Handling flight delays and other travel ‘speed bumps’ with ease: our top tips

Travel is one of the most enriching activities any of us will have a chance to experience. However, nothing worthwhile comes without challenge. As you move about the world, you’ll inevitably encounter obstacles along the way. In this article, we’ll address a few situations commonly faced by even experienced travellers.

Your flight gets delayed

Flight delays/cancellations is the most common travel problem you’ll deal with on the road. If you haven’t been affected by this issue yet, it’s only a matter of time before one does.

Bad weather, mechanical problems, and crew issues (required rest, labor unrest, etc) are just a few reasons why the planes are held back from their scheduled departure time. However, depending on where you are delayed, you may be entitled to compensation for delayed flights.

The European Union has some of the best consumer protection laws in the world – air travel is no different. For example, if you are delayed more than three hours, you could qualify for a minimum of €250 and a maximum of €600 if the delay is longer than six hours (or if your flight gets cancelled). These regulations vary by jurisdiction, but even if you are in a place where there are no airline passenger protections, requesting compensation from your airline can yield you food or accommodation vouchers. If it is a short delay, relax – hit the airport bar for a drink or two (but set an alarm to remind you of your new boarding time).

You can’t shake your jet lag

So you finally got to that distant beach in Southeast Asia. It is a lovely place to soak up the sun – when you can keep your eyes open. Jet lag is a real thing rooted in our body’s internal clock.

When we travel to the other side of the globe, our mind still think it is time to go to bed (11 pm) even if it is 11 am in Koh Samui. While some of this is an unavoidable part of being a world traveller, adopting some creative strategies can help you overcome jet lag faster.

If possible, start adjusting your sleep schedule in the weeks leading up to departure. Going to bed a few hours later/earlier than usual will help, even if you are headed to the other side of the world. If you plan to arrive at night, try to stay up during the flight so you can go to bed at your new ‘normal time. If you will be arriving during the day, stay awake as long as you can on arrival, as sun exposure helps to reset your body clock faster.

You get mugged/robbed

Nobody likes to think about this prospect, but criminals can be found everywhere in this world. If you suffer a hotel room break-in or are pickpocketed/mugged on the street, take a deep breath and take the following steps.

  • If applicable, take pictures of the scene
  • Call police
  • Call your bank
  • Call your insurance company

 

The last two will front you the money needed to get you through the rest of your trip. Before departure, have a second account set up with a small amount of money and have a card issued for it. Keep this card in a decoy wallet with enough cash to satisfy a robber.

 

If you end up on the wrong end of a knife or a gun, turn it over – after all, all your important cards, cash, and documents are locked up in the room safe back at the resort.

 

Turner barr
turnerbarr@gmail.com

Hi, my name is Turner. I travel the world, hustle to find interesting jobs, and write about what happens when you read too many self-help books.

1Comment
  • Juan Ovalle
    Posted at 12:23h, 01 October

    The jet lag tips are great. I think adjusting your sleep schedule a little bit leading up to the trip would make it a little bit easier to deal with the jet lag