Not everything will go right even when you have planned everything in detail and are working with the best travel agency. Perhaps that’s an appealing thrill of solo traveling.
So, the key isn’t necessarily to try and avoid the often-imminent problems – the key is to know how to deal with them when and if they pop.
To help you stay on the right track, here are 6 things that could possibly go wrong on your first solo trip and how you can effectively deal with them:
Delays in flight
This is quite common. And it’s a big problem if reaching your destination requires multiple transits and adjoining flights.
If your first flight gets delayed, you might miss the second one. And this could totally wreck your itinerary.
This is why you must stay prepared for this from the go. Know exactly what you will do in case if you miss your second transit due to whatever problem you encountered.
Keep a tab of the next flights or trains that you can catch, what will be the cost of that, how you’re going to coordinate the new timing with your hotel, and so forth.
Booking hotel for wrong dates
This is quite unfortunate, but a common result of negligence.
Of course, the first step in making sure that this doesn’t happen is actually being careful of the dates you’re booking your hotel rooms for. It’s easy to mistake ‘9’ for ‘6’. It’s a humane mistake to select ‘15’ instead of ‘5’ and ‘July’ for ‘June’. So, be very careful.
Next, if you do end up booking a hotel for the wrong dates and come to know about this when at the hotel, the first thing you should do is find an accommodation for yourself – at the same hotel or somewhere nearby.
Next, talking is your best option here. Talk to the hotel owners/executives. Convey them about the mistake and come to some middle ground.
If they are understanding, they would refund your money or adjust your accommodation. If not, you’re going to lose your booking money.
This is one of the big reasons why working with a reputed travel agency is the best idea. After all, booking your flights and hotels isn’t a matter of a few clicks on your PC.
Losing your luggage
Although things have improved, airlines still lose luggage.
So, it might happen that you’ve been waiting for 20 minutes now and your luggage hasn’t arrived on the carousel.
The first thing to do here is to not panic. Oftentimes, your luggage hasn’t been lost or mishandled. It has just been delayed. So, have patience.
Next, when you do realize that your luggage isn’t arriving, head straight to the lost-baggage counter of your airline. The executive will tell you exactly what to do next. You will likely have to report for the missing luggage.
Fill out the form; provide your phone number and hotel address accurately where you can be reached. Make sure to save whatever tracking code or reference number you’re given.
You will get your luggage within a few hours if it is on the next flight.
But, in case, if it has been sent to the wrong airport, it’s going to take a couple of days before you see your bags.
This is another common thing that many solo travelers have to deal with.
Maybe you’re not used to traveling and it makes you sick. Maybe you’re heat exhausted. Maybe you ate something and you have food poisoning now. Maybe the weather condition of the destination city didn’t suit you and you’re not feeling good.
In any case, falling sick when you’re traveling makes for a bad experience!
Anticipating any possible sickness and carrying all the necessary medicines is essential.
Next, know who to contact if you fall seriously ill. Like how close or far a good medical facility is from your hotel, what’s the number to dial for the ambulance and more – know these in advance.
At times, solo trips can get boring. You don’t know what exactly to do, or you feel overwhelmed with everything that there is to do.
You feel homesick.
You wish your BFF was there with you.
The easiest way to avoid such moments of boredom is through advanced planning.
Right from the go, know what you will be doing when and the places you’re going to be visiting.
Prepare an itinerary thoughtfully. Stack it with all the things that you want to do and the places you wish to go to.
This will leave no room for you to feel bored when on the trip. You will always have a plan – “what’s next”.
Bad hotel (and people)
You read the reviews and there were very good. But, in reality, the hotel turned out to be a piece with bad rooms. Moreover, the people here are rude and there’s no such thing as good room service.
If you end up at a bad hotel, talk to the manager. Usually, problems occur due to miscommunication. So, talk to the manager. Tell her/him the problem and how exactly you want things to be.
If the hotel is really as good as its website suggests, the manager will listen to you and comply.
If not, all you’re left with is to change the hotel. From ahead, do the research on the next best hotel in the neighborhood that you should book.
Once you have made the change, talk about the refund from the previous hotel. Go through their refund policy and see if you are qualified for that or not. If you are and they aren’t providing you the refund, approach the local authorities.
Of course, there’s plenty more that could go wrong and you might face a lot more unexpected problems.
You can never anticipate them. This also means that they are, at times, unavoidable. So, the best thing you, a solo traveler, can do is stay prepared.
Stay prepared for the possible challenges and don’t let them destroy what could possibly be one of the best experiences of your life.
Recommended Read: 37 Quick Tips to Make Your First Solo Trip Fun (And Safe)