Bumps in the road are inevitable
Travel isn’t suppose to be an easy, breezy, uninterrupted ride. You have to be prepared.
If I have learned anything, it’s that nothing is going to go exactly as planned, no matter how hard you try. That doesn’t mean that it is going to be any worse or any better, but it will simply be different. What is meant to be, will be. So, before thinking of the worst case scenario that could happen on your upcoming travels, let’s address how to make them the best learning experiences for you. [Remember, traveling is all about learning about yourself, other people, cultures, and discovering another part of this massive and incredible world we live in.]
Travel Insurance– If you are investing lots of ca$h money on a particular trip, then I would definitely look into investing in travel insurance as well. [For example, the trip I have already purchased all of my airfare for that is coming up later in 2014 already seems to have some bumps arising. We are planning on traveling to Russia, but seeing as there is a lot going on over in Ukraine and Russia, we are going to have to see what plays out. If we decide that Russia isn’t the best place we want to be at that point in time, we will take advantage of our travel insurance plan that includes cancellation for any reason. We will then be reimbursed 75% of what we already paid.] We got insurance through USAA, but there are some great sites that compare prices such as: SquareMouth, TravelInsured, and also check with AAA if you are a member to see what they can offer.
Loosen the reins on your itinerary– I strongly suggest to schedule into your travels a few buffer days so that if there is an airport or train strike going on wherever you might be, then it doesn’t hinder whether or not you are able to take in all of the next city you are planning to visit. This is one that I learned from experience and it wasn’t so much that there was a malfunction in the planning, but we ran into some friends and ended up spending an entire day at their home instead of exploring the city. [In a different city I also fell ill for 36 hours… that was fun.] If you are going somewhere that it would physically pain you to have less rather than more days to adventure around, then do yourself a favor and schedule in an extra day or two to be sure.
Don’t budget yourself too close to COMPLETELY broke– As young college students who are pinching our pennies from multiple part time jobs, we find ourselves saying “I’m broke, I can’t go out/dine out/vacation/etc.” all too often. In a sense it is great because even if we do have some extra cash, we probably should be saving it. However, if you really are truly broke to the point where if something did go wrong and you need to make another flight purchase, or hospital fee and you are unable to do so…well.. I wouldn’t want to be there to witness it. Personally, I do not book a trip unless after budgeting I still have around $2,000 cash left in my bank account IN CASE of emergencies. Also, once you are out traveling, you are going to end up spending more than you allotted because you meet new friends and what the heck is one or two more beers in the grand scheme of things?! [Or you switch plans and want to visit a different Thai island and skip a flight to purchase a different one… guilty as charged.]
More than anything traveling has taught me to be flexible. This is a characteristic trait that has not only benefitted me in my traveling endeavors but in all aspects of life. So get out there, make your plans, and don’t let your trip be ruined when those plans change! #GetOutMore