Travel Tips for How to Salvage a Trip Gone Wrong

A vacation can be exactly what you need to escape the routine of everyday life. No matter if your preference is a relaxing getaway or an adventurous expedition, a good trip can be the perfect way to regain a little sanity before returning to normal life.

Most people head into a vacation with the expectation that everything will go according to plan. Flights will be on time; airlines will deliver your luggage, hotels will be accommodating. Though this is idyllic, it isn’t always reality.

Many things can cause a relaxing vacation to go wrong. When this happens, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and believe everything is ruined. This doesn’t always have to be the case. 

There are many ways you can successfully salvage a trip gone wrong, and even options such as travel insurance to protect your vacations in the future.

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Your Flight Is Delayed

A delayed flight is a horrible start to a vacation. You could have plans when you arrive, or you might have a connecting flight you’re now surely going to miss. It can be easy at this moment to lose your cool and think the worst.

Your trip doesn’t have to be ruined. If this happens, remain calm and check out your options. Most airlines will accommodate you even if an event causes a delay out of their control.

They will often put you on the next available flight if the delay is causing you to miss your connection, or even pay for your stay in a hotel overnight if no more flights remain for the day.

The key in this instance to keep calm. Though it’s easier said than done sometimes, the old saying “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar” still rings true. Having an attitude or aggressive demeanor can cause the people assisting you to be less than helpful.

If you speak with a calm and kind voice, you’re much more likely to get what you’re after and still make the most of what’s left of your trip.

Your Luggage Didn’t Arrive at Baggage Claim

Your heart may drop into your stomach if you’re watching everyone’s bags file down the line but yours. You likely packed most of your belongings in your suitcase and sent it with the airline knowing it would be safe.

Mistakes can happen, however, and sometimes bags can get lost or misplaced along the way.

If this happens to you, you likely don’t need to panic. At the moment, it can seem like your entire vacation is ruined. 

The good news is, it’s more than likely your luggage is not completely lost. The odds of the airline misplacing your luggage with no hope of being found are usually very slim. This doesn’t mean it’s unheard of, but it also means it shouldn’t be the first thing your mind goes to.

Take a deep breath and have patience. It’s possible your bags may have ended up in another terminal, so start there. Check other terminals with arrivals from your same airline. If you find no luck there, the baggage desk should be your next stop.

You can likely encounter someone who can help find a solution to locate your missing bag. Simply file a report, and hopefully, your bag can be located sooner rather than later.

You can also make the process of locating your bag easier by making your luggage easy to spot. Adding a colorful ribbon or even a good-sized tag with your name on it can help the airline determine they have found the correct bag and get it returned.

Your Accommodations Are Not What You Expected

Pictures can be deceiving. You may have looked online and booked a bright, sunny beach house, only to get there and be disappointed by a run-down location.

This can seem like an absolute vacation ruiner, but try to look in a more positive light. Calling the owner is the first step. 

Explain the situation and how your expectations were not met based on pictures. There is always a chance they own other properties and might move you somewhere nicer if you ask.

If that option isn’t available, talk about a refund. You may be able to simply get your money back and find a new place to stay. 

If this isn’t the case, try contacting your bank and explaining the situation to them. If you’re in good standing, there is a chance they will dispute the charge for you and help you get your money back.

After you’ve taken care of the financial situation, look for another place to stay. You never know what kind of rates you can find last minute, and you may end up falling in love with the new location. Just stay positive and remember you have options.

Photo by Bibhukalyan Acharya from Pexels

The Weather Was Not Ideal

You may have planned a beach vacation filled with sunshine, only to arrive at your destination and see a forecast filled with clouds and rain.

Few things can make you feel like your trip has been ruined faster than horrible weather. It doesn’t have to ruin everything, contrary to what you may think.

Though it won’t be the vacation you have planned, you can still make the most of your time by having a backup plan in place. These could be things you want to try local to the area you’re visiting or even activities you have brought along with you.

Either way, having a backup plan in place if the weather does decide to take a turn for the worse can ensure that though it may not be the vacation you originally planned, it doesn’t have to be ruined.

Travel Insurance for Preventative Measures

Though it can’t save you from everything, having travel insurance before embarking on vacation can save you quite a few headaches.

There are many options for choosing travel insurance, and your coverage can range from trip cancellations to lost baggage. Shop around and look into different options to find the coverage plan and price point that works best for your trip and your budget.

Having a policy in place before leaving can ensure that even if things do potentially go wrong while traveling, you will have the coverage you need to ensure your vacation continues to run smoothly.

Your Vacation Doesn’t Have to be Ruined

It can be easy to feel like one minor misstep can cause your entire trip to be ruined. When large amounts of planning and money go into something, you want everything to go right.

It’s not always a realistic expectation that everything will happen according to plan. Getting worked up and panicking will only make things worse. Try to remain calm, even if things seem horrible. 

Being prepared for the unexpected and having backup plans in place can allow you to salvage your trip still, even if things go wrong. 

About the Author

Alexandra Arcand writes and researches for the insurance comparison site,, and has had many experiences salvaging vacations gone wrong. She specializes in travel writing and the insurance needed for life’s various adventures. 

Alexandra Arcand

Alexandra Arcand