Tips on Salvaging a Vacation

Once a vacation goes wrong the fact that you made itaffordable via a thorough review of cheaptravel options, including cheap airplane tickets, discount hotel rooms, discounttravel deals, and cheap vacation packages is oflittle consequence.

Common vacation problems include missed flights, rental carbreakdowns, lost passports, endless rain, and traveler’s diarrhea.

The following are suggestions on how to prevent a minorinconvenience from turning into a full-scale vacation gone wrong, according toSarah Schlichter:

·     Purchasetravel insurance so that you enjoy peace of mind in the face of common snafussuch as delayed baggage, health issues, or changes of plan due to naturaldisasters.  Shop around and comparepolicies and carefully read the coverage being offered before buying.


·     Knowyour risks.  Be aware before bookingtravel traveling at a time of year (hurricane season in the Caribbean or earlyspring in New England) when unpredictable weather could impact yourvacation.  Booking at a brand-new hotelor recently listed Airbnb that has not been vetted and reviewed by othertravelers comes with real risk. 


By having awareness of what might go wrongupfront you can manage expectations and prepare a “plan B” such as indooractivities for bad weather days and/or an alternative hotel in the event yourfirst lodging is not to your liking.


·     Do nothesitate to speak up if something goes wrong that is within another person’spower to fix.  Silent sufferer’s problemsare rarely addressed.  For example,contact the front desk immediately if you are not happy with your room so thatthe staff has a chance to make repairs or move you to another room.  The same approach holds true for damaged orlost bags (file a claim with your airline immediately), or restaurant mealsthat are cold or undercooked.  Whenregistering a complaint, clearly state the resolution you want, whether it is arefund or a new room.


·     Staycalm when trying to convince a customer service representative to give you whatyou want.  Expressing rage or panic isseldom, if ever, effective.  If you aretoo upset to be kind and respectful to someone trying to help you, wait untilyou have your emotions under control.


·     Keep apaper trail for complaints that cannot be resolved immediately.  Keep track of conversations you have had(with whom and specific dates) and/or emails you sent during your attempt toget satisfaction.  Take pictures whenappropriate that support your claim (such as pictures of bedbug bits during ahotel stay or a suitcase damaged in flight).


·     Focus onthe positive.  Even if you vacation hasgone off the rails, there are usually a few things about it you can appreciate. 


·     Maintainyour sense of humor.  Often there comes apoint when things go so wrong that all you can do is throw up your hands andlaugh.


·     Makeyour travel mishap into a story.  Suchtrips often make the best stories later.
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