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There is nothing more fun than traveling with your spouse and kids. That is, until something goes wrong. Then, it can become a living nightmare, if you let it. My husband and I have been traveling together for 16 years. While we have been lucky that nothing serious, such as being robbed or needing to be hospitalized, has ever happened, we have had our fair share of travel roadblocks along the way. Things like delayed flights, getting lost, or bad weather can, and do, happen. Here are some tips on what to do when things go wrong when traveling to prevent your next trip from being a complete disaster.
Tip #1: Don’t Panic
Short of a travel companion dying on the trip, there is no reason to panic when things go wrong when traveling. I know that at that moment, a canceled flight may seem like the end of the world, but it’s not. Panicking will only make the situation worse and can cause delays in finding a solution. So, when you hit a snag, stay calm and work through it.
Tip #2: Don’t Fight
I will be honest with you: we struggle with this one. My husband is a pessimist, and I like to vent when things don’t go my way. This combination usually leads to us snapping at each other when things go wrong while traveling. Therefore, when we have an issue with something, like our hotel reservation being messed up, we waste time arguing instead of fixing the problem. Luckily, we tend to get over it pretty quickly after one of us comes up with an answer. But, if you or your family members hold grudges or let small setbacks turn into knock-down-drag-out fights, your whole trip could be doomed. So, try to not fight when you get tripped up.
Tip #3: Take a Breath
Most of the time, travel roadblocks are caused by things out of your control. This can make the situation extra frustrating. But, just know that anything can be fixed. So, when something goes wrong, take a breath and collect yourself.
Tip #4: Look at Your Options
Once you have calmed yourself down, then look at your options to find the best solution. This may require you to do some research. It also may mean that you have to get creative and think outside the box. You may need to talk to someone who’s more knowledgeable about the area or the situation to find a suitable fix. But, instead of deciding all is lost or jumping at the first option you see, take some time to review all possible answers.
Tip #5: Be Prepared
Most of the time, when something goes wrong with your travel plans, it is unexpected and outside your control. But, some of them are preventable if you plan ahead. For others, you can have the solution at your fingertips simply by being prepared. For instance, looking at the operating hours of your family’s most anticipated attractions ahead of time can prevent you from showing up when they are closed. Packing some snacks can reduce hunger pains if your plane is unexpectedly delayed on the tarmac. For help preparing for car sickness, read my tips on kids and car sickness.
Tip #6: Take the Necessary Steps
Once you have calmed down, taken a breath, and looked at your options, it’s time to take the necessary steps to fix your problem. Do so as quickly, calmly, and politely as you can to be on with the rest of your trip as soon as possible.
Tip #7: Fix It and Forget It
After you have taken steps to fix your issue, then forget about it and move on with your vacation. A temporary roadblock will only hamper the rest of your fun if you let it. Don’t dwell on it. Go explore and have fun! Later, it will be a funny addition to your vacation stories.
Unfortunately, sometimes things go wrong when traveling. But, they don’t have to be a total disaster. The above tips can help you find a solution without sabotaging your whole vacation. For more tips on family travel, read how to have stress free travel with your spouse and kids, as well as tips to avoid child meltdowns. To upgrade your vacations, read how to have amazing vacations on any budget. If you have a tip on what to do when travel roadblocks hit, leave it in the comments for other readers. Happy travels!