Missed flights, stolen passports, and getting kicked out of Airbnbs with luggage strewn all over the lawn. We’re here to spill your tea. Here are some of your epic travel disaster stories and tips on how to possibly avoid them!
Recently, we put out a poll on Instagram asking you, YouTroopers, to share your epic travel disaster stories with us, and you guys really came through! Traveling doesn’t always go as planned and there can be plenty of bumps along the road. But it might help to know what to keep an eye out for and stay prepared. Here are some confessions we received and some tips to help you dodge the bullet. Have a read!
The Wild Ones 🤯:
1. “I planned a trip to Bali but didn’t know about the Nyepi festival and ended up spending two days locked up in my hotel room.”
Image credits: The Honeycombers
A Balinese “Day of Silence” for prayers, fasting, and meditation to cleanse the island of misdoings and bad omens, the island’s unique spiritual festival may not be the most ideal for tourists. Lights are switched off, transport comes to a halt, and everyone has to stay at home for 24 hours! You may want to check ahead on any festivals or spiritual holidays before travelling to your next holiday destination!
Epic Travel Disasters: Learn more about Nyepi
2. “Got stuck in Belfast when the Eyjafjallajökull erupted. Stowed away illegally in a hostel.”
Image credits: Encyclopedia Britannica
This is one incident you’d be glad to avoid. When the Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted, the UK airspace was shut down for six days.
While Mother Nature can be unpredictable, volcanoes do have their share of predictors that can help indicate the risks of eruption. Do keep an eye out if you’re visiting New Zealand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, Alaska, California, Peru, or Chile! Additionally, Iceland, Italy, Guatemala, Colombia, Papua New Guinea, and Reunion also have significantly active volcanoes to look out for. It’s advisable to check reports monitoring these hotbeds for a safer and stress-free travel experience.
Epic Travel Disasters: Click here to learn what else you keep an eye out for when monitoring natural disasters.
The Forgetful Ones 😰:
3. “I forgot my passport the day I was supposed to return to Singapore after studying in the UK.”
Image credits: TripZilla
😰“I forgot to bring my foreign currency.”
😰“I forgot to pack my underwear!”
Ever catch yourself slapping your hand across your face in exasperation due to forgetting key travel essentials? It’s okay we understand the curse of having a goldfish’s memory span. No matter how hard I pace around my room and recheck my luggage, I can’t ever seem to shake the feeling that I’ve forgotten something.
Perhaps this will help! Here are some travel checklists to assist you in your packing process and make easily overlooked items a priority.
The Ones Who Take YOLO To A New Level 😜:
4. “Travelled without a proper itinerary.”
Image credits: Unsplash
If spontaneous travel is your thing, go for it! The thrill of landing in a foreign city with absolutely nothing planned is second to none. Where will you end up? What will you encounter? Imagine the exhilaration and adrenaline you’d feel as you trust in nothing but your gut extinct to lead the way.
But if you’re someone who prefers the organisation of a good day-by-day itinerary to map your travels smoothly. We have the best things to see, eat, and do around the world.
5. “Dropped my phone in the Blue Lagoon.”
Image credits: Globecalls
Our hearts literally ache at this confession. Picture all of your precious travel memories drifting away and floating to the bottom of a lagoon, with revival rates remaining bleak. Well, we’re taking this chance to preach the importance of waterproof phone cases.
If you’re like most people and can’t bear to part with your phones, invest in a waterproof phone case — and not just those cheap plastic ziplock bags. Enjoy your day splashing around swimming, surfing, or even diving with these affordable waterproof cases you can find shopping at Taobao.
Epic Travel Disasters: Read more of our Taobao guides here.
The Suay Ones 🥲:
6. “My rental car window was smashed and my parents’ passports were stolen a day before flying back”
Image credits: Pocket Car Hungary Ltd.
Coming back to a vandalised car or break-in after a fun day out is a nightmare. And while there may not be much you can do to prevent that, here are some things you can keep in mind to lower the chances of an unwelcome decorative masterpiece befalling your rental car.
Firstly, while the thought of free street parking is tempting, perhaps it may be better to consider a well-lit car park with security cameras and personnel if possible. And while that might not stop some, security footage comes in handy when filing police reports and making insurance claims.
Secondly, ensure that you bring your valuables everywhere. Or, make sure it’s locked in the trunk of your car, out of view and out of reach. Habits to pick up include snapping a photo of your parked rental car in good condition every time you leave it unattended in case you ever need to file insurance claims and report the incident to the rental car company.
Epic Travel Disasters: What to do if you lose your passport
7. “Got kicked out of the Airbnb with my things strewn on the lawn.”
Image credits: Skift
We don’t know the full story of what happened here but there are only a few reasons as to why it’s acceptable to get kicked out of an Airbnb. That consists of violating house rules, participating in dangerous or harmful behaviour, throwing parties, or guests overstaying their booking.
Although it certainly is rare for guests to get kicked out of their Airbnbs, the establishment has stated that they’re always ready to rebook guests and follow up with them. However, Airbnb can’t force hosts to further accommodate guests if they don’t want to or for any other reason.
Epic Travel Disasters: Read up on Airbnb’s FAQ guides to stay informed
8. “My husband lost his YouTrip card in London. Thank god for the lock function! Someone tried to use it.”
Amazing quick thinking! If you wish to temporarily lock your card, head to the YouTrip app. Under “Card”, toggle to the left to lock your card in case of emergencies. If you wish to permanently close your card, contact YouTrip at +65 69049334 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further assistance!
Epic Travel Disasters: What to do if you’ve lost your YouTrip card
The Ones Who Really Need To Double Check Their Flights ✈️:
9. “I was checking in for my return flight from Korea and was told by the staff that my actual flight was the day before…“
Image credits: Park Sleep Flight
✈️ “We missed our flight home from Tokyo and stayed overnight at Narita Airport where most of the stores were closed and it was dark…”
✈️ “Missed our flight back from Singapore to KL because we were too busy buying Famous Amos.”
Time to start adding your flights to your Google Calendars! But hey, these things happen to everyone (me included). Better safe than sorry! Amidst all the panic and chaos, here are some things you can do when you’ve missed your flight.
Did you know that some airlines possess an unofficial “Flat Tire Rule” that allows passengers to rebook their flights without penalty? You can try your luck by calling the airline before your flight departs to inform them that you won’t be making your flight. This enables them to rebook you quickly and board standby passengers. However, this varies from airline to airline.
Or fly standby on the next flight! After all, there’s no telling, you might not be the only one missing your flight that day. Get yourself a standby ticket and get onto the waitlist! Many airlines will let you standby for a later flight for free if you’ve missed the previous flight.
Last but not least, booking a budget airline might just be your last alternative. It might not be the comfiest flight experience, but at least you won’t be stuck in an airport overseas!
Epic Travel Disasters: What to do if you’ve missed your flight
What Else Can You Do To Avoid Falling Prey To These Epic Travel Disasters?
When travelling, always expect the best but be prepared to plan for the worst! It’s ideal to get yourself a substantial travel insurance policy that is best suited to your needs. Jet-set on your travels with ease with HLAS COVIDSafe Travel Protect360 Enhanced Plans with YouTrip and enjoy savings of up to 65%! Read up more on the nitty-gritty of HL Assurance X YouTrip Travel Insurance here.
Don’t forget to use your YouTrip card to purchase those plane tickets! If you don’t have a YouTrip card yet, use <BLOG5> during your sign-up to enjoy a free S$5 in your account!
Be sure to check out our YouTrip Perks page for exclusive offers and promotions too. For more great tips and guides like this, join our Telegram(@YouTripSG) and subscribe to our free weekly newsletter here or down below!