Typical Travel Problems (and How to Handle Them)

woman at airport sitting and looking uipset

Endless delays and cancellations, painfully long security lines, staff shortages – the ongoing challenges air travelers are experiencing around the world are certainly making headlines. However, as frequent travelers know, these are just some of the problems that can put a damper on your family’s long-awaited summer vacation.

From lost luggage to language barriers, here are a few of the most common travel issues and suggestions for how to handle them. Word to the wise: being prepared is one of the best ways to avoid headaches and resolve things quickly so you can focus on enjoying your trip.

Missing a Flight

It’s impossible to overstate the importance of arriving at the airport early, especially given today’s chaotic travel environment. Even with the best of intentions, you may still miss your flight. Unfortunately, if you are at fault the airlines have no obligation to help. As soon as you realize you are not going to make it, call your airline or travel advisor, explain what happened and try to get on the next available flight. If you are going to be delayed for any length of time, consider other arrangements you have made – such as connecting flights, ground transportation, hotel or Airbnb reservations, tours, etc. – and make any necessary adjustments.

Late-Arriving Luggage

While this may be one of the most frustrating issues for travelers, it is also one of the simplest to deal with. Every airline has a procedure for reuniting you with your luggage, so speak with the staff and exchange the necessary details before leaving the airport. Many experienced travelers avoid disaster by packing one or two days of clothes, toiletries and other essentials in their carry-on in case they are separated from their checked bags.

Unreliable Transportation

There are countless ways transportation issues can throw a monkey wrench into your journey – from missed hotel transfers to route changes posted in a language you don’t understand. It pays to plan in advance by researching alternative routes to your destination. Find out who to contact about a canceled train or familiarize yourself with bus or subway options. When it comes to reliability here at home, trust one of New Jersey’s private limousine services to get you to and from your destination safely and on time.  And a call to a LANJ member can get you worldwide transportation.

Language Barriers

Technology may offer instant translation via your cell phone, but being unable to speak the language in a country you are visiting can make it difficult to fully enjoy your trip. Experts recommend studying the new language before you travel, and there are plenty of programs and guides to help. Even if you only master a few words or phrases, locals will appreciate the effort. And don’t let your fear of speaking the language prevent you from meeting new people. Body language, gestures and facial expressions can be just as effective as words.

Counting on Credit Cards

Traveling internationally this summer? Don’t leave the airport without stopping at an ATM machine. Although it’s wise not to carry a lot of cash and to use a credit card as often as possible, in many countries you will need local currency for things like taxis, public transportation, tipping hotel staff, and shopping in local markets. Airport ATMs usually have good exchange rates, so get what you need plus a little extra “just in case.”