Who doesn’t love a good holiday? With time away from the pressures of everyday life, you can rest, unwind, and do things that you wouldn’t normally get to do at home. For many of us, our holidays away are a dream come true, and the highlight of our year.
On the other hand…
A dream holiday can quickly become a holiday nightmare, especially when considering the factors we will list in this article. It can become the highlight of your year for all of the wrong reasons, with memories that send shivers down your spine instead of warm fuzzy feelings of happiness and gratitude.
Take a look at the following holiday nightmare examples, and then follow our tips to prevent them from happening to you.
Nightmare #1: Your luggage goes missing
After arriving at your holiday destination, you wait patiently by the conveyor belt, only to find that your luggage has mysteriously disappeared. There are very good reasons why luggage goes missing, and while frustrating, it is something you might have to put up with.
Tips: You can reduce the risk of your luggage going missing by labelling your bags clearly, as this way, another tourist shouldn’t pick up your bags by mistake, and the airline shouldn’t load it onto the wrong plane. However, if it does go missing, you should file a report at the airline counter. They will reroute your luggage to you if it has ended up on another plane, and should also offer you compensation as an apology. Your travel insurance policy might cover you in the event of lost luggage too, so contact your insurance company so you aren’t financially out of pocket as a consequence. You should also carry essential items in your hand luggage, so if your bags do go missing, you will still have certain valuables with you to minimize your holiday woes.
Nightmare #2: You get food poisoning
After spending an age looking for the best holiday accommodation, the last place you want to rest your head of nighttime is a hospital bed. However, the chances of getting food poisoning while away are high, so you do need to take cautionary measures.
Tips: Your choice of destination is important. Some countries may be lax on their hygiene laws, and there may be issues with flies spreading germs and infections amongst food sources, as well as problems with contaminated water, so you might want to research cleaner countries. However, no matter where you travel, there are ways to alleviate the risk of food poisoning. You should research places to eat before settling down for a meal; only choosing those respected diners and restaurants that have garnered good reviews online. You might also want to avoid food trucks in certain parts of the world, especially when you suspect the food has been sitting in the warm sun for a while, and where there is a high influx of flies. You should also purchase bottled water when away, using it to hydrate yourself or use within cooking, to alleviate the need to use possibly contaminated and unfiltered water.
Nightmare #3: You get attacked by mosquitos
Mosquitos are a pesky nuisance, especially when they are buzzing around your ear of nighttime when you’re trying to catch up on some sleep. Their bites are distracting too, causing you to scratch frantically when bitten areas of your skin become inflamed. However, despite these annoyances, mosquitos offer a far bigger problem. They can transmit a range of dangerous diseases, including malaria and yellow fever. As with our previous point, you might have to give up your hotel bed for a stay in a hospital if you fall prey to these troublesome insects.
Tips: Especially when visiting a tropical country, you will have to put up more than a few mosquitos. However, a visit to your pharmacy and doctor can save you a lot of trouble. When it comes to avoiding malaria and other transmitted diseases, you can take precautions through immunisation and the appropriate medications, so speak to the professionals for some qualified advice. While away, you should also cover your arms and legs as much as possible to protect yourself from any nasty bites, and you might also wear mosquito repellent to keep the miscreants away. But if you do get bitten, don’t scratch, as the more your body will itch. Tea tree oil and calamine lotion are effective remedies for mosquito bites, so arm yourself in advance to counter the effects of these flying menaces.
Nightmare #4: You have regrets at the end of your holiday
On arriving at your holiday destination, there are bound to be loads of things you want to see and do, any one of which could be part of your travel bucket list. However, for any number of reasons, you might not get the opportunity to do everything, perhaps because time has run out, or because you run out of money. When preparing to return home, you might then be full of regrets for opportunities missed.
Tips: For starters, narrow down your bucket list. You probably won’t have the funds or time to see and do everything you want, but by prioritizing your itinerary to experience the things you absolutely MUST try, you can budget your money and work on your timetable to accommodate them. Anything you later have time or money for can be considered a nice bonus. This way, you won’t have as many regrets when you’re on the flight home. However, you might also take steps to extend your vacation time, as this way, you will get to fulfill more of your bucket list. You might also put more into your holiday savings, as by doing so, there will be more scope to stay longer, and see and do more while you’re away.
There is no such thing as a perfect holiday. If something can go wrong, it probably will! We have only covered a few nightmare situations in this article, and from lost passports to dodgy hotels, there are other common issues that could befall any one of us. However, you can protect yourself by following the tips we have suggested in this article, and by researching other common issues that affect holidaymakers. By doing so, you will minimize the risk of your dream holiday becoming a holiday nightmare.
Bonnie is always on the road with some amazing adventures ahead. Her favorite continent is South America and she’s passionate about culture-focused traveling and ethical and sustainable tourism. During her time in university as a research assistant for a sociology professor, she realized she can’t fully understand cultures from a safe distance. She quit her job to become a full-time “voluntourist,” which brings her to places where she can immerse in local communities and support their causes. On top of writing, one of Bonnie’s priorities is offering women advice on how to stay safe while solo backpacking.