Traveling enriches your life. It helps you see the world and experience new things, perhaps learning about yourself along the way. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always go to plan. There are often times when something goes wrong, either because you’ve made a mistake or through no fault of your own. It can cause you to panic, especially if you’re in a foreign country. You don’t know what to do next and how to get your plans back on track. If you find yourself feeling a bit lost and unsure what to do next, there are some steps you can follow to get things sorted.
Take a Deep Breath
Before you do anything else, take a moment to calm down. Unless you or someone else needs to seek medical attention or remove yourself from danger, you have time to get yourself together. When you’re away from home, something going wrong can cause you to panic about what you’re going to do next. You need a clear mind if you want to come up with a solution to your problem. Make sure you’re somewhere safe and sit down to relax for a bit. Have a drink and maybe something to eat, and tell yourself that everything is going to work out.
Talk to Someone
Your next step could be to reach out to someone who might be able to help you. Perhaps they can help you with a practical solution to your problem, or they might just give you emotional support. You could call a family member or friends, or maybe you have a tour operator or guide you can call for help. Naturally, if you are traveling with other people, you should make sure you communicate with them. You can offer each other support, and you need to make a decision together about what your next move is going to be. If you’re having trouble calming down, try getting in touch with someone back home who can comfort you.
Deal with Any Immediate Issues
If you have any problems that you need to deal with straight away, make sure you do that first. One example of this could be that you have a medical issue to deal with, and you need first aid, or perhaps you find a doctor or hospital. There could be other problems you need to address right away too. Perhaps your vehicle has broken down, and you need to sort out a rescue service to come and get you. Focus on what needs to be done right away, instead of thinking too far ahead to how you will need to change your plans. Take everything one thing at a time.
Explore Other Options
Once you don’t have any emergencies or immediate issues to deal with, you can explore your options for making new plans. You’re somewhere safe, so you can sit down and do some research online or talk to someone who can help you. For example, perhaps you need to find new transport to get home or to the next leg of your journey. If you’ve got somewhere you need to be by a certain time or date, it can make things seem more urgent. But don’t panic too much. You can always try to reorganize things if you need to. You might also need to do things like look for new accommodation or change your destination. Make sure you know your options before making a decision.
Find the Money You Need
A change in travel plans will often mean needing to spend more money than you had originally planned. That’s why it’s always a good idea to plan in advance for cash expenses and have an emergency fund you can dip into when you need it. You don’t want to be stranded far from home with no way to pay for your journey back. If you don’t have the money you need to get where you need to be, you need to find ways to get it. Some people travel with a credit card that they can use in emergencies. Others can ask family members or friends to borrow some money. You might also consider taking out a small loan if you need to.
Put Your New Plans into Place
Once you’ve decided what to do and you have the money to do it, you need to get organized. You can start putting your new plan in place, and perhaps cancel your original one if you need to. Some things are easy to do online, like booking new accommodation. For other things, you might need to speak to someone directly or call them on the phone. For example, if you need to get on the next flight home, speaking to someone at the airport is probably your best bet.
Dealing with the Police
There might be some situations when you need to deal with the police, although hopefully not because you’ve committed a crime. It’s best to try and sort out any legal issues before you try and leave the country. So if you’ve had your wallet stolen or been assaulted, make sure you make a report to the police as soon as you can. If you are in trouble, you might need to look for a lawyer who can help you and ensure you don’t get in any more trouble. Depending on where you are, you might need to request an interpreter to help you deal with the police.
Visit the Local Embassy or Consulate
If you’re in a foreign country, dealing with some problems can be even more difficult. One issue you might face is losing your passport. When this happens, a visit to the nearest embassy or consulate for your home country can be very useful. You might also need to go there for other issues. For example, you might be in trouble with the law or civil unrest might mean you need to leave as soon as possible. The embassy can help you with a range of issues, from getting you a new temporary passport or emergency travel document.
Make a Complaint
If something has happened that isn’t your fault, you might want to make a complaint to someone. It could be a tour operator, hotel manager, transport company, or any other body that might have been responsible for what happened. For example, perhaps your flight was canceled or delayed. Most companies will have official procedures for making a complaint before you speak to anyone else about it. You might be able to fill out a paper form, speak to someone in person or over the phone, or complete an online complaint form. If you don’t get a satisfactory answer, you should complain to the regulatory body for the industry.
See If You Can Get Compensation
There are times when you might be able to get compensation when your travel plans go wrong. Plus, if you have travel insurance, you might be able to get reimbursement for any unexpected expenses. The first thing you can do is make sure you keep any receipts or evidence of your changed travel plans. These can be useful if you need to prove what happened and why you deserve to get some money back. Then you can check the rules about compensation and how much you might be entitled to. If you have travel insurance, check your policy to see what it will cover. You might be able to claim for lost or stolen possessions, travel cancellations or delays, or medical fees.
If your travel plans don’t go the way you want, don’t panic. You can get back on track or make new plans with the right attitude.