Intimidated by the problems associated with travelling? Try these solutions for common travel problems
When life gives you lemons why not pick some of them and enjoy the lemonade on the beach? Well, life will not stop throwing problems at you even when you could be possibly enjoying one of the best moments possible. But problems are what define our experiences and convert them into adventures.
Travelling can be intimidating and invite a few unpleasant situations where our experiences could turn into negative perceptions. Finding the root cause of common problems and solutions to them can be the best bet in nullifying the effects associated with common problems which could occur.
Here is a list of common problems associated with travelling and the best possible solution to deal with them:
1. Losing some of the precious items or becoming prey to theft
This is one of the most common problems associated with travelling. Losing your passport or your tickets or
precious items like any ornaments or even your phone can be anything! Well, the best advice could be to not waste
time mourning after it. Try to find out where you misplaced your belongings but do not waste your entire day over
it, or else you will end up mourning for your journey as well.
Best possible solutions:
- Contact the nearest police station
- Talk to a local for helping you
- If phone, immediately block your contacts, accounts and debit or credit cards.
- Do not, I repeat do not waste your time mourning for your lost items, else you will end up losing your precious vacation time!
2. Jet lag
Jet lag is common during travel especially if you are travelling in a different time zone. It can take several days to catch up to being normal again. Hence, preparing in advance is the best solution.
The top tip is to prepare ahead of time by changing your sleeping and eating patterns before you go on long trips. Set your watch on the plane to the time of the destination and avoid too much alcohol, caffeine, fat, and salt. If you arrive in daylight, stay awake and don’t have any naps. Going in the sun can also help to reset our internal clocks and exercise is good as it releases endorphins.
3. Getting lost
It can be a horrible feeling - your heart beating faster as the panic starts to rise. You can get lost anywhere: a supermarket, airport, town centre or in the wilderness. With modern technology, this is one of the easier travel problems to avoid. Make sure you download Google Maps and then download the offline map for whichever cities you'll be visiting. The offline maps are tiny and helpful in case of no network zones.
A word of warning though, this is not a foolproof plan! If your battery dies the plan comes crashing down. A pen and paper may be ancient technology, but they don't require batteries. Write down your destination just in case.
The most important thing is to not panic. If you can, take a seat and take some slow breaths. Strangers are generally nice and helpful so, if it's safe to do so, ask for directions. If you don't speak the language you can show them the written address as well.
4. Delay, missed or cancelled flights/buses/trains
This is one of the most frustrating experiences as it changes your whole itinerary. But maintaining your composure and dealing with
calmness is the best solution.
No matter where you travel in the world, transportation will never be perfect-except maybe in Japan where trains’ annual average delay is mere seconds. From missed transfers to routes that have temporarily changed with a note posted in a language you don’t understand, there are tons of ways transportation issues can botch your journey.
How to solve it: Transportation snags are largely out of your own hands, so avoiding them may not always be possible. Instead, the best way to minimise the impact is to seek out alternative routes to arrive at a destination just in case. Familiarise yourself with all possible options like a bus vs train, and what to do if your plans get altered. Knowing who to contact about a cancelled train beforehand, for example, will help you act quicker and be less stressed if faced with that situation.
5. Travel sickness
Motion sickness or travel sickness is a crafty one, it can come on suddenly, and take a long time to fade. It occurs when your inner ear sends signals to your brain that don’t match what you’re seeing. You could feel travel sick on any mode of transport: cars, planes, trains, coaches and boats.
- Your first tip is to minimise the motion - sit in the front of the car, the middle of a boat, or above the wings of a plane.
- Try and look at a fixed point, such as the horizon.
- Breathe fresh air if possible: open a car window or stand on the deck of a ship. Just don’t try to open the window on a plane, you’re better off with the sickness… Instead turn on the air vent above your seat, as the feeling of cool air on your face can also help.
- Travel sickness tablets can help if taken in advance, usually at least 30 minutes before you travel. Others swear by home remedies like ginger, or anti-sickness wristbands.
Consuming too much alcohol or weed or any other kind of drugs can lead to sickness. It can lead to hangovers and make you lethargic
which can impact your daily travels.
Avoid drinking too much alcohol and keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. Consume freshly made juice in the morning or lemon-based drinks.
7. Heat stroke or altitude sickness
Sometimes even the dedicated sun-worshippers among us can get too hot. Heat exhaustion symptoms can start with feeling thirsty and hot, while more extreme cases include headaches, dizziness, loss of appetite and a high temperature.
The common precautions you can take to prevent heat stroke are:
- Stay out of direct sunlight and move into a cool place.
- Drink plenty of water to help rehydrate.
- If you’re feeling clammy or dizzy, lie down with your feet slightly elevated.
- Cool your skin down by spraying or sponging yourself with cold water.
Or if you are travelling to the mountains you may experience Altitude sickness. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea to climb a mountain while on holiday, but for those who venture to lofty heights, it’s worth knowing about altitude sickness. You need to be 3,000 metres above sea level to experience altitude sickness, and the common symptoms include; shortness of breath (due to thinner air), headaches, dizziness, nausea and tiredness.
This type of sickness occurs when you travel too high, too quickly, and a few precautions you can take while experiencing AMS are:
- Avoid flying into direct areas of high altitude.
- At least take 2-3 days to get used to high altitude before going above 3,000m. Then, try to avoid climbing more than 300-500m in a day.
- Drink plenty of water and eat a light but high-calorie diet.
- There is medication for altitude sickness (acetazolamide), but it’s also worth packing some anti-sickness medication and paracetamol for headaches.