    Becca | theapresgal.com

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    1. Always good to be prepared though ;) and yes losing luggage is such a pain even if you are prepared :( Happened to me too many times <3 xx

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  3. Amazing advice here. Getting lost somewhere is literally my worst nightmare but having a phrase book is perfect as those key words can help you in that situation!! Really helpful blog post :)
    www.sopherina.co.uk

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    1. I'm glad it was helpful! Yes getting lost can be a bit frustrating but I know to some it could be terrifying! Just always try and prepare yourself for it in advance and remain calm <3

      Thank you for commenting :) xx

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  4. Looooved this post!! About to go travelling myself, and having only been on a plane once this was so useful and quite comforting, as these have been in my head but I was never sure I was right in thinking these things! Great post lovely xx

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    1. Oh please enjoy your travels wherever you are off to! I hope this hasn't put you off flying too much, but it's better to be honest than be too optimistic then let down ;) Good luck for your next flight! <3

      Thanks for commenting <3 xx

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  5. I love this post so much! I love travelling and I know that sometimes things go wrong! I love all of the things that you have mentioned here though and they are so helpful! I'll be bookmarking this for my next travel adventure x

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    1. Ah I'm glad you do! I'm glad it's been so helpful for you and yes you can easily still love travelling despite the issues it can cause at times ;)

      Thank you for commenting :) xx

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  6. Such a useful post, Sophie! I have THE worst luck with flights, every one I go on seems to be delayed and it's always such a nightmare! It is definitely good advice to keep asking at customer services, if you don't ask you don't get after all! Thank you for sharing your advice!

    Abbey 🍓 www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

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    1. I'm happy it was useful! I guess we both share the same curse with flights then? But it's good that it doesn't stop us from loving travelling though! :) I hope you have better luck next time!

      Thanks for your comments <3 xx

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  7. This is so useful! I've actually bookmarked it. Every flight I've been on in the last year has been delayed and I'm constantly expecting something worse to happen!

    Skye

    www.theskyelife.com

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    1. That's great you enjoyed it so much! Shame we both have so much bad luck :( I pray nothing worse happens to you! But if it does hopefully you're equipped with some good knowledge now :)

      Thanks for your lovely comments :) xx

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  8. Love love love this post, so helpful and honest! Luckily we have not yet come across these incidents yet, apart from getting lost but in a minor way! Thank you for sharing!

    Jessica & James
    Foodandbaker.co.uk

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    1. I'm so glad that you do! Also that's great that you've had good luck when you've been travelling - I hope it stays that way for you! And who doesn't get lost at times hey? ;)

      Thank you for your lovely comment <3 xx

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  9. Great post and I think everyone at some point come across some accidents but the best thing is always remain calm and just to believe everything will get sorted soon xx


    www.hairwonderfulday.com

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    1. Yes it is very likely to happen to someone at one point, fortunately it is not too common for it to happen all the time to everyone though :) It is always good to stay calm, hard to do at the time but it really is the best thing! :)

      Thanks for commenting <3 xx

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  10. Such a lovely post babe. Cute pictures!

    The most important thing is to "Keep calm and carry on".

    Lots of Love,
    BLOG | TAISLANY

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    1. I'm glad you liked it! and yes Keep calm and carry on on definitely ;D

      Thanks for commenting :) xx

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  11. Luckily nothing like this has ever happened to me but stuff like this happening is always in the back of my mind when I am travelling - this post was super helpful, it's good to be prepared for the situation if you're ever in it!

    The Velvet Black | UK Style & Beauty Blog

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    1. Well that's really good it hasn't, I hope it never does! However it's good you're now prepared for it if ever does :)

      Thanks for commenting <3 xx

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  12. This is a useful post! Having a map is essential for me. what's surprising is how there are still people today who don't know how to read a map. you don't have to be a geography genius to know at which point you are standing so I expect people to know at least the basics, like where their current position is or which MRT line they should take if they want to reach point B. I'm not a geography genius myself but certainly, knowing how to navigate and use the map is a must, especially if one is traveling alone.

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    1. I know it's pretty bad isn't it? It was never compulsory in school or anything, I studied Geography up to A-Level so I'm pretty skilled at it, but I wish schools would encourage it or people themselves would at least learn the basics :/ As much as I adore technology, it really does hold us back intellectually at times... but yes it certainly is a skill worth knowing! Glad you hold that skill too :)

      Thanks for your interesting comments :) xx

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