Holidays From Hell: Remember Your Break For All The Right Reasons

Holidays are great. You spend so much of the year sat at a desk, or mopping floors, or smiling at slow customers. The thing that gets you through all of these moments is the knowledge that, some time in the future, you get to say farewell for a while. Idle moments, the few that you get, are filled with either daydreams of a holiday to come or reminiscences about the last one.

Scientists have demonstrated that going on holiday, and even thinking about it, is good for you. Having a goal, a signpost to work towards, is essential. You’re going to be more optimistic, more driven and agreeable if you have a holiday coming up. So planning holidays is part of a healthy life. Which doesn’t mean that every holiday lives up to the plan. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, lucky you.

When Holidays Go Bad

departure board at airport

A cancelled flight can be the beginning of a holiday catastrophe

Of course, there are varying levels of bad for everything. Bad chocolate is still pretty good, while bad surgery is really not. A bad holiday is closer to the first one, depending on exactly why it was bad. “The airline lost my luggage”? Bad, but recoverable. “Due to a mixup, we flew to North Korea“? Well, you’re telling people about it now, so not too bad. “I contracted gangrene”? OK, that’s always bad.

When It’s Not Your Fault And When It Is

To get even one person from Point A to Point B takes planning. Especially if Point B is across an ocean, and if you need to fly via C and D. Airlines need to do this for tens of thousands of people daily. They will make mistakes, and sometimes you’re the innocent victim in all of this.

montreal airport

“Six times now I’ve seen that bag. Where’s mine?”

But humans also make mistakes. You’re human. And whether it’s trips to Cabo with the ladies or Maldives honeymoon packages, it’s never good to know we’ve messed up. Booking for the wrong day, turning up without a passport or an unguarded word in the check-in queue, all of these can spoil a dream trip.

How To Handle It If It Goes Wrong

How you take care of it depends on what “it” is and how much of “it” there is. It also depends on where it is – if you’re at your destination when things go wrong, it’s a more acute situation. If it’s in a country where they speak another language, do you speak that language? If not, look for someone who does. Always have to hand the number for your embassy in that country.

Keep your embassy’s number around you at all times just in case

Keep in contact with the airline, the tour operator if there is one, and someone trusted back home. Sometimes things will need to move fast to get a problem sorted out, and the more irons you have in the fire the better. With any luck and goodwill, the problem will be sorted out in time to enjoy the rest of the holiday.

Your prompt action and a cool head can be the difference between an anecdote you tell ruefully but amusingly over coffee, and a nightmare. And remember, it happens every so often to most of us, so don’t let it ruin travel for you.


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