• Erin

Chaos-Proofing Your Travel Plans

As the world opens back up again, here are some tips to make your international travel a breeze no matter what gets thrown your way!

There is an air around people who travel often, especially those who travel solo. They have this ability to shrug off catastrophe and roll with the punches. They are the kind of people who turn getting lost into an opportunity to make lifelong friends with a local in the Scottish Highlands. I was in the UK when countries began closing their borders earlier this year. It was the people safe at home who were most worried. My friends and I who were abroad at the time and actually looking at the possibility of getting stuck were able to shrug it off. We had made contingency plans when things started to get serious. And that’s where the air comes from. Those who travel regularly are used to having little to no control over what is going around them so they learn to control their response by always having a plan B. Here are some ways you can learn to roll with catastrophe so even a global pandemic can’t ruin your trip.

Expect Everything to go wrong

Alright, that might be a bit pessimistic. You don’t have to expect everything to go wrong as long as you anticipate that it could. New travelers are often shaken when something unexpected happens. A delayed flight or a missed train isn’t a reflection of your ability as a traveler. Those who do this regularly know that these little hang-ups are ok and usually have some kind of plan floating in the back of our head. For instance, I’ve thought things like, “If the early bus isn’t running and I can’t get a taxi to the airport then I can take the overnight train and still make my connection in Lisbon if I have to.” Things go wrong and that’s ok as long as you have a plan B.

Register with the Embassy

This is one that even seasoned travelers often overlook. You can register with the US embassy in any country you are traveling to. You give them your name, passport information, and your address and contact information while you are in the country. This may not seem like a big deal, but should things truly go wrong - natural disaster, terrorist attack, global pandemic - the government knows where you are. This April there were still domestic flights leaving the UK, so I didn’t have to be repatriated but getting daily updates from the embassy about which rail lines were still running, which airlines were still being accepted at US airports, and which airports were still letting planes depart for the US was all extremely helpful when planning how I was going to get home.

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