The Ugly Side of Travel (& how to deal with it!)

Traveling is a fantastic way to experience the world, meet new people, and get out of your comfort zone, but sometimes it doesn’t always go to plan. You need to realise that when you travel, things won’t always go your way. You might not get the room that you wanted in a hotel, you might miss a flight, or (on a more serious note) you might find yourself in hospital or down at the police station. I don’t mean to scare anybody, but before you leave on your trip you need to be prepared for the unprepared.

I have plenty of bad travel stories to share, but I never let it dampen my experience. I’m going to tell you a few things that can go wrong while you are traveling, and how you can deal with it – from personal experience!

Travel Insurance
The number one way to deal with travel mishaps is travel insurance. If you can’t afford travel insurance, then you can’t afford to travel. Please read my more detailed post Do I Need Travel Insurance?


Going to Hospital
Sometimes you might get hurt super bad or get super sick that you have to go to the hospital. I’ve had it a few times when I’ve had allergic reactions to thinks I’ve eaten, had to get stitches, and have had some pretty gnarly stomach bugs. It’s pretty daunting being in a foreign hospital, especially if they can’t speak the same language as you, but there’s a few ways of dealing with it! First of all, keep in contact with your family and friends. Let them know where you are, and chatting to them will keep your mind at ease. Always have some emergency cash put aside in order to pay your bills, or make sure you have travel insurance to cover the costs for you.


Getting Sick
The picture above is me sitting up the front of a bus with a plastic bag suffering from some pretty hardcore food poisoning in Vietnam – great fun! But I didn’t let it get me down. Getting sick is just a part of life, but it sucks big time when it happens on your holiday. If you are traveling through Asia, I’m not going to lie, you will get sick at least once. The standard of food handling in some countries isn’t up to scratch with the ones back home and sometimes your belly just can’t handle it! But it can also happen anywhere else in the world. The way to deal with getting sick is be prepared. Before you leave, or when you arrive at your destination, stock up on some medications that will curb nausea, headaches, fevers etc. If it gets to the point where you end up being physically sick, I always make sure I am carrying around 1 or 2 plastic bags (from my shopping) so I am not going to be confined to my hotel room and miss out on all the action. I am notorious for throwing up at different significant landmarks – for differing reasons – but I always ensure that being sick is not getting in the way of adventures! Also, always ensure you have water on you at all times as you are more likely to get super dehydrated – or bring along some gastrolite or hydrolite packets in your bag (especially in Asia where dehydration and extreme heat can cause serious problems). Travel insurance is also a big help for when you get sick!


Getting Mugged/Theft
I’m not trying to scare you, but in some places (more likely than others) there is a small possibility that you may experience theft or robbery – either small or large scale. I fell in to this minority! Pictured above is after I was ‘attempted’ mugged in Cambodia – I was attacked while crossing the street from a man on a scooter who grabbed my handbag. The handbag didn’t break and I was dragged up the street, ending up in hospital with no memory, stitches, and a pretty killer headache. It was a pretty crappy experience and everyone thought that it would ruin the rest of my holiday (I was only 3 weeks in on a 7 week trip) but I decided to forgive, deal with it, and move on. Cambodia isn’t one of the richest places in the world, so I understand why someone thought to grab a foreigners bag in the hope of getting some money or things to sell. I was prepared though, so if my bag were to have been stolen then I wouldn’t have lost much at all. Dealing with theft is easy if you don’t carry a whole heap of valuable things with you while you’re out and about. I always bring locks for my suitcase, or utilise the hotel safe, to leave majority of my cash in the hotel room. I limit the amount of money I have on me at all times, and sometimes even wear a ‘bum bag’ if I need to carry more cash on me. Dealing with it after it happens is always the hardest part, but I always find that forgiveness is the best way to move on. Imagine the situation that some people might be in where they feel the need to take from someone else. Talking about it too with your friends or family helps you get it off your chest and move on to your next adventure!

If you do happen to lose something, travel insurance is fantastic for reimbursing what you have lost – can you tell I love travel insurance?

Do you have any tips on how to deal when everything goes pear shaped when you are overseas?

Now stop dwelling about all the bad things that could possibly happen on your holiday, and start planning your next adventure!

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Shelley says:

    Wonderful attitude. I admire your spirit.


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