When Your Vacation Goes Wrong – How to Handle a Bad Trip.

It happens. 
It happens to me, it happens to my clients (so.embarrassing.), and it will more than likely happen to you at some point in time! Maybe the airline has a delay or change (there is a very high probability of this!), the pre-arranged driver doesn’t meet you at the airport, your room is filfthy and you refuse to stay, you end up at the emergancy room for a sprained ankle or one of the many other “what if” scenarios that occur while traveling.

None of this is fun or ideal but it’s reality. It’s one of the reasons using a travel professional can make or break your trip.
I wanted to pass along some suggestions on how to handle these situations.
My room is filthy/disgusting/dingy/I dislike it very much!

The photos looked great on the internet, your advisor has had positive experience there in the past, the lobby looks pretty, the front desk attendent seems sweet…and then you unlock the door…bleh.
What to do next:
– Take photos
– Go to the front desk and explain your dissatisfaction and ask if you could move to another room; ensure you can see it first! If this does not rememdy your situation, you need to get a hold of the emergency number your travel advisor gave you or during their business hours, them! At that point it’s a matter of can they upgrade your room (if there is availability) or start the process of finding another hotel for you.  Things to keep in mind; you will probably lose one or more nights of the room cost, depending on the hotel policy and specific situation. Be patient, I just had this happen recently with clients/honeymooners/good friends of mine and I really can’t say enough good things about how patient they were with myself and our partner getting them squared away.
Ways to prevent this:

– Don’t reserve the “lead-in” room category, meaning the first room category they offer a.k.a. the least expensive.
– Trust us when we tell you, “you get what you pay for”. It’s hard when you’re in the planning stages and budget is the forefront of your mind, but remember once you’re there you might be disappointed you didn’t choose the slightly more expensive option we offered – it can save a lot of headache in the long run. I’ve become pickier and pickier over the years of doing this and I really dislike using hotels that I’m not familiar with or have no relationship with. I’m always open to “meet” new places but there’s a reason I have a tried and true list.

Your flight is delayed and you might miss your connection.

If you’ve worked with me in the past, you’ve probably heard me reference the airlines being similiar to the “mob” …#dowhatheywant. I’m really feeling the weight of that  this week after being in the middle of a airline temper-tantrum with United, Croatian and Austrian airlines! 
What to do next:
-When you’re still sitting in the airport & you are told the flight will be delayed enough to miss your connection, start your way up to the gate agents so they can put you on the next available flight…oh that’s right the long is already 45 minutes long! Call your travel advisor or your travel insurance emergency number during non-business hours; we can take a look and at least give you a game plan and/or hold seats on the next flight (certain airlines have rules about how to do this, so it’s not always a possibility).  By the time you make it to the line, we could have the change done (I always get on the phone with the airline also and we make it a game of “who gets to them first!” if it’s a weather issue, more than likely the client does though!).
– TWEET! I’m not a Twitter user, but I know many friends who have had success getting protected on another flight by tweeting the airlines!
Ways to prevent:

– Schedule enough time on connections. Heed our advice at certain airports needing more time than others, even if the airlines links flights together as what we call “legal connections”, 35 minues in O’Hare is not always going to cut now is it?
– Download the airline app prior to the airport so you can access flight options while standing in line also. 
I fell at the Acropolis and am at the ER in Athens, now what?!

I always, always, always recommend purchasing travel insurance which offers some medical coverage in case of an emergancy while you’re traveling. 
What to do:
If you end up in the ER in a foreign city, please call the travel insurance collect phone number ASAP or have someone your traveling with do so. I put that number in my cell phone before leaving – I wouldn’t worry as much about having the policy number as they will be able to find you based on birthdate, name, etc.  They are your advocate – depending on where you are in the world it can extremely scary not knowing how your care is going to go!
Ways to prevent:
Uhhhh…watch your step πŸ˜‰
Truly though, some things are unpreventable, but don’t travel knowing your sick. If your ill & your doctor recommends you not to travel, we’ll start your insurance claim and get your money back so you can go when you’re healthy!
Happy Travels friends!

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