You have your itinerary well planned out, brought some games and entertainment for your kids, and packed all your travel must-haves, but do you have a way to manage the various problems that may arise during your family holiday?
While everyone wants their family trip to go without a hitch, travelling with the whole brood rarely runs smoothly. So it pays to be prepared for the worst. Here’s a list of 3 of the most common problems families may face while travelling, how to avoid them, and how to handle them if they do occur.
- Lost/missing luggage
It’s every traveller’s worst nightmare—checking your luggage only to find out that one of your bags—the one bag where you packed all your kid’s stuff—didn’t make it to your destination. Losing a luggage can be a very frustrating experience, but it’s a situation that can easily be addressed and prevented.
What to do: If your luggage gets lost or missing, talk to your airline immediately. They will ask you to file a claim so they can help your recover your bag; some can also provide compensation until you recover it. Most lost luggage, though, are found within 48 hours so there’s really no need to panic.
How to avoid: You can eliminate the hassle of missing a luggage with a few tricks, such as tagging your bag, removing old flight stickers, and using something to differentiate it such as brightly colored ribbons or stickers.
- Car breakdown
Road trips offer great opportunities for families to bond and create memories that will be treasured for years to come. While having your car breakdown in an unfamiliar place is a memorable experience in itself, it is however the last thing you’d want to go through.
What to do: Get your vehicle off the road as safely as possible. Be sure to warn other drivers by taking out your reflective cones or triangles, or by using your hazard lights especially if you’re causing an obstruction. Once you’re in a safe place, call for assistance. Don’t try to fix it by yourself, especially if you don’t have the tools and knowledge.
How to avoid: There are many reasons for car breakdowns, from engine overheating, dead or low battery, to flat tyres or tyre blowouts. Regardless, these can be prevented by taking your car in for a checkup before you hit the road. Have the brakes and battery checked, fill up your tank, and buy replacement tyres for the family wagon if your current ones have worn treads already.
- Getting sick
Whether it’s just motion sickness or the common virus, nothing spoils a vacation more than having one or two family members getting sick on the road. Instead of enjoying the trip, you may end up looking after them and attending to their needs.
What to do: If you or a family member is experiencing motion sickness, have him or her sit in front of the car and try to avoid reading to prevent exacerbating feelings of nausea and dizziness. Taking over-the-counter medications can also help ease motion sickness. If it’s a cold or flu, be sure to drink lots of fluids and take aspirin or decongestant.
How to avoid: Before you leave on any vacation, make sure you have packed a first aid kit with you. Also have your insurance card and your family doctor’s number ready in case of serious emergencies.